Many national advertisers have fallen victim to poor translations. One of the more tame ones was for the “Got Milk” campaign. When translated to Spanish it came out as “Are you lactating?” To Latino mothers, the thought of running out of milk is personally offensive. Fortunately the faux pas was discovered and corrected early before it became an international incident.
Another translation miscue involved a curling iron sold by Clairol called the “Mist Stick.” When the product was introduced in Germany no one considered slang, and in German mist translates to manure. Talk about a tough sell!
Want another one? When Coors Brewing Company translated its slogan “Turn it loose” into Spanish, someone should have told them it’s a colloquial term for having diarrhea. Talk about a buzz kill.
Here is an example of how even something simple can become confusing to the target audience. We had a client who wanted to tie a sale into college basketball’s “March Madness” tournament with a play on words for “Sweet Sixteen”. In English it worked great, but did you know that in Spanish, “Sweet Sixteen” has no real significance? In the Spanish culture a Quinceañera is a celebration when a young lady reaches 15 years of age rather than 16. To Latinos there is no “Sweet Sixteen” or even “Sweet Fifteen.” Also a Quinceañera has nothing to do with college basketball.
At Weho Studios we’ve translated thousands of commercials for radio, TV and streaming services for many of our clients.
We’ve even helped our clients refocus entire campaigns that made total sense in English, but not so much in Spanish. When you are trying to build your brand and bring in consumers, the last thing you need to worry about is offending or confusing your target audience.
Weho Studios has developed successful partnerships with a variety of clients and we’d like to work with you. Please contact us by filling out this form, or call us at (713) 999-5297 and let’s talk!