Shaken & Stirred - Influential Brand Profiling and Positioning

What company famously advertised, “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant”?

e-Spirit has released the findings of a poll to find the most high profile marketing gaffes caused by mishaps with campaign content. This is loaded from a sister site of ours. It appeared a few years back so it’s a blast from the past! 

The UK-based poll, placed by the content management provider, saw a marketing campaign from American beer Coors uptake the number one position.

Marketing campaigns are instantly beamed around the world and the survey was carried out to highlight how costly these blunders can be. e-Spirit warns that businesses need to take care when publishing material or they could face a similar fate.

1.   Loosed in translation: The American beer Coors used the slogan ‘Turn It Loose’ in its marketing campaign. That was fine in the US, but when the phrase was translated into Spanish, it read “Suffer From Diarrhoea.”

2.   A hair-raising name: When Clairol launched the ‘mist stick’ curling iron in Germany, the company was slow to realise that mist is slang for manure in German. Strangely the ‘manure stick’ wasn’t that popular.

3.   Snookered: ‘Cue’ was the name of Colgate’s new toothpaste. It also happened to be the title of a notorious adult magazine.

4.   Dead or Alive: Pepsi used the slogan ‘come alive with the Pepsi generation’ as an international marketing campaign. But when translated into Chinese, it read ‘Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave’.

5.   Knocked-up: Parker Pen’s Mexican ads for a new ballpoint pen were supposed to read, ‘it won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.’ But a translation error meant the ad read: ‘it won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.’

Robert Bredlau, director of international development at e-Spirit, said: “Marketing is invaluable in terms of building brand awareness and developing a business. But at the same time, with an instant world-wide reach of modern media, launching campaigns presents perils too.”

Leave a Comment