Wilson runs a nail factory and decides his business needs a bit of advertising. He has a chat with a friend who works in marketing, and he offers to make a television ad for Wilson's Nails. "Give me a week," says the friend, "and I'll be back with a tape." A week goes by and the marketing executive comes to see Wilson. He puts a cassette in the video and presses play. A Roman soldier is busy nailing Jesus to the cross. He turns to face the camera and says with a grin, "Use Wilson's Nails, they'll hold anything." Wilson goes mad, shouting, "What is the matter with you? They'll never show that on television. Give it another try, but no more Romans crucifying Jesus!" Another week goes by and the marketing man comes back to see Wilson with another tape. He puts it in the machine and hits play. This time the camera pans out from a Roman standing with his arms folded to show Jesus on the cross. The Roman looks up at him and says, "Wilson's Nails, they'll hold anything." Wilson is beside himself. "You don't understand. I don't want anything with Jesus on the cross! Now listen, I'll give you one last chance. Come back in a week with an advertisement that I can broadcast." A week passes and Wilson waits impatiently. The marketing executive arrives and puts on the new video. A naked man with long hair, gasping for breath, is running across a field. About a dozen Roman soldiers come over the hill, hot on his trail. One of them turns to the camera and says, "If only we had used Wilson's Nails!"
New Psychiatric Sign
Q: What sign do you find on the door to the psychiatric ward?
A: "Please do not disturb further."
True Marketing Errors
Below are fine examples of what happens when marketing translations fail to reach a foreign country in an understandable way.
- Coors put its slogan, "Turn it loose" into Spanish, where it was read as "Suffer from diarrhea."
- Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick" a curling iron, into German only to find out that "mist" is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the "manure stick".
- Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.
- The American slogan for Salem cigarettes, "Salem-Feeling Free", was translated into the Japanese market as "When smoking Salem, you will feel so refreshed that your mind seems to be free and empty."
- When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with the beautiful baby on the label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the label of what's inside, since most people can't read English.
- 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).
- In Italy, a campaign for Schweppes Tonic Water translated the name into "Schweppes Toilet Water."
- Pepsi's "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation" translated into "Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave," in Chinese.
- When Parker Pen marketed a ballpoint pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to say "It won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you." However, the company mistakenly thought the Spanish word "embarazar" meant embarrass. Instead the ads said that "It won't leak in your pocket and make you pregnant."
- The name Coca-Cola in China was first rendered as Ke-kou-ke-la. Unfortunately, the Coke company did not discover until after thousands of signs had been printed that the phrase means "bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax" depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 Chinese characters and found a close phonetic equivalent, "ko-kou-ko-le," which can be loosely translated as "happiness in the mouth."
- Also in Chinese, the Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan "finger-lickin' good" came out as "eat your fingers off."
- When General Motors introduced the Chevy Nova in South America, it was apparently unaware that "no va" means "it won't go." After the company figured out why it wasn't selling any cars, it renamed the car in its Spanish markets to the Caribe.
- Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious porno magazine.
Buckeyes vs Wolverines!
In the Ohio State Buckeyes locker room in Columbus, there's a sign stating, "Play like champions today!"
There's also one in the Michigan Wolverines locker room that says, "Don't forget your HELMET!"
More Church Bloopers!
- Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
- Miss Charlene Mason sang, "I Will Not Pass This Way Again," giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
- Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It is a good chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
- Next Sunday is the family hayride and bonfire at the Taylors. Bring your own hot dogs and guns. Friends are welcome! Everyone come for a fun time.
- The peace-making meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict.
- The sermon this morning: Jesus Walks on the Water. The sermon tonight: Searching for Jesus.
- Barbara C. remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Jack's sermons.
- The 'Over 60s Choir' will be disbanded for the summer with the thanks of the entire church.
- Missionary from Africa speaking at Calvary Memorial Church in Racine. Name: Bertha Belch. Announcement: "Come tonight and hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa."
- Announcement in a church bulletin for a National Prayer & Fasting Conference: "The cost for attending the Fasting & Prayer conference includes meals.
- Weight Watchers will meet at 7 p.m. Please use the large double doors at the side entrance.
- The associate minister unveiled the church's new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday: "I Upped My Pledge, Now Up Yours!"
- The outreach committee has enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are not afflicted with any church.
- Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 to 8:30 pm. Please use the rear entrance.
- Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 pm in the recreation hall. Come out and watch us kill Christ the King!