An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Ad Translation Screw ups!

1. 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?”

2. Coors put its slogan, “Turn it loose,” into Spanish, where it was read as
“Suffer from diarrhea”.

3. Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an
American campaign: “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux”.

4. 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”.

5. 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 label of what’s inside,
since many people can’t read.

6. Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a
notorious porno magazine.

7. 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).

10. 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”.

11. 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”.

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