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Old 04-19-2003, 12:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Actual Marketing Flops

Cracking an international market is a goal of most growing corporations. It shouldn't be that hard, yet even the big multi-nationals run into trouble because of language and cultural differences. For example...

The name Coca-Cola in China was first rendered as Ke-kou-ke-la. Unfortunately, the Coke company did not discover until after thousands of signs had been printed that the phrase means "bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax" depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 Chinese characters and found a close phonetic equivalent, "ko-kou-ko-le," which can be loosely translated as "happiness in the mouth."

In Taiwan, the translation of the Pepsi slogan "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation" came out as "Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead."

Also in Chinese, the Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan "finger-lickin' good" came out as "eat your fingers off."

When General Motors introduced the Chevy Nova in South America, it was apparently unaware that "no va" means "it won't go." After the company figured out why it wasn't selling any cars, it renamed the car in its Spanish markets to the Caribe.

Ford had a similar problem in Brazil when the Pinto flopped. The company found out that Pinto was Brazilian slang for "tiny male genitals". Ford pried all the nameplates off and substituted Corcel, which means horse.

When Parker Pen marketed a ballpoint pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to say "It won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you." However, the company's mistakenly thought the spanish word "embarazar" meant embarrass. Instead the ads said that "It wont leak in your pocket and make you pregnant."

An American t-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope's visit. Instead of the desired "I Saw the Pope" in Spanish, the shirts proclaimed "I Saw the Potato."

Chicken-man Frank Perdue's slogan, "It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken," got terribly mangled in another Spanish translation. A photo of Perdue with one of his birds appeared on billboards all over Mexico with a caption that explained "It takes a hard man to make a chicken aroused."

Hunt-Wesson introduced its Big John products in French Canada as Gros Jos before finding out that the phrase, in slang, means "big breasts." In this case, however, the name problem did not have a noticeable effect on sales.

In Italy, a campaign for Schweppes Tonic Water translated the name into Schweppes Toilet Water.

Japan's second-largest tourist agency was mystified when it entered English-speaking markets and began receiving requests for unusual sex tours. Upon finding out why, the owners of Kinki Nippon Tourist Company changed its name.

and finally...

In an effort to boost orange juice sales in predominantly continental breakfast eating England, a campaign was devised to extoll the drink's eye-opening, pick-me-up qualities. Hence, the slogan, "Orange juice. It gets your pecker up."
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Old 04-19-2003, 12:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Brilliant! I've seen many of these before, but some nice new ones in there!
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Old 04-19-2003, 03:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thats REALLY good JadziaDax.
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Old 04-19-2003, 03:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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This car is called Honda Fitta, in Swedish fitta means pussy, and not the kind that chase mice.
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Old 04-19-2003, 03:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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LOL - thanks man - funny stuff - all new...gotta point and laugh at all these big corporations
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Old 04-19-2003, 05:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It's amazing the marketing people keep their jobs!

Thanks!
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Old 04-19-2003, 05:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thankyou........laughing with a hangover.....very good!
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Old 04-19-2003, 08:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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They are all good..but the Honda Fitta...PRICELESS!
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Old 04-19-2003, 02:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Marketing people are, in general, the stupidest people with jobs. Their incompetence and laziness sets standards for which government employees can only dream to reach. Why they offer a degree in it in college is beyond my understanding.
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Old 04-19-2003, 02:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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theose are preaty damn funny...
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Old 04-19-2003, 09:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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ahahahahaha... good good good!!!
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Old 04-20-2003, 03:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
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sensational
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Old 04-20-2003, 06:03 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Seen it before, still good.
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Old 04-20-2003, 01:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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amazing how they discover this stuff AFTER they release it into the market place and it doesn't sell....
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Old 04-20-2003, 01:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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hehe good stuff
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Old 04-20-2003, 01:52 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Very Good
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Old 04-20-2003, 03:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
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So Damn funny it hurts
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Old 04-20-2003, 08:53 PM   #18 (permalink)
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proof that real life can be as funny as any redneck/blonde/etc joke...great stuff
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Old 04-21-2003, 11:58 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Old 04-22-2003, 05:18 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Ford Pinto, hilarious!
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Old 04-22-2003, 07:27 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Haha, the one about bringing your ancesters back from the dead was the best one
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Old 04-22-2003, 09:15 AM   #22 (permalink)
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roflmao
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Old 04-22-2003, 11:34 AM   #23 (permalink)
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lmfao, great find
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Old 04-22-2003, 08:23 PM   #24 (permalink)
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When Parker Pen marketed a ballpoint pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to say "It won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you." However, the company's mistakenly thought the spanish word "embarazar" meant embarrass. Instead the ads said that "It wont leak in your pocket and make you pregnant."

very funny!
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Old 04-23-2003, 06:50 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing. Those were great.
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Old 04-23-2003, 07:02 PM   #26 (permalink)
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hahaa those are hysterical!
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Old 04-23-2003, 07:53 PM   #27 (permalink)
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yea, in Japan, there's a pop group called kinki kid. So many things wrong with that name...
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Old 04-23-2003, 08:18 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Actual Marketing Flops

Quote:
Originally posted by JadziaDax
The name Coca-Cola in China was first rendered as Ke-kou-ke-la. Unfortunately, the Coke company did not discover until after thousands of signs had been printed that the phrase means "bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax" depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 Chinese characters and found a close phonetic equivalent, "ko-kou-ko-le," which can be loosely translated as "happiness in the mouth."i
I have been planning on brewing a series of dark beers to rebottle in returnable coke bottles, so as to be able to drink unmolested by minions of authority. Among these is planned a porter flavorer with Chinese hot peppers, that my brewing partner and I determinied had to be named Bite the Wax Tadpole. I consulted the resident expert on eastern languages where I work, and we tracked down the following (kou-ge-ke-la: Left to right)
<img src="http://www.tophat665.com/Graphics/Pix/BTWT.jpg">

(4/24: For some reason the graphic isn't showing.)
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Last edited by Tophat665; 04-24-2003 at 03:55 AM..
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Old 04-23-2003, 08:36 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Thankyou!
I needed that!
Loved the "Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead." Bit of false advertising me thinks!

Ah, laughin all the way to the floor!
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Old 10-02-2003, 06:23 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Location: Houston, TX
in my int'l marketing class, there was one example about Gerbers or something, they were trying to sell baby food in those little glass jars in Africa, and so they have those cute babies on the label. Well, it turns out that in Africa since a lot of people are illiterate, so they put the picture of the product on the label, so the africans thought they Gerber was selling ground up white baby in the little glass jars.
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Old 10-02-2003, 06:41 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Rofl!
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Old 10-02-2003, 10:12 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Those are great!!!
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Old 10-03-2003, 01:20 AM   #33 (permalink)
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ground up white babies in jars.......that is awful.....awful funny

I've been thinking i should drink more orange juice.
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Old 10-04-2003, 11:27 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Funny stuff there...
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Old 03-18-2004, 05:29 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Those are awesome. Pretty incredible isnt it that multinationals dont bother to check before they start these advertisements.
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