In Advertising

When writing ad copy, knowing it’ll be translated into a foreign language, you have to stay on your toes. Derrick Daye, with Branding Strategy Insider, shares some brand trivia which includes some of these gaffes:

In Spanish, Colgate can be translated into “Go hang yourself”

KFC translated it’s tagline “Finger lickin’ good” into Chinese for the first time and it came out as “Eat your fingers off.”

Pepsi translated it’s tagline “Pepsi gives you life” into Chinese and it meant “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave.”

Here are a few more …

Chevrolet’s Nova flopped in Mexico because it means “No go”

Similarly, the Ford Pinto failed in Brazil because Pinto is slang for “tiny male genitals”

A Parker Pen ad slogan, “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you” was translated for the Mexican market as “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”

Frank Perdue’s slogan “It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken” was translated into Spanish (Mexico) as “It takes a hard man to make a chicken aroused.”

Let me tell you, I am DEFINITELY gun shy about translating our tagline “Go nuts”!

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