Branding blunder gives Russia-Nigeria energy linkup a bad name

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by 4XQs, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. 4XQs


    Branding blunder gives Russia-Nigeria energy linkup a bad name

    Joint gas venture brokered by Dimitry Medvedev is labelled Nigaz

    It probably seemed a good idea at the time. But Russia's attempt to create a joint gas venture with Nigeria is set to become one of the classic branding disasters of all time ‑ after the new company was named Nigaz.

    The venture was agreed last week during a four-day trip by Russia's president Dmitry Medvedev to Africa. The deal between Russia's Gazprom and Nigeria's state oil company was supposed to show off the Kremlin's growing interest in Africa's energy reserves.

    Instead, the venture is now likely to be remembered for all the wrong reasons ‑ as a memorable PR blunder, worse than Chevrolet's Nova, which failed to sell in South America because it translates as "doesn't go" in Spanish.

    Alert users of Twitter first highlighted the unfortunate English connotations of Nigaz, which appears to have eluded Medevedev's Russian-speaking delegation.

    Writing on Monday, shunty 75 observed: "Nigaz is the name for the new Gazprom Nigeria venture. They need a new PR outfit. NO WAY!! Haha!!" Other twitterers also derided the name.

    An article in Brand Republic pointed out the obvious: that the name has "rather different connotations" for English-speakers.

    It recalled other international branding mishaps including the Ford Pinto ‑ which in Brazil means small penis ‑ and the Pepsi slogan "come alive with the Pepsi generation". In Taiwan this rousing motto translated as "Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead".

    It is unclear why nobody alerted Medevedev to the blunder. But one possible explanation is that the offending word is still widely used in Russia, and was even famously employed by the poet Vladimir Mayokovsky in the 1920s.

    The new company Nigaz plans to invest at least $2.5bn (£1.5bn) in oil and gas exploration and aims to build refineries, pipelines and gas power stations across Nigeria.

    "We have a chance to become major energy partners," Medvedev declared last week following a meeting with Nigeria's presient Umaru Yar'Adua in the capital Abuja.
  2. may not be a blunder: the russians do have prejudice against the blacks.
  3. Daal


    "So which oil company should we contract for this new field we discovered?" "Nigaz please, they are the best"
  4. Div_Arb


    Try the blacks, germans, jews, women, chinese, gypsies, rich, poor, disabled, and anyone Russian who has ever been to a foreign country. Very prejudiced people in general.
  5. Div_Arb


    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>
  6. not sure if this is the complete list, but probably close enough :)
  7. aegis


    Reminds me of the "Niggar" family sketch from the Chapelle Show.
  8. fhl


    --to build pipelines for natural gas--

    Nigaz should be a great source of gas. But, don't become dependent. I wouldn't want to be held hostage by Nigaz.
  9. Pinozi


    Maybe Dave Chappelle could do some ads for the company

    "Nigaz gas - The only gas a black man would use for his BBQ"
  10. I think you are right... 99% of russians never had any contact with african americans....
    And also, I heard they have very active kkk in Rusia, especially in the russian bible belt....
    #10     Jul 2, 2009