The Optimist says, “The glass is half full.” The Pessimist says, “The glass is half empty.” The Marketing Consultant says, “Your glass needs re-sizing.”
You know you’re a marketer if…you refer to dating as ‘test marketing’.
A retailer was dismayed when a competitor selling the same type of product opened next-door to him, displaying a large sign proclaiming “Best Deals.”
Not long after that, he was horrified to find yet another competitor move in next door, on the other side if his store. Its large sign was even more disturbing “Lowest Prices.”
After his initial panic, and concern that he would be driven out of business, he looked for a way to turn the situation to his advantage. Then he had an idea. Next day, he proudly unveiled a huge sign over his front door. It read:
Lost in translation:
In Taiwan, the translation of the Pepsi slogan “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” came out as “Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead.”
Also in Chinese, the Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan “finger-lickin’ good” came out as “eat your fingers off.”
The American slogan for Salem cigarettes, “Salem – Feeling Free,” got translated in the Japanese market into “When smoking Salem, you feel so refreshed that your mind seems to be free and empty.”
When General Motors introduced the Chevy Nova in South America, it was apparently unaware that “no va” means “it won’t go.” After the company figured out why it wasn’t selling any cars, it renamed the car in its Spanish markets to the Caribe.
Ford had a similar problem in Brazil when the Pinto flopped. The company found out that Pinto was Brazilian slang for “tiny male genitals”. Ford pried all the nameplates off and substituted Corcel, which means horse.
When Parker Pen marketed a ballpoint pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to say “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.” However, the company’s mistakenly thought the Spanish word “embarazar” meant embarrass. Instead the ads said that “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”
An American t-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope’s visit. Instead of the desired “I Saw the Pope” in Spanish, the shirts proclaimed “I Saw the Potato.”
Chicken-man Frank Perdue’s slogan, “It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken,” got terribly mangled in another Spanish translation. A photo of Perdue with one of his birds appeared on billboards all over Mexico with a caption that explained “It takes a hard man to make a chicken aroused.”
Hunt-Wesson introduced its Big John products in French Canada as Gros Jos before finding out that the phrase, in slang, means “big breasts.” In this case, however, the name problem did not have a noticeable effect on sales.
Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious porno mag.
In Italy, a campaign for Schweppes Tonic Water translated the name into Schweppes Toilet Water.
Japan’s second-largest tourist agency was mystified when it entered English-speaking markets and began receiving requests for unusual sex tours. Upon finding out why, the owners of Kinki Nippon Tourist Company changed its name.
Three marketers and three accountants were traveling by train to a conference. At the station, the three accountants each bought tickets and watched as the three marketers bought only one ticket.
“How are three people going to travel on only one ticket?” asked an accountant. “Watch and you’ll see”, answered a marketer.
They all boarded the train. The accountants took their respective seats, but the three marketers all crammed into a rest room and closed the door behind them. Shortly after the train departed, the conductor came around collecting tickets. He knocked on the restroom door and said, “Ticket, please”.
The door opened just a crack and a single arm emerged with a ticket in hand.
The conductor took it and moved on.
The accountants saw this and agreed it was a quite clever idea. So, after the conference, the accountants decide to copy the marketers on the return trip and save some money (being clever with money, and all that). When they got to the station, they bought a single ticket for the return trip. To their astonishment, the marketers didn’t buy a ticket at all.
“How are you going to ride without a ticket”? said one perplexed accountant.
“Watch and you’ll see”, answered a marketer.
When they boarded the train, the three accountants crammed into a restroom and the three marketers crammed into another one nearby. The train departed. Shortly afterward, one of the marketers left his restroom and walked over to the restroom where the accountants were hiding. He knocked on the door and said, “Ticket, please.”