China Assignment

Marketing lesson in the Far East

Be careful what you substitute for Mandarin


A Coca-Cola salesman returned from his assignment to China. A friend asked him, “Why weren’t you successful with the Chinese?”

The salesman explained, “When I got posted, I was very confident that I would make a good sales pitch. But I had a problem. I didn’t know how to speak Mandarin. So I planned to convey the message through three posters.


First poster: A man lying in the hot desert sand totally exhausted and fainting.
Second poster: The man is drinking Coca-Cola.
Third poster: Our man is now totally refreshed.

And then these posters were pasted all over the place.”

“Terrific! That should have worked!” said the friend.

“It should have,” said the salesman, “but no one told me they read from right to left!”


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05-Dec-2020