In order to sell, a product has to have a successful ad. It is a known fact that, some of the big companies in the market at times make some crazy mistakes in their adverts. When advertising for a product, it is a combination of the phrases and the slogan that sales it out. Coming up with a killer advert is what all advertisers yearn for. But it is a fact that, some phrases in one language may mean something different if translated into another language, thus at times turning an otherwise wonderful advert into a hilarious one.
Some of the 10 most bizarre ad campaign translated badly include:
It dates back to 1987 when Kentucky Fried Chicken opened a store in Beijing. They dreamt of hitting the Beijing market with a big bang due to their reputation as a fast food king. They thought their “finger licking good” slogan will do wonders. What they didn’t realize was that, they had translated their slogan in Chinese to read “we will eat your fingers off . This automatically puts the locals off the KFC for fear of losing their fingers.
This is one of the largest beer producing company in the United States of America and in the world at large. You will get their beers in almost all the pubs, restaurants and stores. Their slogan “Turn it Loose” was only a hit in the English speaking countries, but a disaster in non speaking countries like for example in Spanish, it translates to “Suffer from Diarrhea”. Coors didn’t expect it to translate like that in Spanish and they were forced to change it.
This is a company that produces hair products in the United States. It was doing well due to the quality products they offered and the reasonable prices they offered. There is a curling iron they introduced in 2006 and they named it “Mist Stick” which was okay in English speaking countries. When they took the product to Germany, mist means manure so it translated to “The Manure stick”. So in cosmetic stores, people were seeing a “manure stick” instead of the “mist stick” thus making it hard for anybody to buy it. Who would want to buy a manure stick.
There was this great advertisement by the United States dairy,the American Dairy Association, “Got Milk”. It made the milk to sell like crazy and this made them to export the milk. When it reached Spain, the translation read “Are you lactating” which left women offended.
When Pepsi launched their campaign in China, one of their slogan was “we bring you back to life” it was new and sounded refreshing, but which in Chinese, translates to something scary, “we bring your ancestors back from the grave”. This is scary and not funny at all and it cannot be related to a soft drink.
Puffs is one of the biggest tissue brands in the United States of America. Due to good sales in the United States, they decided to market it outside the country which was a good idea but when the product hit Europe, Germany, the product couldn’t sale because “Puff” means “Brothel or whorehouse”. In England “pouf” is a slang word for homosexuals thus making it not something you would want to wipe your face with.
4. Ford Pinto
In 1971, they introduced Pinto which sold successfully in the United States but low sales in Brazil as “Pinto” means “Small male genitals” ..
3. Braniff Airline
In 1977 they installed a leather seat for first class flyers with a slogan “Fly in leather”but the slogan in Spanish means “fly naked”.
The for their leak proof pens read “It won’t leak in your pockets and embarrass you” but in Spanish, it translates to “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant”
1. Coca Cola
When the coca cola brand reached China, it was pronounced ke-kou-ke-la which translates to “bite the wax tadpole” and in another Chinese dialet it translates to “female horse stuffed wax”. The coca cola had to change it to read “ko-kou-ko-le” meaning “happiness in the mouth”.