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Hi MrPedantic,

Your corrections and suggestions are very clear. I must (I can't remember know how can I use this sentence in past tense) submit my lesson assignment yesterday. So, I couldn't improve it any further. I changed a few things in my text, and sent it to my instructor. I received my instructor's comments about my essay. So, I won't re-post it; I don't want to take your time anymore.

I've got a B from my essay. My instructor said that my language usage is problematic. For the most part, it is too elavated for children to either understand or be captivated by. And she states that my overall message remains unclear beyond telling children that they do have power. It remains unclear what exactly I want my audience to do or avoid... I should study hard. For my next lesson, I will revise one of my previous essays. (Maybe I will annoy you in the future.)

Thank you for your time and effort. I really appreciate everything you have done for me!

hadeka

P.S.:

***"Power is an ability - I'm not sure 'ability' is the right word here, Hadeka: can you think of another one?" ***
It also sounds wrong to me. But I can't find more appropriate word instead of it yet. I will think about it.
You're welcome, hadeka! I'm just sorry my last post was too late for you.

Anyway, B's pretty good – it's a difficult task. Perhaps your essay would have suited the 12-year-olds better than the 9-year-olds; but many native speakers would also find it hard to find the right level, when writing for children.

Let me know if you need some help with your next one!

MrP
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Hi MrPedantic,

I'm back! I've completed my revision essay. I changed my audience-so all paper. Original version of essay, my instructor's comments, and the final version are below. I would greatly appreciate any feedback. I know it is very long-and sorry about it. So, I don't mind if you think you haven't much time to help.

thanks,
hadeka

------------------------------------
Original version of my essay

A Far-fetched Pepsi Ad

The first thing that hit us as we exited the plane was the oppressive, heavy heat - over 56°C. The considerable heat jumped down on to our shoulders and slowed our pace, and we knew we weren’t in Turkey anymore.

A few months ago, I traveled to Saudi Arabia with my cousin Tugba. It was like stepping into a different world. Saudi Arabia is a country with a different language, different culture, foods, and, of course, very different climate. People were genuinely friendly, helpful, and also curious to talk to strangers.

In our spare time, we enjoyed watching the TV programs in our small hotel room. We do not think we should have been deterred from watching TV programs just because they happen to be in a different language. We tried to understand the culture and learn a little Arabic. The advertising industry in Saudi Arabia is said to be facing a crunch time. Advertisements are very different and ridiculous compared to the ads in Turkey.

We watched a Pepsi Ad astonishingly. With his traditional white dress and keffiyah, the traditional Arab red and white or black and white checkered headscarf, an Arab man drinks Pepsi, and then belches loudly. The only thing he says is “Bebsi!” (Arabic doesn't have any "P" sound.) And that’s all! There were no appeals and visual images to attract attention. Above all, the Pepsi ad provided no reason to buy the product!
We began to comment on the ad. Tugba said, “Maybe the Arab man is a famous person.” We were trying to make positive comments because this ad was pretty far-fetched. Pepsi is a very prestigious company in Turkey, so it is hard to believe that Pepsi made poor-quality ads like this. I said, “Maybe belching is not a rude in Arab culture.” We tried to investigate this theory. Our guide said that in Arab countries, it is polite to burp loudly after a meal. But the Arab man isn’t a famous star in the country.

Pepsi is promoting itself in the world, as something new and young. Pepsi has always targeted the youth market. But not in this ad, for it seems that the Arab man is in his 30’s. So, who is the intended target audience of this Pepsi Ad? I am sure; I’m not! In response to the ad, I just fell frustrated. I drunk a lot of beverage including Pepsi, but not with the success of this ad. Is the Pepsi Ad designed to appeal to people in Saudi Arabia by persuading them that Pepsi adds a touch of magic to the special moments in their lives? Does Pepsi use appeals with images of celebrities, popular music, young people, happiness and togetherness, or nationalism? No! What is the targeting strategy? I don’t think Pepsi struggles to develop a strategy to reach consumers effectively. Then, what are they trying to do? I couldn’t understand; can anyone tell it to me?

