Epic Marketing Fails: An Encore Presentation

Global Marketing Fails

Although failures occur in every form of marketing, few have created as many embarrassments as global marketing. Marketing across cultural borders opens the door for all kinds of mix ups and mistakes. Unfortunately, when you take your marketing into other regions, your message can easily get…lost in translation. Here are some of the hilarious and outrageous results of global marketing gone wrong:

Chevy Nova = No bueno en Español: A few years back, Chevy began attempting to market its car, the Nova, in Central and South America. When sales of the vehicle failed to take off, the company finally realized that in the native language of Spanish, Nova, literally translated to “It doesn’t go.”

Perdue is really affectionate about poultry: Perdue took their slogan, “It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken,” to the Spanish speaking community, but quickly realized that it translated to “It takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate.”

Parker Pens has a unique selling point in Mexico: A company by the name of Parker Pens attempted to market their new ball-point pen in Mexico. The ads created were supposed to read “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.” The only problem was that the company was under the false presumption that the Spanish word, embarazar, meant to embarrass.  Unfortunately for Parker, it means to impregnate. So their Mexican pens were being marketed with the message that “It won’t leak in your pocket and impregnate you!”

Coors accidentally markets itself as a laxative: Coors used its slogan, “Turn it loose,” in Spanish speaking countries where it translated to “Suffer from diarrhea.”

Clairol doesn’t know German slang: Clairol unveiled its curling iron, the “Mist Stick,” in Germany only to discover that mist was German slang for manure, effectively giving the product the name of the “Manure Stick.”

Gerber sells babies in Africa: Gerber sells baby food all across the world, including Africa, where it is common practice for companies to put a picture on their product labels to show what’s inside (since much of the country is not literate). Unfortunately for Gerber, they were not aware of this tradition. So when they began selling their baby food with a picture of a smiling baby on the label, customers were more than a little reluctant to purchase the product.

SOURCE: http://marketingfailure.blogspot.com/2007/09/funny-marketing-fiascos.html

Be sure to check out Epic Marketing Fails: Providing a Laugh and a Lessons Part one, two and three for more.

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