When it comes to advertising, we've come a long way, baby. All of these marketing slogans and brand names were perfectly fine... in English. However, once they were translated into other languages they took on hilarious new meanings!
When American fast food giant Kentucky Fried Chicken opened their first restaurant in Beijing in 1987, they accidentally translated KFC's famous slogan, “Finger-lickin' good” to “We'll Eat Your Fingers Off!” in Chinese.
U.S. beer-making giant Coors apparently thought their slogan, “Turn it loose!” would translate to Spanish just fine. Unfortunately, “Turn it Loose” came out, “Suffer from Diarrhea” instead.
Frankly, if you've ever had Coors... this slogan isn't too far off the mark.
In 2006, hair care company Clairol introduced a curling iron called the Mist Stick, which did very well in U.S. markets. When the company marketed the product in Germany, however, they failed to realize that “mist” means “manure” in German. Oddly enough, the “Manure Stick” didn't sell so well in Germany.
The American Dairy Association was so successful with its "Got Milk?" campaign, that they decided to extend the ads to Mexico. Unfortunately, the Spanish translation is "Are you lactating?"
Kind of a personal question, we think!
Pepsi's slogan “We bring you back to life” caused a bit of panic in China, where they read it as, “We bring your ancestors back from the grave.”
Puffs brand tissues are quite popular in the U.S. A., however, their quest for global marketing ran into a few snags due to their name. In Germany, "Puff" is a colloquial term for a whorehouse. In England, a similar word,“Pouf,” is an offensive term for homosexual.
The Ford Motor Company introduced the subcompact Pinto in 1971. The company couldn't understand why they weren't selling more cars in Brazil, until they learned that “Pinto” is Brazilian slang for “male genitals.”
In 1977 Braniff Airlines only meant to advertise the leather seats they'd installed in First Class, bheir slogan, “Fly in leather” translated for Spanish-speaking markets as, “Vuela en cuero,” which means “Fly naked.”
Let's hope they at least bring a towel to sit on!
When Parker Pen's famous slogan “It won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you” was translated into Spanish, it confused many Mexican consumers who read it as, “It won't leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”
The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as "Ke-kou-ke- la," meaning "Bite the wax tadpole" or the equally hilarious, "female horse stuffed with wax," depending on the dialect. Coke then researched to find a phonetic equivalent "ko-kou-ko- le," translating into "happiness in the mouth."