10 Product and Campaign Blunders To Learn From

by Ritu

The main aspect of marketing is to convey message to potential customers in a way that it is understandable and appealing to the potential customers. If a product or service fails to convey the message then the promotional campaign certainly is a failure. Over the years there have been product and campaign promotions that simply amaze us with their genius ways of presentation where as the same companies have made some of the biggest mistakes in the history of marketing. This post is about those mistakes that companies made due to inadequate research before marketing their product to international customers.

When a company leaves it’s home boundary and sets its foot in the international market, there are somethings that need to be analyzed, such as cultural value or emotional value that would appeal to the international customers. Language, pricing and other factors can be a challenge when entering a new market in a foreign country. Please take a look at these examples below as to how these companies created some of the biggest marketing blunders in the history of marketing!

  1. When Mitsubishi launched it’s Pajero 4WD in Spain they had the shock of a lifetime. As they were promoting Pajero they forgot to take into account the word “Pajero” means “jerk” in Spanish.
  2. The famous fried Chicken hub KFC’s slogan “finger-lickin good” when marketed was translated into China as“eat your fingers off.” Oops!
  3. GEC and Plesssey had a join company in France which was called GPT. When GPT is pronounced in French, it sounds as “Jay-Pay-Tay” which is similar J’ai pete, which means ” I have farted.”
  4. When Puffs tissue started marketing their tissues in Germany it didn’t do so well. The reason – Puff means “brothel” in Germany.
  5. When Italian mineral water company promoted their mineral water Traficante it was a failure because the word “Traficante” means “drug dealer” in Spanish.
  6. When Bacardi launched a fruit drink named Pavian they meant French chick, but when they promoted it in Germany the same word meant “Baboon.”
  7. Electrolux had to take their slogan down which read “Nothing sucks like Electrolux.”
  8. When Ford tried selling it’s car “Pinto” in Brazil it was a huge failure. The reason - the word “Pinto” is a slang for small penis in Brazil.
  9. Parker pens slogan “Avoid Embarassment – use Quink,” when translated into Spanish came out as “Avoid pregnancy – use Quink.”
  10. When Hunt – Wesson introduced their Big John products in French Canada as Gros Jos, they forgot to note one thing, Gros Jos is the slang for “big breasts.”

These examples above show that promotional messages in one country might deliver one message where as in another the same message can be conceived as something else. Before promoting your products and taking your business to a new market a research must be done in order to avoid failure and succeed in a new market. Some of the things that needs to be taken into consideration while launching a product or creating a marketing campaign in a foreign country are : language, culture, emotional value and slang languages among many other things.

If you know any product or marketing blunders please share with us. Although these companies might have failed when launching their product in a foreign country – they sure have given us a way to learn. I guess this is why they say – the best learning comes from mistakes, it’s even better when someone else makes them and you get the lesson!

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }


I like this site,you should always know what not to do before you do it,especially in network marketing.And I agree with the international aspect of marketing we should respect and learn the different cultures of various countries,because yes we do now live in a global economy.


klt99s last blog post..Social networking And Attraction Marketing The Perfect Combination For Network Marketing Success


Jonathan from Speechmastery.com

Check out the Chevy Nova. I believe nova or the way it is pronounced in Mexico means “nothing.”

Initially it hurt sales in this segment.

Jonathan from Speechmastery.coms last blog post..Jul 23, The Audience and How to Speak to Meet their Needs



Nova in Spanish sounds like “No va” which means “Doesn’t go”



French you can learn in 3 months, or a language where you can manage to learn in months for a conversation.
It is 1 of the hardest languages in the world! I’m good at languages as well, but find french extremely hard, even though i speak it fluently.
The best things to do, are to learn off by heart, know the simple words, like bonjour, je m’appelle…
There is pretty much nothing else you can do, except get lessons, and start speaking or writing to someone who is a NATIVE speaker.
Also, if you don’t practise your accent, the french will not understand you.
If you need any help, I can give you some lessons.


globalakifs last blog post..Why Learn German?



In a modern world that is fast realizing the importance of being bilingual, there is a big rush to learn foreign languages. Spanish, French, Italian and German are the preferred languages that most people choose to learn. While Spanish is a very popular language among those choosing to be bilingual, German does not hold that kind of an appeal.


globalakifs last blog post..Why Learn German?


Max the Micro Niche Finder

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Tanya ebony

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