Diversity Blunders (a.k.a., April Fools)
Globalization of the economy presents many challenges in relation to
communicating effectively with employees, clients, consumers, and
vendors/suppliers from diverse backgrounds. Enhancing our awareness
of different languages, customs, and perspectives is critical,
particularly with respect to marketing/selling to people of other cultures.
You'll see from the list below, that even some of the world'*
best-known marketers make some pretty embarrassing blunders that are
costly to their companies' reputations and to their bottom lines.
These are the nominees for the "Chevy Nova" Award given out in honor
of GM'* fiasco in trying to market this car in Central and South
America for which the name "No va" in Spanish means, "it doesn't go".
This is one award your company surely will not want to receive!
* The Dairy Association'* huge success with the campaign "Got
Milk?" prompted them to expand advertising to Mexico, but they soon
discovered the Spanish translation read, "Are you lactating?"
* Coors' slogan, "Turn It Loose," in Spanish reads as "Suffer
* Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following
in an U.*. ad campaign: "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux."
* 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."
* 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 labels of what'* inside, since many people can't read.
* Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called "Cue", the
name of a notorious porno magazine.
* An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the
Spanish market which promoted the Pope'* visit. Instead of "I saw the
Pope" (el Papa), the shirts read "I Saw the Potato" (la papa).
* Pepsi'* "Come Alive With the Pepsi Generation" slogan
translated into Chinese as "Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back From the Grave".
* The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as "Kekoukela",
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 "kokou kole", translating into "happiness
in the mouth."
* Perdue'* chicken slogan, "It takes a strong man to make a
tender chicken" translated into Spanish as "It takes an aroused man
to make a chicken affectionate."
* When Parker Pen marketed a ball-point pen in Mexico, its ads
were supposed to have read, "It won't leak in your pocket and
embarrass you." But, the word "embarazar" means "to impregnate", so
the ad read: "It won't leak in your pocket and make you pregnant."
* When American Airlines wanted to advertise its new leather
first class seats in the Mexican market, it translated its "Fly In
Leather" campaign literally, which meant "Fly Naked" (vuela en cuero)
2001 SSEi (L67Heaven) - Swooped, Pullied, Cleared, and Tinted
2004 Grand Prix GTP Comp G (Wife'* ride) - K&N Filter