With a population of 25 million, the average age of which is 18, Saudi Arabia, the biggest spender, is now clearly a highly attractive market for the beverage companies including Pepsi. People should drink lots of fluids for preventing dehydration. However, Pepsi didn’t use any appeals for to entice thirsty consumers. Do you believe this - just a burp! In Saudi Arabia, like in the world, the most spirited and intense competition in the beverage world is between cola companies. If Pepsi doesn’t create ads that are more effective in Saudi Arabia, it will lose “the cola wars”, and, of course, the consumers.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

my instructor's comments:

YOU HAVE TWO POTENTIALLY VERY POWERFUL ARGUMENTS IN HERE ABOUT EITHER A) CULTURE-SPECIFIC AD STRATEGIES OR B) A CLASH BETWEEN A CULTURE’S TRADITIONS AND ITS MODERN ADVERTISEMENT NEEDS. IN TERMS OF A), YOU DO A GOOD JOB AT SETTING UP THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR CULTURE AND SAUDI CULTURE WITH THE HELP OF YOUR “UNINITIATED” PERSPECTIVE, SHOWING HOW YOU REACTED TO AN AD THAT WASN’T CREATED FOR YOU AND YOUR CULTURAL BACKGROUND. YOU ALSO DO A GOOD JOB AT THE END OF LAYING THE FOUNDATION FOR A GENERATIONAL ANALYSIS OF FAILED ADVERTISEMENT TECHNIQUES IN A VERY TRADITIONAL COUNTRY. BUT IN ORDER TO CAPITALIZE ON EITHER APPROACH, YOU WOULD NEED TO CONCENTRATE ON THEM. IF YOU WANT TO POINT OUT CULTURAL DIFFERENCES, FOR INSTANCE, THEN YOU NEED TO SWITCH TO ANALYZING HOW IT IS INTENDED TO WORK WITHIN A, TO YOU, FOREIGN CULTURE AT ONE POINT. SO FAR, YOU DON’T DO SO. IF, ON THE OTHER HAND, YOU WANT TO FOCUS ON THE TENSION BETWEEN TRADITION AND MODERNITY WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF GENERATIONS, YOU NEED TO SHOW HOW THE AD IS INTENDED TO WORK FIRST AND THEN CONCENTRATE ON SHOWING THAT IT DOESN’T WORK WITH YOUNGER GENERATIONS.

-------------------------------------------------------

final version of my essay:

Dear Pepsi Bottling Group Advertising Manager,
In my Saudi Arabia trip, I saw your TV ad, and decided to write you this letter. I know your worldwide marketing strategy, and saw that you use a different strategy in Saudi Arabia. I read an interview of Okay Egdirici, who is Pepsi-Cola International’s Europe, Middle, and South Africa Sales Vice President, in a newspaper. Mr. Egdirici said that cola isn’t necessary for life. Therefore, Pepsi uses trends, pop culture, and stars for selling the product. Nevertheless, I saw that you don’t use these appeals in your TV ad. With a population of 25 million, the average age of which is 18, Saudi Arabia, the biggest spender, is now clearly a highly attractive market for the beverage companies including Pepsi. What prevents you from using the same marketing strategy in Saudi Arabia?

I think there may be two reasons for this. First, people should drink lots of fluids for preventing dehydration, because of the weather. Maybe you think that Pepsi is a need in Arabia, so you don’t think it is essential to use trends, pop culture etc. If so, you should use the reason, which makes Pepsi a need: thirstiness. However, Pepsi doesn’t use any appeal for to entice thirsty consumers. Therefore, I think it is not the reason.

