Other Advertising Blunders From The Past
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 "manure stick."
When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with a beautiful Caucasian baby on the label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies prefer to put pictures on the label of what's inside, since most people can't read.
Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious porno magazine and also a slang term for "butt" in French.
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 "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."
When Braniff translated a slogan touting its upholstery, "Fly in Leather," it came out in Spanish as "Fly Naked."
Coors put its slogan, "Turn It Loose," into Spanish, where it read as "Suffer From Diarrhea."
Chicken magnate Frank Perdue's line, "It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken," sounds much more interesting in Spanish: "It takes a sexually stimulated man to make a chicken affectionate."
Puffs tissues tried to introduce its product, only to learn that "Puff" in German is a colloquial term for a whorehouse.
The Chevy Nova never sold well in Spanish speaking countries. "No Va" means "It Does Not Go" in Spanish.
Pet Milk encountered difficulties in French -speaking countries where "Pet" means "To Break Wind".
Kellogg's Bran Buds translates to "Burned Farmer" in Swedish.
China attempted to export "Pansy" brand mens underware to America.
AT&T had to change its "Thumbs-up" ad in Russia and Poland, where showing the palm of the hand in this manner is offensive.
United Airline featured Paul Hogan in their in-flight magazine with the caption "Paul Hogan Camps It Up",Australian slang for "Flaunts His Homosexuality".
Parker Pen thought "enbarazar" to impregnate meant to embarrass, when running a ad in Mexico saying "It won't leak in your pocket and impregnate you"