Lost in Translation- Cultural Awareness and Ad Fails
Cultural awareness is very
important when marketers
attempt to promote products in
different cultural environments.
Let’s look at some instances
that have gone wrong.
Kentucky Fried Chicken's slogan “Finger
lickin good." translated into Chinese came
out as “Eat your fingers off.”
"Nothing Sucks Like an Electrolux,”
In the 1960s Electrolux used this slogan to market the
Scandinavian Vacuums in the UK. Some say they tried the
same slogan in American ads.
Image source: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/fact-fiction-
In Chinese, Pepsi's 'Come alive with the Pepsi generation'
'Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave.’
Parker Pen marketed a pen in Mexico. The ads were supposed to have
read, 'It won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you.' Instead, they
read, 'It won't leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.’
Frank Perdue’s 'It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken’
translated into Spanish
'it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate.”
“It takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate?”
The slogan for Salem cigarettes,
was translated into
'When smoking Salem, you will
feel so refreshed that your mind
seems to be free and empty.'
Could they have included some
Braniff Airlines promoted its First Class airline seats to the
Latin American audience.
The translation of “Fly In Leather” was interpreted as “Fly
Naked!” The company later contended that they did it