Second, you want to localize the product, so you give special importance to traditions instead of trends and popular culture. I realize that Saudi Arabia is a very traditional country. And I understand your appeals to traditions. In terms of tradition, you make a great job: With his traditional white dress and keffiyah, the traditional Arab red and white or black and white checkered headscarf, an Arab man drinks Pepsi, then belches loudly, and says “Pepsi!” Burping traditionally signals culinary delight in Arabia. So, your ad is effective in its intended way. Of course, localization is really the key to success for any global company, but I believe that there is any problem about product’s acceptance. There are approximately 2-3 cola vending machines in all streets. Cola is adopted by Saudis. So, I think there is a problem in your ad’s purpose.

In Saudi Arabia, like in the world, the most spirited and intense competition in the beverage world is between cola companies. Continuing to target youth will be an opportunity for Pepsi in Saudi Arabia as well as whole world. While older people are more loyal to their brands, Pepsi can continue to target its market towards the younger generation. I know that while Coca-Cola targets every generation, Pepsi targets only the youth, which are the future consumers in its worldwide strategy. Pepsi has targeted "Generation X,” which is composed of consumers ages 19-34 for many years. This slogan communicates that Pepsi is for the young people, and all "cool" people drinks it. Pepsi uses a variety of advertisements and promotions to earn brand loyalty from the youth. Pepsi also used celebrity endorsers like Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, David Beckham, and Shakira to win over the younger generation's heart. I think Pepsi's greatest marketing advantage is its attractiveness to the youth. But I must say that, Pepsi couldn’t succeed targeting younger generation in this ad. I think this ad doesn’t work with younger generations.

Even though Saudi Arabia is a conservative and traditional country, young Saudis want break from tradition. They think that the country has to change. They say many of the country’s problems emanate from a lack of communication between the young generation and political elders in a patriarchal society, where decisions have traditionally been dictated from above. A growing number of young Saudis are calling for social and cultural change. Young Saudis shop for designer jeans and perfumes. They download Western games and music on their handheld PCs. Their wants and needs are not very different from Pepsi’s other consumers’. If you make little observation, you can realize this.

In conclusion, if your target audience is new generation- I think it must be-, you must realize that traditional appeals don’t work with less traditional younger generation. You must discover the younger generation’s wants and needs. If Pepsi addresses its real audience, and spends more on advertisement, it should have no problem becoming a leader in this region.
Yours truly,
hadeka
Hello Hadeka

That's an intriguing story. First a thought about the content of the ad.

If you were to show a version of the advert in Britain, it would be regarded as humorous. I can imagine it would be quite popular: an exotic Middle Eastern scene, perhaps traditional music in the background, an exotic male in exotic garments, drinking Pepsi. Then he takes the drink away from his mouth – and belches. 'Bepsi!' {Audience laughs.} (It's almost 'Berpsi!'.) It would be humorous, because in Britain, few people know that belching in SA = appreciation. Belching here is simply impolite; so the humour would depend upon bathos (exotic preparation >>> crude event). This would be especially popular with a younger audience – say the 'South Park' 11-25 age group.

If on the other hand you show the advert in Saudi Arabia, where (as you say) a belch has a different significance, where is the humour? It simply means 'this drink was most acceptable!' – which, as you say, is a 'traditional' message.

This makes me wonder whether the person who devised the advert was a Westerner/Westernised person, who was struck by the fact that belching = appreciation, in SA; but was also, confusingly, retaining the thought that belching is 'impolite' in the West. But, as your essay points out, and as (I think) your instructor implies, you can't regard the event simultaneously from both points of view.

Second, a thought about your essay.

The second version is better written, in terms of variety of phrasing, etc; but the first version does have a striking quality in its first half.

I would call this quality 'defamiliarisation'. You are looking at the advert with an innocent eye: as if you were a Martian. (Your instructor calls it 'uninitiated'.)

The problem (as I see it) with the first version is that you don't quite manage to maintain the 'naive' tone. In its second part, you begin to reason about the advert's possible target market, etc., and so move from 'naive' to 'businesslike'.

In your second letter, you've concentrated more on the point your instructor calls B, and so have kept to the tone of the 2nd half of your first letter. That's fine; but there is also another possible letter, which concentrates more on A, and keeps the tone of the 1st half of your first letter – the 'naive', Martian tone.

