Almost every brand has a tagline. But what happens when companies try to enter new markets? It’s not as cut and dry as merely putting their company slogan through the translation filter. Corporate taglines not only need to be converted into a different language, but also from one culture to another. If not, when these marketing campaigns cross oceans, they could mean something entirely different.
Read on to find out hilarious examples of taglines that got lost in translation.
- Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)
When KFC expanded into China in the late 1980s, it’s iconic slogan “It’s finger lickin’ good!” was translated into a not so appetising Mandarin tagline, “Eat your fingers off”.
Similarly, Pepsi’s tagline “Come alive with the Pepsi generation” didn’t go down too well in China. It came out as “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the dead”.
While beer lovers in America could identify with Coors’ tagline “Turn it Loose!”, the Spanish translation “Suffer from diarrhea” gave people a stomach-churning feeling.
- American Dairy Association
The famous “Got milk?” marketing campaign got Spanish customers all puzzled when it was translated as “Are you lactating?”
Converting taglines into other languages goes beyond merely doing a word-for-word translation or hitting the “Google Translate” button. It’s essential to work with translators who understand the nuance of the language, and can maintain the original intent and style while adapting it to have the same impact in another language.
Image source: http://www.jaywingpr.com/news-views/2013/lost-in-translation-15-advertising-slogans-that-didnt-translate-well/