Halloween is a time for sharing bone-chilling tales. But, for marketers, these stories are not comprised of ghosts, skeletons and murderous monsters. Instead, horror comes in the form of unfortunate international translations, missed typos and seemingly innocent campaigns with unforeseen consequences.
On the bright side, these terrifying marketing mistakes usually turn out to be pretty entertaining for the rest of us. Here are just a few of our favorites:
Lost in Translation
Sometimes a tagline that is perfect in one language looses its appeal when translated to another. For instance, when the American Dairy Association brought its famous “Got Milk?” campaign outside of the U.S., the company accidentally asked countless Spanish-speaking consumers, “Are you lactating?”
And, when KFC’s slogan “Finger lickin’ good,” was translated into Chinese, it became the slightly more unpleasant phrase “eat your fingers off.”
When Common Sense Goes Out the Door
Even the most innocent names and slogans can go awry when they’re placed in the wrong location. And, something as simple as opening a door can change everything.
A Tasty Typo
Typos happen to the best of us, but what happens when your typo is on giant billboard for all to see? Well, especially if you’re a brewing company, we may begin to wonder if you’ve been enjoying too much of your own product.
A Little Too Honest
In general, honesty is a good thing, and marketers sometimes earn a bad rap for putting a spin on the truth. But, it might be possible to take honesty just a step too far…
If you don’t want to risk the perils of excess honesty, you could always try blatantly contradicting yourself — after all, the results are just as comical!