Jokes about Marketing

Last Update: Jul 9, 2017


Today is Sunday. So, I thought you could use a few jokes about marketing.

Below are examples of what happens when marketing translations fail to reach a foreign country in an understandable way:

  • Coors put its slogan, "Turn it loose," into Spanish, where it was read as "Suffer from diarrhea."
  • Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick," a curling iron, into German only to find out that "mist" is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the "manure stick".
  • Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux".
  • When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with the beautiful baby on the label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the label of what's inside, since most people can't read.
  • An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope's visit. Instead of "I saw the Pope" (el Papa), the shirts read "I saw the potato" (la Papa).
  • In Italy, a campaign for Schweppes Tonic Water translated the name into "Schweppes Toilet Water."
  • 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 mistakenly thought the spanish word "embarazar" meant embarrass. Instead the ads said that "It wont leak in your pocket and make you pregnant."
  • The name Coca-Cola in China was first rendered as "Ke-kou-ke-la". Unfortunately, the Coke company did not discover until after thousands of signs had been printed that the phrase means "bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax" depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 Chinese characters and found a close phonetic equivalent, "Ko-kou-ko-le," which can be loosely translated as "happiness in the mouth."
  • Also in Chinese, the Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan "finger-lickin' good" came out as "eat your fingers off."
  • 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.
  • Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called "Cue", the name of a notorious porno magazine.

Recent Comments



Thanks Abdulrahman. My pleasure. ANd thanks for passing by.

I can picture the other countries having a good laugh, especial the labels coming from North America. Although I lived 31 year in Central America never came across any of these. It was fun going through them thanks Eric.

In learning Spanish in the first year I couldn’t distinguish. between hambre e hombre . My wording was. tengo que ir porque mi pedicito tiene hombre. I never could live that one down for 31 year years. Latinos never forget.

Have a great Sunday mi amigo

Hambre, hombre: Small difference with great effect! Such things happened to my in Italien and Chinese. But most of the time people took it easy and had a great laugh with me. Especially the Chinese.
Thanks for stopping by, Linda!

A lesson in research! Thanks for the laugh, Eric :))

My pleasure Carol! And thanks for stopping by.

Great collection, Eric! Hilarious! I appreciate this kind of stuff because I speak 2 other languages fluently. English is a 3rd language for me. Thanks for the Sunday laugh!


Thanks Don!
Me too, I'm not a native English Speaker. IT's about my third language. My languages are: German, French, English, Chinese, Italien, Danish in that order. But the last two I almost forgot, as I never use them.
Thanks for stopping by.

Hi Eric, the jokes are great. Irv.

Glad you liked them.
Thanks for dropping by, Irv!

Like anything else, do the research.

You said it, John!
Thanks for dropping by.

Fun stuff for a Sunday. Thanks. Debbie

My pleasure, Debbie!
It can't always be work, work , work. Sometimes it needs something to lighten up the day.
Thanks for dropping by.

Hey those are cool, love the Electrolux and the baby food

I know for a fact, that Gerber wasn't the only company facing that Problem. Nestlé had to learn it the hard way too.
Thanks for stopping by Sylvia!

Funny stuff. Lol

Glad you liked it.
Thanks for passing by Pablo!

That was a good read, thanks.

My pleasure Deborah! And thanks for stopping by!

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