“Content is king”. How many times if you heard that expression? We have lost count of how many times a day we reiterate the importance of content marketing, and of marketing in any shape or form. And that this communication technique can lead you to the greatest of successes, or ruin your life (or your company, depending on how you look at it). And to “look at it” a little closer, here are three serious marketing translation mistakes that have caused quite a stir.

Marketing translations that have made an impression

1 – Soft drinks…somewhat gothic Who hasn’t tried to once in their life? It tastes good, right? Especially after a hot day or to enjoy some relaxing time with your friends. Schweppes is one of the biggest producers of tonic. Its drinks are famous and are sold in hundreds of countries. However, Italians will forever remember the launch of a new kind of tonic, which on following the wrong advice, the company translated as “Schweppes gothic, “instead of “Schweppes tonic.” We know that tonic also has a dark side. [Sharer] 2 – A wax-filled mare or Coca-Cola? Famous brands like Coca-Cola have also slipped up by not hiring translation professionals, or for not regarding marketing translation as that important. Some people in Asia may remember in astonishment, the launch of Coca-Cola in China. The campaign was headlined “Ke-cou-Ke-La”, which means a “wax-filled mare.” Thousands of posters had already been printed when the company noticed its blunder. Fortunately, it was able to rectify it by hand, adding a different ending to the slogan, changing the meaning to “happiness in your mouth”, which was a little more consistent with product. 3 – American Airlines Mexico turns to nudism If you like nudism, you’re in luck. Some years ago American Airlines promoted this (unintentionally, through ignorance) in a promotional campaign for the new leather seats in its aircraft. Without thinking twice, they used Google translate for the (literal) translation of the American campaign “Fly in Leather”, which produced “vuela en cueros”, which actually means “fly in the nude”. So there you are, if you did do it, they’d have no right to complain.

Is translating marketing content good thing?

Of course! Providing that you contract a professional translator to do it. The so-called “content marketing” is a communication technique that, by its very nature, provides useful and quality content that is attractive to the end customer. Ambiguous? Yes, a little, above all if you consider that this marketing technique drives thousands and thousands of millions of euros a year. Content marketing forms part of the company’s global communication strategy. Don’t try to sell directly, avoid working with purely promotional or publicity related content. Your aim is to attract new clients and create loyalty among existing clients. Do you now understand why translating marketing content is so important? You will be more efficient both in your country and abroad, and you will undoubtedly increase your turnover. And now that we have learned some lessons on inexcusable marketing translation mistakes, let’s get to work on improving! Which is the worst marketing translation mistake that has grabbed your attention?


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