Famous businesses marketing fails, because of translation mistakes
DAQEEQ (Dubai) –– In line with the spread and expanding of brands and businesses globally, targeting variety of sectors and markets requires a highly important factor in effective communication and delivering the right messages to the foreign targeted group in its native language, that is, through translation.
Like any other field, the translation sector is liable to mistakes happening. Some prominent businesses and brands have fallen into traps resulting from incorrect translation or misunderstanding while marketing to foreign customers. This made them a target of criticism and mockery and incurred, as a result, huge losses and damage. If you want to make sure that translation blunders have negative consequences on business and marketing, carry on with reading this article to get acquainted with the most famous examples of businesses and brands that neglected accuracy in understanding their targeted group, and consequently, got lost in translation.
One of the biggest banks and the sixth-largest wealth manager worldwide, HSBC bank, was obliged to do another advertising campaign in many countries internationally in 2009 after translating the original bank’s tagline “Assume nothing” into a completely different advertising tagline. It became “do nothing”. Eventually, the bank had to quickly withdraw it and spent $10 million to change it and introduce a new marketing campaign for correcting the translation mistake! Afterwards, it became famous for its new tagline “The world’s private bank”.
Auto giant Ford is second on the list, particularly regarding its ad campaign in Belgium. Unfortunately, the company did not succeed in enticing the consumers to buy its cars with the slogan “Every car has a high-quality body”, as it was perceived negatively and far from its intended meaning in the European country. It was read as “Every car has a high-quality corpse”. Hence, it is extremely important for the company to be fully and well aware of the targeted market language and culture.
The soda- manufacturer giant Pepsi made a marketing translation mistake when it decided to expand into China with the slogan of its marketing campaign; “Pepsi brings you back to life.” However, it was mistranslated in the Chinese language and its meaning completely changed to: “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the dead”!