Marketing and PR

Marketing and PR

When operating on a global scale, marketing and public relations materials must be artfully crafted in order to convey your message in an appropriate and meaningful manner. With a bit of help from us, your message will reach international markets and will be interpreted exactly how you hope for it to be.

Changing your campaign and cleaning up after mistranslated marketing campaigns can be a costly and embarrassing affair. Save yourself the trouble and be sure that your materials and your image is presented correctly the first time. Our skill and attention to detail will ensure that your marketing needs are addressed in a timely professional manner, mapping out your campaign, not only for the target language, but also for the specific dialects and cultures of some countries.

Snafus in marketing translations are now famous in the marketing (and translation) world.  The following are great examples of why you should partner with Liaison Multilingual to address your global marketing and PR translation needs:

1. The Dairy Association’s huge success with the campaign “Got Milk?” prompted them to expand advertising to Mexico. It was soon brought to their attention the Spanish translation read “Are you lactating?”
2. Coors put its slogan, “Turn it loose,” into Spanish, where it was read as “Suffer from diarrhea.”
3. Clairol introduced the “Mist Stick,” a curling iron, into German only to find out that “mist” is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the “manure stick.”
4. When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with the smiling baby on the label.  Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the label of what’s inside, since many people can’t read…
5. Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious porno magazine.
6. An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope’s visit.  Instead of “I saw the Pope” (El Papa), the shirts read “I saw the potato.” (la papa).
7. Pepsi’s “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” translated into “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave,” in Chinese.
8. The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as “Ke-kou-ke-la”, meaning “Bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with wax, “depending on the dialect.  Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent “ko-kou-ko-le,” translating into “happiness in the mouth.”
9. Frank Perdue’s chicken slogan, “it takes a strong man to make a tender chicken,” was translated into Spanish as “it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate.”
10. When Parker Pen marketed a ballpoint pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to have read, “it won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.” Instead, the company thought that the word “embarazar” (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad read:  “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”
11. When Braniff Airlines unleashed its new marketing campaign promoting its comfortable seating by touting its new material on the seat it said, “We’ll fly you in leather.”  Mexicans roared when it literally was translated to say in Spanish, “Te volamos en cuero” translated into the vernacular, “We’ll fly you nude.”
12. An oldie but goodie for the Chevrolet Division Of GM. Introducing its Nova model into Mexico had less than desirable results.  The two words “No va” means “Doesn’t Go” in the Spanish language.
  1. The Dairy Association’s huge success with the campaign “Got Milk?” prompted them to expand advertising to Mexico. It was soon brought to their attention that the Spanish translation read “Are you lactating?”
  2. Coors put its slogan, “Turn it loose,” into Spanish, where it was read as “Suffer from diarrhea.”
  3. Clairol introduced the “Mist Stick”, a curling iron, into Germany only to find out that “mist” is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the “manure stick.”
  4. When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with the smiling baby on the label.  Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the label of what’s inside, since many people can’t read.
  5. Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious porno magazine.
  6. An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope’s visit.  Instead of “I saw the Pope” (El Papa), the shirts read “I saw the potato.” (la papa).
  7. Pepsi’s “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” translated into “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave,” in Chinese.
  8. The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as “Ke-kou-ke-la”, meaning “Bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with wax, “depending on the dialect.  Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent “ko-kou-ko-le,” translating into “happiness in the mouth.”
  9. Frank Perdue’s chicken slogan, “It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken,” was translated into Spanish as “It takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate.”
  10. When Parker Pen marketed a ballpoint pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to have read, “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you”. Instead, the company thought that the word “embarazar” (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad read:  “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”
  11. When Braniff Airlines unleashed its new marketing campaign promoting its comfortable seating by touting its new material on the seat it said, “We’ll fly you in leather.”  Mexicans roared when it literally was translated to say in Spanish, “Te volamos en cuero” translated into the vernacular, “We’ll fly you nude.”
  12. An oldie but goodie for the Chevrolet Division of GM. Introducing its Nova model into Mexico had less than desirable results.  The two words “No va” means “Doesn’t Go” in the Spanish language.

When you embark on a marketing campaign in the multilingual marketplace you can save thousands of dollars by partnering with Liaison Multilingual Services, Inc.

Do you have a survey that you need translated for market research purposes? We can also help with that. Click here to learn more!

Please use our eQuote Page or call 303-762-0997 to obtain a quote today for your specific marketing and public relations translation needs.