The prospects of reaching new customers and catapulting revenue make expanding to international markets is a winning strategy for any company. However, while globalization has broken borders and made the world smaller, language and cultures have not been broken.
And nowhere is this clearer than in words.
Examples of translation mishaps are everywhere; from badly-translated slogans to brand names that face a cultural backlash. For this reason, companies need to do their homework right before venturing into new markets.
Here are 6 hilarious marketing instances by famous brands that got lost in translation.
On realizing this, the company rebranded the name to Benchi, which means “running quickly as if flying”. This is what you would expect from a car manufacturer.
We wonder how many customers bought Pepsi with the hope of resurrecting their ancestors.
HSBC has to fork out about $10 million to correct this mistake and also come up with a new slogan: “The world’s private bank”.
When Paxam decided to target the English market, they must have used an auto-translation software as the mistranslation ended up reading “barf”.
Would you buy “barf” detergent? We don’t think so.
The company launched a small car call the “Nova”. Marketing the car to consumers in all regions went well, except for Italians and Spanish. In these two languages, “nova” is closely related to the words “don’t go”. Now, while the Nova wasn’t a sports car, the company did want consumers to think that it didn’t go.
GM has to change the name of Nova to Corsa when they realized the problem in Italy and Spain.
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