5 slogan translation fails
22nd February 2017
5 times translating marketing slogans hasn’t quite gone to plan…
Pepsi’s marketing campaign between 1963 and 1967 used ‘Come alive! You’re in the Pepsi generation’ in an attempt to revive what had become a boring brand and compete with Coca Cola. In China, the slogan was mistranslated to mean ‘Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave’, and in a culture where they worship their ancestors, people thought that if you drank Pepsi it could bring back the dead.
Parker Pens made a hilarious blunder when translating their advertising slogan ‘It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you’ into Spanish. The word embarazada in Spanish doesn’t mean embarrassed, it means pregnant, so they actually really embarrassed themselves by saying ‘It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant’.
Ford didn’t communicate their message too well in Belgium when using their slogan ‘Every car has a high quality body’. That’s because it was translated as ‘Every car has a high quality corpse’, which is definitely not an offer people had seen before!
In the 1960s, when advertising and marketing ‘The Jolly Green Giant’ in Saudi Arabia the Arabic was translated as ‘Intimidating Green Monster’, which is certainly not the character the famous sweetcorn company was trying to portray!
When Mitsubishi released the Pajero model in the 1980s they hadn’t considered that the word pajero means jerk in Spanish. Therefore, Mitsubishi had to change the name to Mitsubishi Montero in all Spanish-speaking countries.
Our specialist marketing translators know to look out for issues such as these to avoid causing you embarrassment and risking your brand reputation. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to send you a quote.