Now I'm wondering what the Advertising Manager would say, if you also sent him a letter entirely in the 'naive' tone, with the focus on point A!

It would be an interesting experiment.

MrP
Hi MrPedantic,

Hmm... Yes, I also think a letter in the "naive" tone would be interesting...

I must submit my lesson assignment in two days. In this period, I will do some exercises about changing my style etc. But if I can, I will try to write the second letter...

I sincerely appreciate your help!

Thanks,
hadeka
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
I didn't mean to give you extra work, Hadeka – think of it as a 'thought experiment'! Your 2nd version is very good.

Later, I'll proof read it and post any comments.

Bye for now,
MrP
I understand you MrPedantic. If I can, I'll try it because, I think it would be interesting and funny. I didn't think you gave me extra work. Thanks for your thoughtful message.

Thanks while looking forward to hearing from you--and your comments.

Also thanks for the encouragement!

hadeka
Hi MrPedantic,

While I was proofreading my essay, I noticed some sentences that "sounds" wrong to me. Can you please give me some feedback on these sentences?"

First paragraph, first sentence:
In my Saudi Arabia trip,
In my trip to Saudi Arabia,

Which one is more appropriate? I think it isn't include any mistake made in grammar.
But there is something that doesn't sound right in both of them--especially in the first.

second paragraph, last sentence:
Therefore, I think it is not the reason.
This sentence also doesn't sound right to me. But I don't know why...

The sentence before the last sentence of third paragraph. (The ... before the last.. Is there a single word which means this?)
Cola is adopted by Saudis.
The word "adopt"also doesn't sound right to me. Any suggestion?

Thanks!

hadeka
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Hello Hadeka!

Just some proofing comments on your 2nd essay – think I've included all your questions above:


In my Saudi Arabia trip, ] During a trip to SA,

Therefore, I think it is not the reason] So I don't think that can be the reason

I know your worldwide] I'm familiar with your

interview of ] interview with

Okay Egdirici ] What a wonderful name.

cola isn’t necessary for life.] isn't one of life's necessities

I think there may be two reasons for this. ] or 'I think there could be'

First, people should ] people have to

for preventing] to prevent

Pepsi is a need ] a necessity

use the reason, which makes] no comma

Pepsi doesn’t use any appeal for to entice] P. doesn't try to appeal to

understand your appeals ] attempts to appeal

you make a great job: ] you do a great job

but I believe that there is any problem about product’s acceptance. ] not sure about this: do you mean 'I believe there isn't a problem'?

in all streets. ] in every street

Cola is adopted by Saudis.] I wouldn't use 'adopted' here; but I can't for the moment think of an alternative. 'Drinking cola is now part of Saudi culture'?

In Saudi Arabia, like in the world, ] In SA, as elsewhere,

Continuing to target youth will be an opportunity for Pepsi in Saudi Arabia] ?just as in the rest of the world

Pepsi can continue to target its market towards the younger generation. ] continue to target the younger generation

only the youth, which are ] only young people, who are

Pepsi is for the young people, ] for young people

and all "cool" people drinks it.] drink it

loyalty from the youth. ] from youth/young people

Pepsi also used celebrity ] has also used

to the youth. ] to young people

But I must say that, ] But I have to say,

Pepsi couldn’t succeed targeting younger] Pepsi hasn't succeeded in targeting the younger

I think this ad doesn’t work] I don't think this ad works

young Saudis want break from tradition. ] want a break

the young generation] younger

from Pepsi’s other consumers’. ] or 'from those of P's other consumers

If you make little observation, you can realize this. ] not quite idiomatic; can you find another way of saying this?

is new generation-] the new generation

I think it must be-, ] as I think it must be

with less traditional younger generation. ] with the less

If Pepsi addresses its real audience, and spends more on advertisement, ] is it the spending more? or the better focusing?

it should have no problem becoming a leader in this region. ] market leader



{applause and cheers as Hadeka presents her letter to Mr Okay E.}

MrP
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