Companies don’t always get it right when it comes to marketing their products. Razer found itself it some very hot water a few weeks ago after the company posted a (now deleted) tweet referencing the lack of an SD card in Apple’s new MacBook Pro. “Call yourself a Pro? S my D,” it read. But while some firms knowingly court controversy with these sort of messages, some are genuinely unintentional.
Yesterday, Microsoft sent out a Xbox promotional email for Dead Rising 4. As the series famously features the undead, the company decided to use a series of letters in the subject line that are meant to be read and pronounced as a noise that zombies typically make: “NNNNGGGHHHAAAA.”
Unfortunately for Microsoft, some people took offense to the word, claiming that it looks and sounds a bit too much like a certain racial slur.
The response was enough for Microsoft to issue an apology via Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb. He Tweeted: “Today we sent a DR4 email where a zombie roar was interpreted by many as a racial slur. We apologize and promise to do better next time.”
Today we sent a DR4 email where a zombie roar was interpreted by many as a racial slur. We apologize and promise to do better next time.— / Larry Hryb / + 1m (@majornelson) November 22, 2016
It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to learn that more people appear to be annoyed at the apology than the original email. Microsoft obviously didn't want to purposely offended people, and no doubt didn’t expect the way they spelled a zombie groan to cause outrage.
So remember, if you’re trying to write a stereotypical zombie noise, it may be best to stick with the classic “BRRAAAAAAIIINNNSSS,” or, for purists, “GGGGRAAAAARRRRR.”