Top 10 EPIC Advertising Translation Fails

Top 10 EPIC Advertising Translation Fails



sometimes unintentional humor is the best kind of humor welcome to watchmojo.com and today we're counting down our picks for the top 10 epic product translation fails it's finger lickin good before we begin we publish new videos every day so be sure to subscribe for more great content for this list we'll be looking at companies and their international marketing blunders the more extreme or hilarious the translation fail the higher its position on this list number 10 do nothing HSBC Bank in 2009 banking giant HSBC tried using a version of their American slogan in many foreign markets the slogan assumed nothing was instead translated to do nothing in many countries which put HSBC in a tailspin remember don't do anything nothing pop up if you're trying to motivate customers to move to your bank do nothing is not really a positive message executives understandably were panicked and the company ended up spending ten million dollars to remedy the situation in the end HSBC decided on the tagline the world's local bank which to our knowledge had no translation issues still the error serves as a valuable warning on the trials of international business hsbc the world's local bank number nine prostitute Nokia in 2011 the Finnish communications company Nokia released their Lumia cell phone it was a perfect name for a hip new electronics brand vaguely futuristic and audibly pleasing in Spain however pleasing to another level experience the amazing everyday new Nokia Lumia perhaps Nokia should have consulted some foreign friends before I'm naming the phone as lumia translates in Spanish to prostitute it's really not a formal Spanish word but a colloquialism in the same vein as war or hooker you know you could pay me that's one way to maybe break the ice looks like the shoddy battery and the sound weren't the only things that people had to complain about number eight are you lactating California milk processor board got milk is one of the most recognized advertising campaigns in North America it was first conceived by the good be silverstein & Partners advertising company then released by the California milk processor board in 1993 the campaign was a giant success and the slogan was plastered everywhere in the media when the board decided to send the campaign across the border further increasing their public profile they hit a hilarious roadblock got milk became are you lactating in Spanish translations lucky for them the board caught the mistake before it could really spoil their plans having trouble feeding your baby BAM say hello to your lactation specialists number seven eat your fingers off KFC KFC's finger lickin good slogan is one of the best known in American advertising trademarked in 1956 the tagline has been used on and off ever since and as KFC expanded foreign markets finger lickin good went with it too sometimes hilarious results good chicken in 1987 KFC entered China and became the first Western fast-food chain to open there though the integration was beyond successful the first beijing restaurant opened with jeers as the famous tagline translated in mandarin to eat your fingers off [Applause] KFC still proved to be a success in China with over 5,000 restaurants in the country popping up since the late 80s despite the initial self-cannibalism blunder number six small penis Ford Pinto ow my pride along with being one of the worst cars ever invented the Ford Pinto has one of the worst names in translation history with a track record that would make a pyrotechnics expert smile the Pinto needed all the help he could get to sell cars in other countries like Brazil for instance unfortunately Pinto in Brazilian Portuguese is a colloquial term for small penis which added a unique problem to an already hazardous sales campaign well that's not true I've heard a lot of women say that they actually prefer a small penis after many recalls and marketing and manufacturing disasters Ford gave up on the Pinto and stopped making them in 1980 marking the end of a short nine year run number five intimidating green ogre Green Giant can this be the same old valley the Jolly Green Giant is a supermarket staple and one of the most famous mascots in produce few people can conjure the image of the Giant without hearing the ubiquitous jingle showing off the affable giant in a leaky tunics Green Giant peas and carrots products are sold across native North America and have been advertised in other countries too sometimes humorous effects of gourds in the 1960s the amiable giant moved to Saudi Arabia and unfortunately their mascots friendly demeanor didn't come across there the Jolly Green Giant is a cruel taskmaster when translated in Arabic he becomes known as intimidating green ogre so close number four flying naked Braniff International Airways younger viewers probably only know Braniff from the jingle that finishes South Park episodes but Trey Parker and Matt Stone actually took that clip from a commercial for a real airline and named their company after it Braniff was an American airline that ran from 1928 to 1982 and came back in other forms until the early 90s in 1987 Braniff wanted to promote its leather seats and the advertising in Mexico caused waves of hilarity the slogan was fly in leather but in leather which is on Cuero in Spanish very similar to on Guido's which means naked and oddly enough the company never changed it number three won't leak in your pocket and impregnate you Parker Pen company and we wanted to offer a really new writing experience still classy but very pleasurable this us-based company founded in Wisconsin in 1888 has had one of the more unique translation fails Parker pens expanded to Mexico and shocked potential spanish-speaking pen purchasers with the slogan it won't leak in your pocket and impregnate you no well doctor it's not exactly a traditional fetus the company's intended meaning had been it won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you thinking these Spanish word and better sound out meant embarrassed as it sounded but no of all the translation blunders on this list we're not sure there's another one that missed the point so bad unless Parker pens have a special ingredient they're not telling us about number two toilet water Schweppes it's down there somewhere let me take another look found it in Switzerland in 1783 Schweppes has been in the business a long time in fact their signature tonic water product was the first soft drink ever invented my boss has to have Schweppes despite creating additional products like club soda and ginger ale it was the tonic water that got reps in trouble thanks to an ill-fated sales campaign in Italy the Italian language was not kind to Schweppes his tonic water as it translated the product to toilet water suffice to say Schweppes toilet water was not exactly a successful product in the Italian market here we go water for everyone don't worry it's not what you think number one it takes a horny man to make a chicken affectionate Perdue farms that's a mouthful a Perdue was one of the leading producers of pork and poultry in the United States founder Arthur Perdue was succeeded as the head of the company by his son Frank and it was something Frank said that led to this very serious gap a Frank Perdue quote was modified to become Perdue farms longtime slogan it takes a tough man to make a tender chicken what a naina of that change when this was translated for Spanish speakers it instead came out as something like it takes a sexually stimulated man to make a chicken affectionate the chickens have large talons what large talons I don't understand a word you just said this sage advice may or may not be true but it's doubtful that Frank appreciated the mix-up golden yellow color if you want to eat as good as my chickens good just how big my chicken do you agree with our picks check out these other great clips from WatchMojo and subscribe for new videos every day

