Globalization has brought a lot of exciting opportunities for large corporations and small businesses to launch their products abroad. Nowadays marketers have a lot of work. They face many challenges connected to translating brand names. Something that sounds great in English might have a different meaning in French or Spanish. It only proves the importance of linguistic analysis.
Here is a list of hilarious interpretation mistakes:
Coors Brewing Company
The Coors is the third-largest brewing company in the world. When they decided to expand to Spanish speaking countries, they kept their U.S. slogan ‘Turn it loose’. It Spanish it came out as ‘Suffer from Diarrhea.’ Can you only imagine the faces of customers once they saw it? No wonder, the product didn’t fly off the shelves.
Do you want to enter the Spanish-speaking market? No one said it would be easy. You can ask folks from Parker Pen Company about it. They hired an unqualified interpreter and… paid the price. Their slogan ‘It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you’ was translated as “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.” It was everywhere across billboards and newspaper ads. That was really embarrassing!
Kentucky Fried Chicken
The Chinese market is one of the hardest to enter since there are a lot of cultural and linguistic differences. The marketers of American fast food restaurant were very surprised to discover that the company’s famous slogan “Finger-lickin’ good” was translated as ‘Eat your fingers off.’ As you can understand, they didn’t have many customers at the very beginning!
Braniff International Airways
In 1987, Braniff International Airways presented a new slogan to its customers ‘Fly in leather’. In Spanish language, the same slogan sounded like ‘Fly naked.’ Spanish speaking customers were probably very intrigued. The company wanted its customers to feel like home after all.
There are a lot of interpretation mistakes in the business world and everyday life. Check out Lighthouse Online infographic below: