Everyone Makes Mistakes
Due to it recently being Comic Relief and everyone doing their bit for Red Nose Day, I thought I would keep this blog post lighthearted. So I stumbled across some funny marketing fails and thought I’d share them. Enjoy.
1. The American beer company Coors put its slogan, “Turn it loose,” into Spanish, where it was read as “Suffer from diarrhea.”
2. Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.”
3. Clairol introduced the “Mist Stick”, a curling iron, into German
only to find out that “mist” is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the “shit stick.”
4. When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same
packaging as in the U.S., with the beautiful Caucasian baby on the
label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the label of what’s inside, since most people can’t read.
5. Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called “Cue”, the name of a notorious porno magazine.
6. An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish
market which promoted the Pope’s visit. Instead of “I saw the Pope” (el Papa), the shirts read “I saw the potato” (la papa).
7. Pepsi’s “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” translated into
“Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave”, in Chinese.
8. Frank Perdue’s chicken slogan, “it takes a strong man to make a
tender chicken” was translated into Spanish as “it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate.”
9. The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as “Ke-kou-ke-la”,
meaning “Bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with wax”, depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent “ko-kou-ko-le”, translating into “happiness in the mouth.”
10. When Parker Pen marketed a ball-point pen in Mexico, its ads were
supposed to have read, “it won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass
you”. Instead, the company thought that the word “embarazar” (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad read: “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”
11. Also in Also in Chinese, the Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan “finger-lickin’ good” came out as “eat your fingers off.”
12. When General Motors introduced the Chevy Nova in South America, it was apparently unaware that “no va” means “it won’t go.” After the company figured out why it wasn’t selling any cars, it renamed the car in its Spanish markets to the Caribe.
Counter Marketing WIN
And finally when I was in LA I saw this advertising battle first hand which has since become quite well published on the web. A counter marketing masterpiece by BMW…Brilliant:
GA, GE and GN