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ICOS 2008 Conference Abstract

Kentucky Fried Chicken vs. Poulet Frit Kentucky: Canada and its Different National and Linguistic Identities: Implications for the Naming Strategies of Fast Food Chains and their Products

E Lick
H Wochele
Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, Austria

When advertising to different cultural and linguistic target groups one has to decide between standardization and adaptation of, on the one hand, one’s advertising campaign, and, on the other hand, the names of the products offered. In the particular bilingual context of Canada, which also entails questions of identity, we will examine the product names as well as the branding of their ingredients, of world wide operating fast food chains, such as McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken (Poulet Frit Kentucky), Burger King, etc.
We have selected a corpus of product names and we intend to demonstrate how the product names differ between Quebec and anglophone Canada. In addition, we will compare the product names chosen to their corresponding names in other francophone and anglophone countries (France, Belgium, Switzerland; USA).
Finally, we will show how the differences in the naming strategies which companies pursue reflect the various forms of collective identities and language awareness in different societies (in the case of McDonald’s: MacPoulet [Canada] vs. McChicken [France]).

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