Advertising Gone Wrong








by Dany Olier, ICD Translation General Manger

Accurate and culturally sensitive translation and localization is critical when trying to reach a global audience. These hilarious examples below of translations gone wrong demonstrate exactly why organizations should partner with a professional translation agency, which uses professional human translators, to handle all of their translation and localization needs.

  • Clairol introduced a curling iron marketed as the “Mist Stick” in Germany. “Mist” is German slang for “manure.”
  • KFC made Chinese consumers nervous when their slogan, “Finger Lickin’ Good” was translated as “Eat Your Fingers Off.”
  • Pepsi’s slogan “Pepsi Brings You Back to Life” was introduced in China as “Pepsi Brings You Back from the Grave.”
  • The American Dairy Association brought its “Got Milk?” campaign to Spanish-speaking countries, but it was translated into “Are You Lactating?”
  • Puffs Tissues marketed its tissue under that brand name in Germany even though “puff” is German slang for a brothel.
  • Ford launched an ad campaign in Belgium that tried to say, “Every Car has a High Quality Body.” However, when translated, the slogan read, “Every Car has a High Quality Corpse.”
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