Wednesday, July 29, 2015

TS 89, that's not good

From Taylor Swift, Straussian? by Tyler Cowen.

Years ago I had an international marketing class. One of the points was how both language and culture required deep consideration when thinking about brand names and when marketing. One of the examples they used was GM's Nova line of cars. In fact, the example was an urban myth, but it was a great telling. The story being that the Nova failed to sell well in Mexico and other Spanish speaking countries because Nova could sound like No va, no go in Spanish.

Even though the story was a myth, the underlying issue of language, history and culture, is real as illustrated by Cowen's post.
The singer is launching her own Taylor Swift-branded clothing line next month, on the platforms of local e-commerce giants and the Alibaba group, with t-shirts, dresses and sweatshirts featuring the politically charged date 1989.

The date – as well as being Swift’s year of birth – refers to her album and live tour of the same name, which she will perform in Shanghai in November.

But the date – and the initials TS – are particularly sensitive in China, as they signify the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, when hundreds of students were killed in pro-democracy protests.

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