When it comes to promotion, marketers have to deal with the fact, that ideal and successful advertising slogans and brand names in English will not sound that nice in other languages. Moreover, sometimes they are even translated with mistakes! Here you have some of “best case studies”. Enjoy!

  1. KFC. When the American giant of fast-food by Kentucky Fried Chicken opened its first restaurant in Beijing in 1987, The Chinese translated the famous slogan “finger lickin’ good!”  as “We will eat your fingers off!”.

  2. Coors. One of the leading breweries in USA though that their slogan “Turn it loose!” will sounds good in Spanish, but finished up with translation “Suffer from diarrhea”.

  3. Clairol, a company producing hair-care products, in 2006 started selling curling iron called “Mist Stick”, a very famous good in USA.  However, when being presented to the German market under the same name, “Miss Stick” did not rock it. Why? Literally this means Manure Sticks… No wonder.

  4. American association of milk producers run a successful campaign in States called “Got milk?” However, their decision to expand the campaign to Mexico was not a lucky one. Their Mexican slogan meant “Are you breastfeeding mom?”

  5. Pepsi caused quite a panic among Chinese, when they translated their slogan “Pepsi brings you back to life” like “Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back from the Grave”.

  6. Famous Parker Pen promoted itself in Brazil with, what its employees thought to mean “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you”. The exact translation confused many, as it meant “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant”.

  7. Ford Motor Company wondered for some time, why their new car model Pinto did not succeed in Brazil. Why? In Brazil pinto is a slang world that means very small man’s “dignity”.

  8. Braniff Airlines in 1977 promoted their new leather chairs in the first class by slogan “Fly in leather”. Unfortunately, they managed to translate it to Spanish as “Fly naked”…

  9. The funny experience had Coca-Cola when penetrating the Chinese market. The employees had hard time with finding the phonetic translation. The first one was Ke-kou-ke-la” which in different dialects mean “bite the wax tadpole” and “female horse stuffed with wax.” They finally managed to choose “ko-kou-ko-le” meaning “happiness in the mouth.