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The Horrors of Cross-Cultural Advertising Translations

When it comes to translating a word or a sentence to another language the quickest way is to use an online translator that gives you a hopefully near-perfect translation. But what happens when these go wrong?

Brands and agencies spend millions of dollars each year translating their content to precisely share their message with speakers of a foreign language, or residents of another country. However, the high expense does not necessarily mean that the message will directly translate and be culturally relevant to the consumer. As we examine deeper, American companies have made some funny, yet horrible cross-cultural advertising translations to Spanish speakers worldwide. These errors have likely cost the companies dollars as well as lost opportunities to make relevant cultural connections with potential new clients.

Parker Pens won’t make you Pregnant

parker penA prime example of a historical translation error was when Parker Pen marketed their ballpoint pen in Mexico. Their English ad slogan was, “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.” Though, the company mistakenly thought that the Spanish word for ’embarrass’ was embarazar, which actually means to be pregnant. The Spanish ad comicly stated, “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”…

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8 Insights to know about hispanic millennials, #8 Advertising


AdvertisingUS Hispanic Millennials over-index in being receptive to advertisements and offers from brands about their products and services. Experian Marketing Services in 2013 discovered that 19% of Hispanics aged 18 to 34 are interested in receiving advertisements on their mobile devices, compared to only 9% of non-Hispanics of the same age group.  In fact 23% of Hispanic Millennials confirmed they would be likely to follow up and complete a purchase of products they had seen advertised on their mobile devices.  This can be compared with just 14% of non-Hispanics who reported the same.

Additionally, in 2013 Hispanic market research firm ThinkNow found that 77% of Hispanic Millennials confirmed that advertising received on their mobile phones provided information useful to them about new products and services they would consider for purchase.


There you have it. So whether you are actively pursuing the Hispanic Millennial market or simply care to know more about this group we sure hope that you enjoy this Hispanic mobile advertising report. Please take a moment to share with us via social media or our contact form about what your brand is doing to connect with this ever-evolving, and always interesting group!

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