Laurence Borel

Archive for Transcultural Marketing

Cool Parisian Store Fronts

Honoré de Balzac  once wrote ‘Les devantures de boutiques sont devenues des poèmes commerciaux’ (1837) Store fronts have become commercial poems. I spotted these absolutely gorgeous store fronts in Paris, which immediately stood out from the mass-market world we’ve all become accustomed to. I’ll do my very best to translate their meaning in English. Louvre Bouteille […]

Mr Tong’s Express [Photo]

Picture taken in Leidseplein, Amsterdam – Easter 2010

Social networks are lost in translation…

The Brits are notoriously bad at foreign languages. I have met so many people in the UK, including Brits, Kiwis, Ozzies, Saffas and Americans,  who wished they could speak another language. There seems to be a common misconception that learning a foreign language is easy. My dear friends, you couldn’t be more wrong – learning […]

The horny onion and the scary looking gherkin

This almost sounds like a twisted tale written in Vegetable Land! I am in fact talking about Burger King’s latest Dutch ad campaign, spotted on Marketing Profs Daily fix. After landing in Amsterdam, feeling a little peckish, Paul Williams headed to Burger King and discovered this controversial ad on his tray…  [Click here to view […]

Cuil review from a linguistic point of view…

  I picked up a thread by Mashable on Twitter this morning talking about the new search engine Cuil, packed with ex-Googlers in their team. Cuil claim to be the world’s biggest search engine, with an index of 120 billion websites in the world. Rather than relying on superficial popularity metrics, Cuil searches for and […]

A sign I saw at Victoria station – let’s all learn Polish!

I’d like a coffee please

Photo taken in Poland – April 2007 Here’s something I’ve been meaning to blog about for while. Coffee! Making my way to the office kitchen, eyes half-open, I reach out for an individual dose of Nescafé instant coffee. And every morning somebody asks me whether I’d like some milk. I politely refuse, and whoever is […]

Adverts from Poland

I just thought I would share with you a few adverts I saw whilst on holiday in Poland (more about this on my travel blog shortly!) Poland is a country of contradiction – on the one hand, thousands of pounds are being spent on advertising, but on the other hand, the average Pole earns around £200 per […]

Thought of the day

You can take the girl out of the country but you cannot take the country out of the girl…

Lost in multi-culturalism?

An American businesswoman comes away from a meeting delighted; she finally got her Japanese supplier to agree to a price. A few days later, she receives questions about price. It’s almost as if she imagined the meeting. “What‘s going on here?” she asks. “We agreed on the price already, didn‘t we?” [1]   The businesswoman recalls […]

That sweet enemy (je t’aime, moi non plus)

It’s a well known fact that the Brits despise the ‘frogs’, while the French despise ‘les roast beefs’.    Napoleon once likened the English Channel to a mere “ditch that will be crossed when someone has the boldness to try it.” In 1994, it was permanently breached by the Channel Tunnel — a monument to Anglo-French […]

Going Underground… in Paris!

I spent the last few days in Paris on business and found the French ad, ‘la musique vous parle’ (music talks to you)  for the Nokia music phone – I blogged about the UK ad last month. Although there are lots of advertisements on the Parisian Metro, it’s easy to ignore this tsunami of information. The Metro, unlike […]

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