It loses something in the translation
- The Dairy Association's huge success with the campaign "Got Milk?"
prompted them to expand advertising to Mexico. It was soon brought to their
attention the Spanish translation read "Are you lactating?"
- Coors put its slogan, "Turn It Loose," into Spanish, where it
was read as "Suffer From Diarrhea."
- Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American
campaign: "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux."
- Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick," a curling iron, into Germany
only to find out that "mist" is slang for manure. Not too many people
had use for the "Manure Stick."
- When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging
as in the US, with the smiling baby on the label. Later they learned that
in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the labels of what's inside,
since many people can't read.
- Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious
- 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).
- Pepsi's "Come Alive With the Pepsi Generation" translated into
"Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back From the Grave" in Chinese.
- The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as "Kekoukela", 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 "kokou kole", translating into "happiness
in the mouth."
- 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."
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
- When American Airlines wanted to advertise its new leather first class
seats in the Mexican market, it translated its "Fly In Leather"
campaign literally, which meant "Fly Naked" (vuela en cuero) in
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