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06-03-1999, 08:15 AM
Self-evident but brilliant in its simplicity. Saw this sentence at the very end of a commercial pitching some lottery. Are there lines you remember for any reason whatsoever, ranging from their utter stupidity to their stunning effect on the intellect?

P.S.: Saw another one just yesterday. I'd call it a double whammy. It was a commercial for Sunbirds and it said "Built for drivers"

06-03-1999, 10:30 AM
I don't know about English ones, but here are some slogans/ads that didn't make sense in translation:

Slogan Blunders-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
The nominees for the Chevy Nova Award, named in Honor of the GM's fiasco in trying to market this car in Central and South America ("no va" means in Spanish, "it doesn't go"):

1. The Dairy Association's huge success with the campaign "Got Milk?" prompted them to expand advertising to Mexico. It was soon brought to their attention the Spanish translation read "Are you lactating?"

2. Coors put its slogan, "Turn It Loose," into Spanish, where it was read as "Suffer From Diarrhea".

3. Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign, "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux".

4. Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick," a curling iron, into Germany only to find out that "mist" is slang for manure.

5. When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with the smiling baby on the label.
Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the labels of what's inside, since many people can't read.

6. Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious porno magazine.

7. An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope's visit Instead of "I Saw the Pope" (el Papa), the shirts read "I Saw the Potato" (la papa).

8. Pepsi's "Come Alive With the Pepsi Generation" translated into
"Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back From the Grave" in Chinese.

9. The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as "Kekoukela", meaning "Bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax", depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a
phonetic equivalent "kokou kole", translating into "happiness in the mouth".

10. Frank Perdue's chicken slogan, "It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken" was translated into Spanish as "it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate".

11. When Parker Pen marketed a ball-point pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to have read, "It won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you". The company thought that the word "embarazar" (to impregnate)
meant to embarrass, so the ad read: "It won't leak in your pocket and make you pregnant!"

12. When American Airlines wanted to advertise its new leather first class seats in the Mexican market, it translated its "Fly In Leather" campaign literally, which meant "Fly Naked" (vuela en cuero) in Spanish.

06-03-1999, 11:06 AM
Really take an interest in this, eh George :)

06-03-1999, 11:17 AM
One of my favorites: "Savings of up to 50% and more!"

06-03-1999, 11:38 AM
Another favorite. This is from a Las Vegas Blackjack Dealer.

"The less you bet, the more you loose when you win."

06-03-1999, 12:08 PM
The nominees for the Chevy Nova Award, named in Honor of the GM's fiasco in trying to market this car in Central and South America ("no va" means in Spanish, "it doesn't go"):

Please stop it. This is an oft-repeated urban legend with no basis in truth. Stop spreading it.

"From _Business Mexico_, June, 1993

[...]

The most often cited auto blunder is the Chevrolet Nova (the phrase "No va" translates in Spanish as "It doesn't go") which General Motors wanted to bring into Mexico in the early 1970s. Although GM's Mexican managers were worried about the name, Nova was indeed used.

"They kept the name and it sold very well," says marketing analyst Cecilia Bouleau, who disputes the conventional wisdom surrounding the moniker. "It's the same thing with Nova gasoline. I think that the word is sufficiently incorporated into the language as meaning 'new' -- as in 'bossa nova' -- that the criticism isn't valid."

06-04-1999, 01:50 AM
IMHO, the "Nova legend" ranks right up there with "-gry" and "parkway/driveway". Since the incident which spawned the title of this "award" is obviously a legend, and #9 is at best misleading (more info on both can be found at www.snopes.com (http://www.snopes.com) , I think we can safely assume the rest either contain no truth at all or are seriously misrepresented.

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The overwhelming majority of people have more than the average (mean) number of legs. -- E. Grebenik

06-04-1999, 01:58 AM
One example of misrepresentation is the statement that "Mist" is German slang for "manure". It is, in fact, the ACCEPTED word for manure. Perhaps the fact that it is frequently used as an expletive gave somebody the idea it was slang.

Anyway, most Germans would not want "Mist" in their hair.

06-04-1999, 08:42 AM
One of my favorites:

Kosher and non-kosher food sold here.

06-04-1999, 10:02 AM
Pldennison and Doctor Jackson, I checked snopes.com and after digging around found an analysis of Nova and #9. Basically, "no va" does indeed mean it doesn't go in Spanish, but "Nova" doesn't. For #9, indeed the Coca-Cola name in China was first read as "Kekoukela", meaning "Bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax", depending on the dialect.

I can't find any info about the other slogans. Jens says that Mist does indeed mean manure in German. Although it is not slang, it is not something people would want in their hair.

So, as far as I can tell, these slogan blunders are not a total hoax. They have some truth in them. Perhaps they exaggerate the circumstances and interpretations slightly. I don't see that posting them here does great harm, though. This is not nearly as bad as hoaxes such as the ones about AIDS that ask the reader to immediately forward it to everyone they know.

06-04-1999, 10:18 PM
Speaking of unfortunate product names, can somebody explain to me the thought process of whoever it was who named Tombstone Pizza?

06-04-1999, 10:50 PM
When American Airlines wanted to advertise its new leather first class seats in the Mexican market, it translated its "Fly In Leather" campaign literally, which meant "Fly Naked" (vuela en cuero) in Spanish
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--For the record are you sure it wasn't United?

06-05-1999, 12:57 AM
A local tire store here has a large sign, about half the size of a billboard, that reads "Guaranteed Used Truck Tires".

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"The day after tomorrow is the third day of the rest of your life." -George Carlin

06-05-1999, 11:58 AM
Rural gas station/restaurants used to frequently display a sign "EAT - get gas."

06-05-1999, 12:06 PM
-And speaking of stunning effects on intellect, has anyone ever actually seen a butcher shop with the slogan "You can't beat our meat"?

06-05-1999, 08:43 PM
My favorite road sign is down the highway for a local tattoo parlour:
The establishment's name? "Guns & Needles"

Personally if I were to ever get a tattoo I'd go to "Pillows & Painkillers".