When to Laugh At Your Marketing Colleagues

Who are we if we can’t laugh at our own mistakes? Okay, how about… who are we if we can’t laugh at our colleaguesmistakes? We’ve all unfortunately caused a blunder in our career, try as we might to avoid it, but who can say theirs was seen on a global scale? As professional marketers, we know that what works in one market is not always going to fly in another, let alone another country. Before you go wide with your campaign or pitch be sure that what works in Dallas will resonate in Detroit. And certainly be sure that what sells in Maine will work in Madrid. If not, take a moment to adapt your campaign. It will take mush less time and money to fix it ahead of time than to clean up a mess after you’ve offended people/been laughed at/lost customers. Behold some of our favorite marketing blunders!

1. Coors translates its slogan, “Turn it loose,” into Spanish, where it was read as “Suffer from diarrhea.” I am guessing everyone was not rushing out to buy beer.

 2. Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.” I personally do not buy products if I am aware they blatantly suck. At least the campaign rhymed.

3. 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 “sh*t stick” and I don’t think it sold well.

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