The Top Ten Cultural Branding Failures

Showing that success of a hopeful new brand, is not a given, regardless of how talented a designer or agency dude you are. Brand failures generally exceed brand success. Still happy to be called a brand designer? Still think you have God like status to declare to clients and your peers that you always create successful brand identities?

Some of the funniest, even if some are proven to be urban myth, cultural branding failures mentioned in the excellent book ‘Brand Failures’ by Matt Haig. For the humorous commentary on these examples, I recommend you check the book out.


The general tag line ‘Come alive with the Pepsi Generation’ translates to ‘Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead’ in Taiwan.


‘Schweppes Tonic Water’ translates to ‘Schweppes Toilet Water’ in Italy.


The Ford ‘Pinto’ translates to ‘Small Penis’ in Brazil.

General Motors

The ‘Chevy Nova’ translates to ‘It doesn’t go‘ in Spain.

Rolls Royce

The Rolls Royce ‘Silver Mist’ translates toSilver Animal Droppings‘ in Puerto Rico.


The Mitsubishi ‘Pajerois slang for ‘Masturbator’ in Spanish.


The general tag line ‘Turn it Loose’ translates to ‘You will suffer from Diarrhoea’ in Spain.

Frank Perdue’s Chicken

The general tag line ‘It takes a strong man to make a tender chickentranslates to ‘It takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate’ in Spain.

Parker Pen

The general tag line ‘It wont leak in your pocket and embarrass you’ translates to ‘It won’t leak in your pocket and impregnate you’ in Mexico.


The Clairol ‘Mist Stick’ translates to ‘Manure Stick’ in Germany.

About this Post

Written by: Graham Smith: The Logo Smith

Date of Publication

First Published on: 2009/04/15 and Updated on: 2019/09/17

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