Use of Language in Advertisements

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Language is an interesting tool to persuade or to stop others from acting or thinking in a certain way. And when this tool is used by people who are ill equipped, the results can be embarrassing, funny and fascinating. Language is a delicate tool and if one is not a native speaker, and sometimes even if you are, one may overlook the innuendos. This often makes for an interesting read especially if there are people who actually realize what other insinuations the message may have. One, embarrassing case-in-point, is the Lick-a-prize…dandee pe dhoondo apna inaam thing that was a Walls’ ad for one of their ice-desserts for kids.

However well meaning the copywriter is, or whoever in the company responsible for making clear message to their target market is, there are negatives that may arise out of improper use of language. There was recently one that happened with a leading domestic appliance manufacturers, who asked their target market to bring their microwave…what was intended was that with every purchase of a particular brand, the buyers would be getting a free iron and a cookbook. What happened was a line of customers stood outside the appliance shops, with previously purchased microwaves, asking for the iron and the cookbook. Needless to say, the ad was re-released later. (Oh, and the company had to give free irons and cookbooks J )

And then we have ads that include colloquial. Like the Kidco Khopra Candy jingle that had the lines “O jigar kidhar? Jab dost idhar…”, which was in a way cute, but slightly out of place in an ad for candy. Next time…read between the lines…its fun!


  • Tyrone Tellis

    That Dawlance ad is real? Find it hard to believe! Anyway many great bloopers have occurred when translating a winning slogan to another language- Hertz campaign -Let Hertz put you in the driving seat came across as Hertz will make you a chauffeur!

    In another country – Hispanic there was confusion over the use of the words ‘hot chick’ in an ad.

    In Spain Nike had issues with its line of shoes called Incubus. Why? Search the name and see.

  • Ayesha Rehman

    my favorite remains atif aslam’s quote “i choose clear men”

  • Omar Khan

    Ms. Wajeeha, HOW COULD YOU!! Dandee pay Dhoondo Apna Inam was “AWESOME” hahahahaha

  • Kali Ceronsky

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