Global Branding Fail

10) One of the most successful taglines for Kentucky Fried Chicken was “finger lickin’ good”. The trouble is, when translated into Mandarin (or is it Cantonese?) it becomes “eat your fingers off”.

9) When UK telecom company Orange launched their tagline “the future’s bright, the future’s Orange” Catholics in Northern Ireland were angry because the term “orange” is associated with Protestantism.

8)The Mitsubishi Pajero won a number of awards around the world for being so robust. For brand consistency reasons, they wanted to use the name in every country. Unfortunately they didn’t do enough research in Spain and after the launch had to change the name because in Spain, Pajero means ‘wanker’. (In the UK a wanker is someone who masturbates).

7) Spain gets another mention for another failed automotive branding story. This one revolves around Chevrolet. Some time ago Chevrolet decided to introduce the Nova to the Spanish market. Sales were poor, why? Because in Spanish Nova means ‘no-go.’

6) No brand mistakes article would be complete without a contribution from Pepsi. My favourite one is the “come alive with the Pepsi generation” slogan, which in Taiwan is “Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead”.

5) And if we mention Pepsi, it’s only fair that we mention Coke. About 5 years ago, Coke wanted to break into the bottled water business. The name chosen was Dasani. OK so far. Coke announced that its “highly sophisticated purification process” was based on Nasa spacecraft technology. Soon after it was discovered to be a reverse osmosis process used in off the shelf domestic water purification tools. To make things even worse, just as the project was about to launch, it was discovered that the UK supply was contaminated with bromate, a chemical better known for causing cancer.

4) Five years ago, Cingular bought AT&T Wireless. AT&T was considered number one in terms of poor service. After the acquisition, Cingular binned the AT&T name. Four years later, Cingular Wireless was rebranded as AT&T Wireless.

3) As personal branding seems to be getting a lot of ink at the moment, one of my favourite gaffs was the one about Lee Ryan (of Blue fame) who gave an interview just after 9/11. During the interview he was quoted as saying, ‘What about whales? They are ignoring animals that are more important. Animals need saving and that’s more important. This New York thing is being blown out of proportion.’ Many industry insiders consider these comments to be the reason for the demise of Blue.

1) One of the greatest naming disasters of all time must be the attempt by Dragon Brands to change the Royal Mail of the UK from a 300 year old domestic mail only (government) institution to a multi dimensional distribution company. Dragon Brands did a lot of internal and external research over a two year period and then assessed the aims of the brand using measures that included ‘the three p’s’ – personality, physique and presentation.

Next they took three circular like shapes and filled them with words such as ‘scope’ and ‘ambition’ and apparently (I’m not making this up) this brought together ‘the hard and the soft aspects of the brand’s desired positioning.’

This remarkable process threw up hundreds of actual words as well as some that were made up. Apparently the brain storming team favoured Consignia because it included consign and the dictionary definition of consign is ‘to entrust to the care of’.

The cost of the new name was £2 million. It lasted approximately 18 months.

Fully integrated advertising campaign


 About Campbell Mithun With a 75-year legacy as a national agency, Campbell Mithun provides its clients with "Everything Talks" integrated communications solutions built around a big Pioneering Brand Idea.     
About Famous Footwear Famous Footwear is part of the Brown Shoe Company (NYSE: BWS), the leading consumer-driven footwear company in the country. 
Brown Shoe has been making and selling shoes for over 130 years, and along with exclusive brand partners including Naturalizer, LifeStride, Carlos by Carlos Santana, Franco Sarto, Etienne Aigner, Dr. Scholl's, Nickels Soft and Buster Brown, they pride themselves on quality and excellent service.

Minneapolis-based advertising agency, Campbell Mithun asks that very question in its new multifaceted and company, the campaign marks the first time in the Famous Footwear brand`s history to employ a campaign incorporating all media to tell one cohesive story that goes beyond selling shoes to selling an experience.   
Television and still imagery was shot by renowned director and photographer, Peggy Sirota. The new campaign consists of television, radio, online videos, in store POS and collateral and user-generated content with a heavy online component including e-mail blasts as well as interaction with social networking sites.  
 "Make Today Famous is Famous Footwear's call for everyone to make the most of each day," said Robert Clifton Jr., creative director at Campbell Mithun. "We have truly made Everything Talk to remind consumers that shoes not only change the way you look, the right pair can change the way you think, act and feel."   
The campaign recognizes the role shoes play in the consumer`s lives by reminding them that beyond function, shoes can make you feel carefree to powerful and everything in between, emphasizing how Famous Footwear can help make life's moments famous. Beyond fashion and emotion, the overarching message highlights Famous Footwear's value proposition of delivering "Famous" brands without spending a fortune.   
Launching July 13, the campaign expresses the very soul of the brand via a wide mix of touch points. Each message strategically tailored to promote the notion that each day, hour, minute and moment holds the promise of a chance to "Make Today Famous." On a personal level, a user-generated video that lives on www.famousfootwear.com as well as other social networking sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter asks people on the street "if you could do anything to Make Today Famous what would it be?" and then invites consumers to join the movement by uploading their own aspirations for making today famous.   
"We wanted to contemporize the Famous Footwear brand experience to challenge perceptions and create an emotional as well as rational connection with the audience. Hopefully creating droves of new customers in the process," said Jonathan Hoffman, president and chief creative officer at Campbell Mithun. "Make Today Famous demonstrates the power of making Everything Talk for a brand, which can only be accomplished in true partnership with a client, which is what we`re lucky enough to have with Famous Footwear. The campaign idea speaks to the customer at every point of engagement, in a singular differentiating voice."   For the past two years, Campbell Mithun has made Everything Talk for Famous Footwear by generating pioneering brand ideas like Make Today Famous. For more information please visit www.famousfootwear.com and www.cmithun.com. 


To promote its new show Fringe, Fox Television is playing an interesting game with its viewers, likened to Where’s Waldo. A mysterious character from Fringe called The Observer is now appearing in a variety of live events on the channel and is meant to get people watching more of Fox’s programming – trying to spot him creeping around. At the live events, he’s on-camera but goes completely unmentioned by hosts and commentators. Pretty interesting idea


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