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Boy, I tell you. Sun and three blue Intel dudes have nothing on these advertising geniuses...


"Eat your fingers off." -- "Finger lickin' good," as originally translated into Chinese.

"Suffer from diarrhea." -- "Turn it loose," as originally translated into Spanish for advertising of Coors. There's a reason why I hate beer...

"Fly naked." -- "Fly in leather," as originally translated into Spanish for advertising of American Airlines' leather first class seats. First class all the way!

Brochures and Newspapers:

"When a passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage tootle him with vigor." -- From a brochure at a Tokyo car rental firm. They rent those cars with the annoying musical horns that play La Cucaracha...

"Come to Juan's Jewelry Shop. We won't screw you too much." -- On cards handed out by a man in front of a jewelry shop in Mexico. At last! A dealer that tells it to you straight!

This one is my absolute favorite. I've held onto it for at least a couple years now, and it still can sometimes double me over in a fit:

"Having freshly taken over the propriety of this notorious house, I am wishful that you remove to me your esteemed costume. Standing among savage scenery, the hotel offers stupendous revelations. There is a French widow (sic) in every bedroom, affording delightful prospects. I give personal look to the interior wants of each guest. Here, you shall be well fed-up and agreeably drunk. Our charges for weekly visitors are scarcely creditable. Peculiar arrangements for gross parties, our motto is ever serve you right!" -- From a European holiday brochure.
The sale of Electrolux vacuum cleaners was a wee bit disappointing after they advertising campaign under the slogan:
Nothing sucks like Electrolux!

The next one works only for those who speak Finnish:
There's a user interface generation tool called SCADA. A Finn would say this is pronounced: "Skeida" which means nothing else but shite.
I met the software 30 minutes ago at a lecture. The lecturer asked if we are familiar with SCADA. Few funny faces there, eh..

New additions:

In French speaking countries Toyota's MR2 model wasn't that great success because MR2 is pronounced "merde" i.e. shit.

Nokia advertised their mobiles in Germany using slogan "Jedem das Seine" ("to each his due" or "to each his own") but te text appeared also above the gates of the concentration camp of Buchenwald!

Pepsi made a double-slip with it's slogan "Come alive with Pepsi generation": In Germany it was translated: "Get up from the grave with the help of Pepsi" and in Taiwan: "Pepsi reanimates your ancestors".

Coca-Cola wasn't any better in China where they tried to get the use of Chinese signs. As the result they advertised "a wax filled horse".

Spanish world has been difficult market area both Mitsubishi and General Motors. The former's Pajero model translated "wanker" in Spanish and the latter wondered why Nova model wasn't selling as expected. Well, the translations for "no va" is "not moving". Also Ford's Caliente was a mistake. Althought it means "hot" in official language street-talk has another meaning for it: "Whore"

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