Why A Language School Is Using Melania Trump To Recruit Students

Photo: Petr David Josek/AP Images.
A language school in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, is upping its game in the new school year by employing an unlikely marketing strategy: Using first lady Melania Trump as an example to recruit potential students who might want to learn English.
On Thursday, the Američki Institut in the city of Zagreb shared a picture of its new billboard on Facebook. "We’ve entered the billboard game," the school proudly announced in the post. In the photo used for the ad, the first lady is dressed in white and standing in front of the American flag, with a slight smile on her face. The caption reads, "Just imagine how far you can go with a little bit of English."
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Interestingly, the ad shows Trump giving her speech during the Republican National Convention in the summer of 2016. That was when she was accused of plagiarizing sections of former first lady Michelle Obama's speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
That point aside, the billboard is confusing. On one hand, it seems to suggest that learning English is an automatic path to success (and while knowing multiple languages can help in areas like your career, it's not a guarantee.) On the other hand, the wording seems to take a shot at Trump. She doesn't know "a little bit" of English — she's fluent, and the fact that she has an accent doesn't detract from it.
We don't know why the school is banking on this billboard as its marketing strategy or to what extent it will be successful in recruiting students. But just imagine how far it would go if its ad were less icky.
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