Japanese firm suffers rebranding “Fukuppy”
One of Japan’s largest refrigeration companies has been ridiculed on the internet for its new mascot, an egg with wings with the unfortunate moniker “Fukuppy”.
The firm, Fukushima Industries Corp, a completely unrelated entity from the nuclear plant devastated in 2011, has since removed the mascot from their website and have said they are now looking into renaming it.
The initial intention behind the unfortunate name was to combine the first letters of the firm’s name, “fuku” with the English word, “happy”.
In the image above, it greets visitors to the website with the chirpy message:
“”I’m Fukuppy. I think I’m kind, with a strong sense of justice, but people say I’m a little bit scatterbrained.”
Japanese corporations and civil sectors often introduce cartoon mascots to their branding strategy, from air purification unit manufacturers to the Ministry of Health. Think Ronald McDonald and the Michelin Man, only cuter.
However, because many Japanese brand names are based on English words, unfortunate results sometimes ensue, such as when the Osaka-based confectionery company released its Cream Collon sweets.
Also, Calpis Co Ltd’s longstanding flagship product, Calpis - which is supposed to combine the words calcium and the Sanskrit sarpis, meaning butter flavour – unsurprisingly changed its name to Calpico for US consumers.
In the age of the internet, there’s no such thing as a purely local company. A successful marketing strategy can go viral and a brand can achieve global recognition. However, the same also rings true of disastrous marketing campaigns.
It’s obvious which boat a company wants to sit in. At Today Translations, our cultural consulting and translation services ensure that your company branding doesn’t just avoid becoming the laughing stock of the internet, but actually succeeds in your target market and doesn’t, well, “Fuckuppy”.
Lauded by critics as a revolution in modern-day film-making, space drama Gravity and its British production and visual effects team cleaned up this year’s Academy Awards.
And while Hollywood’s household names captured most of the headlines, the technical categories were dominated by British innovators.
The Daily Mail published an article last weekend on how migrant school children are putting “huge financial strain” on teaching standards in UK schools, suggesting that the education of native English pupils is floundering as a result.
As a company that knows the important a role language and culture play in making the United Kingdom a business superpower, admired by other nations, we at Today Translations felt that there were a few issues in this article worth considering.