Even the biggest brands can make mistakes when bringing their brand to new markets. A company should always carefully research and identify any cultural differences, or language translations, when expanding their business. You want to catch any possible missteps before they happen. Here are some epic fails for a good laugh.
When first launched in China, the brand name was translated as “bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with wax,” depending on dialect. We’re pretty sure that’s not what Mr. Miyagi was talking about when he said, “Wax on…”
While marketing the Ford Pinto in Brazil, they discovered “Pinto” means “tiny male genitals.” In Belgium, their slogan “Every Car Has a High-Quality Body” was translated to “Every car has a high-quality corpse.” Redefining the acronym: Found On the Road Dead”!
Their slogan “Pepsi Brings You Back to Life” was translated to “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave,” in China. Not only did it not make any sense, it was considered disrespectful. Clearly, they were able to resuscitate their brand after such an epic mistake.
The Mitsubishi Montero was originally called the “Pajero.” “Pajero” means “jerk” in Spanish, and they did not do well in Spanish speaking markets. No bueno.
In German, the letter “v” is pronounced as an “f”. When expanding to the German market, their brand name was suddenly German slang for sexual intercourse. We hope Vicks Vaporub didn’t end up in any odd places.
Their slogan “Turn it Loose” is slang for having diarrhea in Spanish. That’s not exactly what you want, after consuming a beverage. After all, you’re supposed to be able to drink the beer, not the water, right?
In Beijing, their slogan “Finger-Lickin’ Good” was originally translated to “eat your fingers off.” What!?! Is that why we have chicken fingers?
When expanding their advertising to Japan, they used the stork-bringing-babies image that is practically ubiquitous in western countries. However, this had no value to Japanese audiences. As a result, a lot of marketing dollars were wasted on a culturally irrelevant ad campaign.
4 Things to Consider When Embarking on a Rebrand
Define your brand’s core identity? In other words, what is your purpose, your mission, your vision? Who do you serve? And, more importantly, why? Do an internal audit. What is working for your brand? What needs to change? Market research. What does your competition look like? What do they do well? What can you offer…
When Should You Utilize Digital Printing?
Digital printing is probably what most people are most familiar with, since you probably have one at home. Inkjet printers and laser printers are found in many homes, schools, and offices. Of course, these are generally consumer-level digital printers. For digital printing, images are sent directly to the printer using digital files, as opposed to…
How Decades of Solid Branding Saved Coca-Cola from the Pepsi Challenge
The Pepsi Challenge was a marketing campaign started in 1975. It was simply a blind taste test between Pepsi and Coca-Cola, touting that even Coca-Cola fans choose Pepsi. It was a wildly successful marketing strategy that they revisited for decades. Coca-Cola even ran their own private tastes test, through which they found Pepsi was indeed…
5 Reasons Successful Branding is Important
Branding clearly delivers your message. Branding emotionally connects your target audience with what you offer. Branding motivates your audience to create a connection. Branding reinforces your credibility. Branding creates loyalty. Bonus – Branding helps you stand out in a crowd.
8 Signs You Need to Update Your Brand
Your brand is outdated. Maybe the logo looks old fashioned instead of timeless, or the core messaging has evolved. Sometimes things change, and that’s ok. Your target audience has changed. Whether you need to refocus on your current audience, or reach a new audience entirely, it’s time to reassess your brand. You are undergoing a…
Color psychology is the study of hues as a determinant of human behavior. Colors can cause certain emotional reactions, and even influence perceptions that are not necessarily conscious. Color psychology is used all around us, taking its cues from nature, and should be considered in marketing and branding. The following are just some common color…