Marketing Flops by JakeWilson

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As part of my German for Professional Purposes module, we were presented with a list of marketing bloopers, some of which are quite amusing!

1) McDonalds embarked on a large marketing campaign in Japan using their iconic Ronald McDonald. However, the global marketing department did not realise the significance of his white facepaint - which holds conotations of death!

2) Chevrolet released their Nova model into the Spanish car market, however it sounds like "no va" which apparently means "it doesn't work!"

3) KFC mis translated their "finger licking good" slogan into the Chinese for "Eat your fingers off."

4) Pepsi translated their "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation" slogan into Taiwanese, however mis-translated it to "Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead".

5) The Mitsubishi Pajero was launched in Spain, the meaning in Spanish can be seen in the first paragraph here: ... jero.shtml

They made me chuckle anyway!


Posted 16 Mar 2011, 16:40 #1 

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I found the Pepsi one particually amusing :D
Superabit omnia virtus

Posted 16 Mar 2011, 16:41 #2 

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I'm never sure how true some of these are, but I've heard some of them before too.
Another I heard was that the tyre treads on a ceratain make of 4x4 tyres left tracks in the sand that were a rude word in arabic. Not good when a manufacturer started to fit those tyres to export models for that market.

The Commodore VIC20 was the VC 20 in Germany as VIC has rude connotations, but at least that never made it to market. I have seen Pschitt for sale in France (don't start) and pocari sweat was an energy drink from Japan.

Posted 16 Mar 2011, 19:10 #3 

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According to Mick Grant who was their works sponsored rider here back in the seventies, Kawasaki originally were going to market with the name Ichifani. I never saw this confirmed or refuted.
I don't like signatures, they take up too much screen space.

Posted 16 Mar 2011, 19:41 #4 

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and Fiat launched a car in the UK at the time of the Falklands crisis - it was called the Argenta.

Posted 16 Mar 2011, 19:52 #5 

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very good :thumbsup: life is more daft than fiction sometimes

Posted 16 Mar 2011, 20:48 #6