Weâ€™re thrilled to introduce you to our new blog, which is designed to share news, tips and trends related to the global naming industry. Every month we’ll write an ‘Oops Reel’ post, highlighting global naming disasters. These examples might just make you cringe, laugh, or hide under your desk as you feel empathy for the marketing folks involved in the blunders. For us, these examples are a constant reminder that local dialects, slang, events, culture, politics and market realities truly do matter. For our first edition, we’ll start with some of the oldies but goodies.
Chicken Fingers (but not the kind you’re thinking)
KFC reportedly goofed years ago when translating its slogan “Finger-Lickin’ Good” for the local market. According to various accounts, it came out more like “Eat Your Fingers Off.” Source: Ad Age
Chinese dairy giant Mengniu translated its Chinese slogan (roughly, “For Every Drop of Happiness”) into English and came up with “Little Happiness Matters.”
Source: Ad Age
When Parker Pen marketed a ballpoint pen in Mexico, the advertisements were supposed to say: “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.” However, the company mistakenly thought the Spanish word ’embarazar’ meant embarrass. The advertisements actually read: “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.” Source: Gulf Business
The Walking Dead
When Pepsi expanded their market to China, they launched with the slogan, “Pepsi brings you back to life.” What they didn’t realize was that the phrase translated to, “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave.” Source: Gulf Business
Flushed, Not Stirred
In Italy, a campaign for Schweppes Tonic Water translated the name into Schweppes Toilet Water! Source: Learn English
Infiniti spent 2014 wowing crowds with its racy concept car, the Q50 Eau Rouge, and gave every impression that it intended to build it. Luxury consumers drooled over the Formula 1-inspired styling and hardware. “Eau Rouge” is the name of a particularly challenging turn at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps racetrack in Belgium, well-known in world racing. But one problem: Spa-Francorchamps isn’t in the business of giving away its nomenclature. Last year, the racetrack went to court in Europe to make clear that “Eau Rouge” is not available. Source: Automotive News
You don’t want to be part of a naming blunder tale. We’ve created a process so that you won’t. After testing more than 55,000 names, none of our clients have experienced naming disasters. If your brand is traveling, invite us on the trip!