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By Amy Houston | Senior Reporter

January 20, 2023 | 3 min read

The car brand’s Chinese name is Bao Ma, which means ‘precious horse’ in English.

To mark Chinese New Year, BMW has released a funny-yet-sweet ad campaign that highlights the amusement that can come from AI-powered translation errors.

In ‘Translating Joy,’ viewers witness a team of printers who aim to impress the global market with their New Year greetings, but unfortunately have some mishaps along the way. After typing “wishing you fortune and success” in Chinese into an AI translation engine, the phrase is rewritten in English as “lucky money into BMW to success,” which then goes viral across the country.

Stephane Koeppel, vice-president of brand marketing at BMW China, said of the campaign: “It is a hilariously fun campaign about how a translation error can result in waves of joy. One of the most popular Chinese New Year wishes happens to include BMW’s Chinese name and this campaign wishes everyone a prosperous new year in a uniquely BMW way.”

Launching this week, the three-minute film will be amplified with a social media campaign that invites users to create and share their own translation mistakes.

Additionally, the campaign is being rolled out on digital platforms Weibo, WeChat, Bilibili, Douyin and Red, alongside various activations at dealerships.


Agency: TBWA\Juice Beijing, TBWA\Bolt Shanghai

Production: MOD and Real Good Studio (US)

Social film artist: Pablo Rochat

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