October 28, 2009

Global Business Bloopers Part 1

A global business must create an identity in the global market. Because of this, it is required that every global entrepreneur must be sensitive enough with their marketing campaign. Entrepreneurs must be aware of linguistic and cultural variations and they must be serious with this. It must be noted that we are all not the same. So if you are into global market, you must see to it that your business do not sounds funny to some other culture. You might be bringing with you a brand name, or a caption which will trigger the sensitivity of others.

On the list are the perfect example of global marketing and communication mistakes:

1) Matsushita Electric

A Japanese company promoting a new Japanese PC for internet users. Panasonic created the new web browser and had received license to use the cartoon character Woody Woodpecker as an interactive internet guide. The day before the huge marketing campaign, Panasonic realised its error and pulled the plug. Why? The ads for the new product featured the following slogan: "Touch Woody - The Internet Pecker." The company only realized its cross cultural blunder when an embarrassed American explain what "touch Woody's pecker" could be interpreted as!


A Swedish furniture giant which uses the name "FARTFULL" for one of its new desks.


An American Computer Company which has a motto “Wang Cares”. They are wondering why British branches were refusing to use the motto. Of course, to British ears this sounds too close to "Wankers" which would not really give a very positive image to any company.


This Italian mineral water found a great reception in Spain's underworld. In Spanish it translates as "drug dealer".

5) Umbro

A UK sports manufacturer, they had to withdraw its new trainers (sneakers) called the Zyklon. The firm received complaints from many organizations and individuals as it was the name of the gas used by the Nazi regime to murder millions of Jews in concentration camps.

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