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41 thoughts on “Top 10 EPIC Advertising Translation Fails”

  • I don't know, if you know the German company Osram. Well, 'ostam' at the other side of the border, in Poland, mean 'I will sh it on it'.

  • Lester Forney says:

    I never got that. in Napoleon Dynamite the farmer had no clue what the talons are? well he is either a very crappy farmer or a complete moron.

  • "Coke brings you back to life" was translated as "Coke brings your ancestors back from the grave"on one disastrous Asian marketing campaign.

  • AnimeDVDBlu-RayPreviewGuy112 says:

    Here’s something translation related, in the film industry, why are the credits seen in French and how come Spanish and different languages don’t translate the credits and why the hell are they in English?! Because they are fucking lazy and didn’t have enough money to edit!

  • MagicAwesome MukbangAsmr says:

    Are you an intimidating green ogre with a small penis who is currently lactating? Then all you need to do is eat your fingers off then do nothing! Don't worry, we won't leak in your pocket and impregnate you with toilet water even if you fly naked, because it takes a horny man to make a chicken affectionate.

  • Diogo HipĂłlito says:

    Actually Pinto in Brazil just means "Dick". Small dick would be "Pintinho" and big dick would be "PintĂŁo". Penis is PĂȘnis, basically the same word.

  • Alexander Arnold says:

    They would have to at least triple every dollar they were given, without any agreement to use other than to put in a Safe (criminal), to afford all the Suits/Dresses, Flashy Cars (inferior and harming), and of all things Insurance! A huge "slush fund" only giving money to build what was broken, sometimes with caused accidents to further Demand . Truly corrupt.

  • Alexander Arnold says:

    HSBC chose their slogan as "Do Nothing", because all Banks not National all devalue society because they usually have many trying to use other's money. It's your money. And you should be allowed to choose to use it how you choose.

  • In high school, my Spanish teacher asked this boy if he was “embarazada”. 18 years later and I still crack up thinking about how he said he gets pregnant in front of large crowds.

  • What about the "Nova" car? Chevy brought one of their cars, named the Nova, to Mexico, but didn't change the name. They realized later that "No va," in Spanish, means "It doesn't go".

  • I can understand misadventures like "Pinto" and "Lumia," but not bad translations—who in their right mind hires anybody but a native speaker to translate? And who in their right mind doesn't hire a native speaker who speaks perfect English? Or better, how could a translator not have common sense? I mean, if you don't know English well enough to understand what "Got milk?" means, you must surely have sense enough to realize that no milk company that uses an image of a glass of milk in its ads would ask any woman if she were lactating.

  • Actually, "pinto" is just a slang for penis in Brazil (and the most popular one). It has absolutely NOTHING to do with the size of the penis. It is the equivalent of "dick".

  • The car Nova had to be given another name in Mexico. In Spanish, Nova (no va) means it doesn't go. Who'd want a car that just sits in your garage?

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