Isn’t it amazing that I can remember the words and melody to hundreds of songs from dozens of years ago but can’t seem to remember what I had for lunch? If I said to you “I don’t want to grow up,” chances are you would come back with “Cause I’m a Toys R Us kid.” It is a well recognized fact that words, when accompanied by music, increase our recall and make us feel better. Hence the advertising jingle, many of which stay with us long after the campaign has ended. The jingle had its musical beginnings in 1926 featuring the Wheaties Quartet singing:
Have you tried Wheaties?
They’re whole wheat with all of the bran.
Won’t you try Wheaties?
For wheat is the best food of man.
They’re crispy and crunchy
The whole year through,
The kiddies never tire of them
and neither will you.
So just try Wheaties,
The best breakfast food in the land.
It might sound old fashioned and corny to us now, but back then it essentially caused a complete turnaround for the failing brand of cereal and revolutionized radio advertising.
Take a stroll down memory lane with me and enjoy:
Globalization pushes American brands into virtually every corner of the globe – McDonalds, Microsoft, Coca Cola, Nike, Starbucks, Disney, and Ford to name a few. Here at home, all of us can identify with these brands and as they are part of our culture. Advertising slogans and jingles used to promote these brands inevitably become ingrained inside of our heads and as much a part of our culture as the brands themselves. We all know the exact connotations of Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz, I Wish I Were an Oscar Meyer Weiner, and the Energizer Bunny. But what happens when a brand is shipped across the seas to a foreign land and the advertising message gets lost in the translation? The following is a very funny list of blunders whose messages literally didn’t make it to their intended markets. Read on and enjoy:
1. Pepsi’s slogan “Come alive with the Pepsi generation” translated in Taiwan to “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the dead.”
2. The Coca Cola company used Chinese characters to spell out the sounds Co Ca Co La. The characters in Chinese translated to “Bite the wax tadpole.”
3. Perdue’s chicken slogan, “it takes a strong man to make a tender chicken” appeared on billboards across Mexico in Spanish as “it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate.”
4. Parker Pen’s slogan “it won’t stain your pocket and embarrass you” came out as “it won’t stain your pocket and get you pregnant” in Spanish.
5. Chevrolet launched its Nova brand in Latin America but sadly the name in Spanish translates to “it won’t go.”
6. Clairol introduced a curling iron into Germany they named “Mist Stick,” to find that “mist” is slang for manure.
7. Coors used its slogan, “Turn it loose” in Spain, where it translated into “Suffer from diarrhea.”