"Loco"lization Adds

  • The Chevy Nova never sold well in Spanish speaking countries. "No Va" means "It Does Not Go" in Spanish.

  • Bacardi tried a new fruity drink in the German market with the name of "Pavian" to suggest Frech chic..but "Pavian" means "baboon" in German.

  • When Pepsi started marketing its products in China a few years back, they translated their slogan, "Pepsi Brings You Back to Life" pretty literally. The slogan in Chinese really meant, "Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back from the Grave."

  • Chicken magnate Frank Perdue's line, "It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken," sounds much more interesting in Spanish: "It takes a sexually stimulated man to make a chicken affectionate." 

  • When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with the beautiful Caucasian baby on the label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the label of what's inside, since most people can't read.

  • The 4 wheel drive sport utility truck we know as a Montero was named "Pajero" for non-US markets, including Australia, where a large number of Argentineans & Uruguayans live -- "pajero" in Spanish means "masturbator".

  • Parker Pens translated the slogan for its ink, " Avoid Embarassment- Use Quink" into Spanish as "Evite Embarazos-Use Quink" which means "Avoid Pregnancy-Use Quink" 

  • When Vicks first introduced its cough drops on the German market, they were chagrined to learn that the German pronunciation of "v" is "f," which in German is the guttural equivalent of "sexual penetration."

  • Coors put its slogan, "Turn It Loose," into Spanish, where it was read as "Suffer From Diarrhea."

  • When Coca-Cola first shipped to China, they named the product something that when pronounced sounded like "Coca-Cola." The only problem was that the characters used meant "Bite The Wax Tadpole."

  • Puffs tissues had a bad experience translating into German since "Puff" is a colloquial term for a whorehouse.

  • Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.

  • Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick", a curling iron, into German only to find out that "mist" is German for manure. Not too many people had use for the "manure stick".


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