I have decided to write occasional posts about marketing and communications (whether on social media, billboards, magazines, graffiti etc) that catch my eye – whether that’s for good reasons or bad.
The idea for this series was inspired by the advert above, which I spotted in the train station one afternoon whilst waiting for the train home. In order to translate it I have to explain what it is referencing. The text in the advert is a play on ‘Vergeet u niet uit te checken’ – a phrase I hear everyday, multiple times a day as it is played over the tanoy on trains. It translates to ‘Don’t forget to check out’ and refers to the ticketing system in the Netherlands, whereby you upload money onto a card, which you then use to check in and out at your departing and arriving stations. It’s a bit like the London Oyster card, except for trains, buses, trams and the metro, across the whole of the Netherlands (I could probably write an entire blog post about my love for the Dutch transport system).
In Dutch ‘uit’ – pronounced the same way as the English word ‘out’ – rhymes with fruit. It’s hardly laugh out loud comedy, but it’s clever and subtle enough that it made me smile and cheered up the 10 minutes I spent waiting on the platform for the train. Probably partly because it always makes me feel a little smug when I can actually understand Dutch, let alone get a joke in Dutch.