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Taiwan airlines Starlux called out "mayday" twice in its marketing campaign collaborating with a local band. Why? Or should we ask, how come?
Starlux, a Taiwan-based airline company, recently had a collaboration with a local band called “五月天” (literally “days in May”) for the latest wave of promotion.
In a Facebook posting, the copy reads:
Starlux mayday mayday!!!
Are you guys excited? (Starlux) is even collaborating with 五月天
It seems that the copywriter, who may neither have worked in the aviation industry, was unaware of the meaning and significance of “mayday,” which is derived from the French phrase “m’aidez,” or “help me,” and is used by pilots only in emergencies.
Interestingly, the copywriter went so far as to “yell” the word twice to fully comply with the prescribed protocol for conveying a sense of distress.
The copywriter eventually admitted that he had no idea of the true meaning of “mayday” and had simply translated the band name literally as “May+day.”
(Note: the posting could have been written by a Statlux fan, but the “Mayday” campaign is official.)
Apparently, K. W. Chang, the founder of Starlux and an airline pilot himself, was not given the opportunity to review the collaboration plan and its marketing material, or this coincidence was unlikely to happen under his watch.
Showcasing “mayday,” despite it having nothing to do with the band, in an Airline’s marketing campaigns is a classic blooper. Fortunately, it only happened on the stage rather than in the air.
As marketers, it’s imperative for us to know a thing or two about the industry and another language we intend to use in campaigns. It might be trivial, but sometimes it is just as larger than life as it gets.