martes, 31 de marzo de 2015

Madrid Teacher: PR disasters

In our weekly Madrid Teacher series, a group of teachers discuss marketing mistakes companies have made. As usual, it gives us the opportunity to pay attention to some features of spoken English.

First of all, watch the video through to get the gist, the main ideas, of the conversation.
Now watch the video more carefully, paying attention to the following:
  • Use of conversation fillers to gain thinking time: like; so; you know
  • Showing agreement: Yeah
  • Asking questions to show the speaker you're interested in the conversation: The George Orwell?
  • Reacting to what the speaker is saying: Sounds very nice
  • Use of actually to introduce a piece of surprising information
  • Use of just to emphasize the verb
  • Showing surprise: Wow!; Really?
  • Use of I mean to paraphrase what you have just said and make yourself clear
  • Use of auxiliary + infinitive to emphasize the verb: it did sink

You guys know about Amazon Kindle?
It’s an e-book reader. Yeah. Like it’s an American e-book reader from a company called Amazon, which I think it’s the world’s biggest…
Yeah, I’ve heard about Amazon.
Yeah, so it’s the number 1 e-book reader. And I just connect it to a network like a mobile phone type net…
So they sell books, e-books.
And… so the company made a mistake last year. They, they, they had sold some copies of 1984.
The George Orwell?
Yeah. And the company who had sold this didn’t actually have the rights to the books, so what Amazon did was just reach into everybody’s Kindle who had bought the copy of 1984 and they deleted them. Major leak mistake, it’s like Big Brother…
Big Brother, yeah?
Going in and…
They couldn’t have chosen a better book, did they?
Terrible choice.
Wow! Great marketing.
Yeah. Did you hear about that PR disaster with Rolls Royce, you know, the big luxury car manufacturer? They brought out this car called Silver Mist which in England you know, sounds alright…
Okay, it’s a good name.
Sounds very nice.
… and they tried to sell it in Germany, and in German mist means 'cow dung'…
So the Germans didn’t really take to that.
They didn’t sell too many cars there?
No, no. And they had this, I heard there was a curling iron as well for hair and it was called Mystic as well, so that it had similar…
Not too good.
Not good. Didn’t sell too well in Germany, no.
The biggest disaster in terms of PR ever has to be Titanic. I mean, they, they talked it up so much as the greatest ship ever, unsinkable, and as we know it, it did sink.
In its maiden voyage, yeah.
It did.
I don’t know anything about other company problems but I was watching the news once and a woman was talking about a man who’d climbed a mountain, you know, seems like a simple feat. She said, but the problem, he’s gay. I’m sorry. He’s blind, and then they cut the news cast right there. I couldn’t stop laughing for about fifteen minutes.
How could she get confused with those two words?
No idea.
So he was gay?
No, he was just blind.
He wasn’t gay.
He was blind.
Oh, I heard about it.
Is that climbing Everest was it?
Perhaps, I’m not sure.
I think so, yes. I’d heard about that, but I hadn’t heard about that, the newscaster.
Where did that come from?
Was she from the States?