bite the wax tadpolebitethewaxtadpole web design ireland
bite the wax tadpole - why the silly name?
web site design, marketing, advertizing, bite the wax taddpole

There is an 'urban legend', widely circulated in the marketing and advertising worlds, that insists that when Coca Cola first entered the Chinese market (1928?) the name 'Coca Cola' was translated as a phrase that meant 'bite the wax tadpole'. This supposed marketing gaff has been recalled and taught in countless marketing and advertising seminars and courses, along with similar stories (equally unfounded) like the Chevy Nova and Mitsubishi Pajero.

The truth is that Coca Cola's entry to the Chinese market was highly professional and well planned. Before the official launch, some Chinese shopkeepers (not the Coca Cola Company), anticipating Coke's entry to the market, produced advertising material that had rendered the name into Mandarin characters with no regard to the meaning of the phrase the sounds produced. Signs were produced by combining characters that formed the sound string 'ko ka ko la', but meant 'bite the wax tadpole' or 'female horse flattened with wax' and other nonsensical variations.

Coca Cola did extensive research BEFORE the launch to find a meaningful and positive transliteration. The character pronounced 'la' means wax, so this was abandoned in favour the character 'lê (pronounced 'ler') which means happiness or joy - much more positive.

We chose the name as a reminder to do the research BEFORE the launch, and get it right first time, rather than trying to fix it later. Also, it has a silly ring to it and seemed more fun than calling ourselves 'Professional Web Designers' or 'Irish Web-Experts' or the like. Also, it starts with a 'b', so gets us listed high on the few search engines that still insist on producing alphabetical listings. I suppose we could have called ourselves 'Aaaaaaaah What Clever Designs'…

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