© Reuters / Yves Herman
© Reuters / Yves Herman
One of Coca-Cola’s marketing slogans in New Zealand did not go over well, turning into a humorous and embarrassing blunder for the company.

The beverage firm ran a vending machine signage that read “Kia ora, mate.” The slogan was an attempt to mix a greeting from the island’s indigenous peoples’ language, te reo Maori, with English.

While in English, the word ‘mate’ is commonly used to refer to friends, it has a very different meaning in Maori. The slogan essentially read, “Greetings, death.”

Online critics have noted the irony of Coca-Cola’s mistake, with one Twitter user claiming that Coca-Cola may have gained some “self-awareness,” and another one commenting “Finally, truth in advertising.”

Coca-Cola’s spokesperson told Maori Television that the phrase was only “meant to bring Maori and English together,”and “was in no way being disrespectful to any culture.”