Kraft Foods Sub Brand Mondelez = Oral Sex in Russia? by Branding Magazine
After the announcement that Kraft is naming its food company Mondelez, some critics were drawn about the theme. Namely, Mondelez in Russian slang means “oral sex”, which is not appropriate for a brand such as Kraft, or any brand for that matter.
Russia is a huge emerging market for Kraft and this kind of misunderstanding could set back the companies progress in the region. However, they say in Kraft that the name Mondelez actually means ‘World delicious’. It is a mixture of French – ‘Monde-World’, and ‘Delez- Delicious’ which is some kind of imaginary Kraft language.
There are now two opinions about the name and its consequences. Firstly, some observers said that Kraft hasn’t worked hard enough on their marketing research to see if the name fits in all markets. Also, they believe that this kind of mistake could tumble the reputation of the brand in the region.
Allyson Stewart-Allen, director of consultancy International Marketing Partner, says: “Doing your due diligence on new brand names is essential so you don’t have the “clean up” costs that come with fixing a mistake. Kraft now will not only look foolish – a reputational cost – but potentially need to change the brand name in Russia altogether which undermines its global consistency, an essential for building trust and for establishing a brand.”
On the other hand, Chicago’s CBS says that this will not affect the brand’s reputation.They give some examples in history where language disproportionality hadn’t affected the sales nor reputation.
The proposed name will be the new name for the global snacks company and the home to brands including Oreo, Cadbury, Milka, Trident and LU when the existing business splits into two separate organizations later this year.
A spokesman for the company says: “The name builds on our higher purpose in a new way by capturing the idea of a ‘delicious world’ and we conducted extensive due diligence before announcing it. This included focus groups in 28 languages.”
I personally believe that the name won’t have any big effect on the sales, and that the only big deal about this will be made in press. Nevertheless, in Russia, Kraft’s, or Mendelez’s products, will get even bigger promotion than in normal surroundings. Eventually, everybody will forget about this so-called scandal, and make jokes about it.