12 Dumbest Advertising Translations

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From misleading people into thinking you’re selling baby meat to resurrecting your great grandmother, we look at 12 Dumbest Advertising Translations.

12 – Bensi,

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  • There’s not many ways to go wrong when naming a car company, just pick something that sounds sexy and fast but doesn’t translate to death on wheels.
  • Mercedes Benz didn’t get the memo on that on though and started releasing cars under a name that translated to “Rush to your death” in China. ‘Bensi’
  • Of course adverts for a car that will get you to death’s door in record speed didn’t go too well and eventually they changed the name to ‘Ben Chi’.

11 – Fly in Leather,

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  • Well with poor ads like this it’s no surprise Braniff were the first major airline to go bankrupt.
  • Braniff had been using the slogan “Fly in Leather” in English speaking countries to advertise their comfortable, rich leather seats. But in Spanish Braniff accidentally told customers to “Fly Naked”.
  • That’s just the way to get customers, over them the chance to see the sweaty balls of the guy sitting next to them.

10 – The Jolly Green Giant,

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  • If your branding totally relies on a friendly mascot, you should probably but in a bit more effort than running it through google translate.
  • At least that’s what I’m assuming happened here. General Mills made an icon out of the canned vegetable selling Jolly Green Giant, but in Arabic the name translated to “Intimidating Green Monster”.
  • That’s right you better buy that God-damn can of peas or he’s going to get you and shove them down your stupid throat.

9 – Every Car has a High Quality Body,

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  • Car companies always seem to be trying to sell you some novelty feature, but I don’t think anyone would want the one Ford were offering.
  • Attempting to bring the slogan “Every car has a high quality body” to Belgium, they inadvertently translated “body” to mean “Corpse”.
  • Come down and get your new hatchback, complete with that new corpse smell. Then again maybe they were just trying to tap into the necrophilia market.

8 – Mist Stick,

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  • This one seems to have a pretty lazy name in English so it’s no surprise that it no one double checked the translations.
  • Clairol released a curling iron called “Mist Stick”, which sounds barely appealing as it is. But in Germany it takes on a whole different meaning. See over there “Mist” means “Manure”.
  • “Manure Stick” didn’t exactly fly of shelves. Leaving Clairol to discover that people don’t want to put something called “shit stick” in their hair.

7 – Gerber Baby Food,

NEW YORK - APRIL 12: Gerber baby food products are seen on a supermarket shelf April 12, 2007 in New York City. Nestle SA, the world's largest food company, announced it will purchase Gerber, the largest baby food producer in the U.S., for $5.5 billion. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

  • Turns out words are the only thing that can fail the translation process, images can too.
  • When Gerber released their baby food in Ethiopia they made the mistake of not changing their iconic packaging. Why does that matter? Because in Ethiopia food products normally display the contents on the packaging because of low literacy rates.
  • So yeah putting a smiling baby on the label translates to “pureed baby meat inside”.

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