Brand names that don't export well.

We've been discussing brand names that don't export well on adlist this week. Some things can have names that people in other countries may misunderstand. It all began with this can above.

To which I exclaimed "personally I'm simply horrified that it comes in a can and is microwavable." but UK adlisters assured me that it's actually pretty decent. American and other adlisters meanwhile, were rolling on the floor laughing.

The UK does have a few of these not possible for US export food gems, such as:
six faggots

But really, Americans aren't much better I mean they serve:
sweet salty nuts

And lets not forget the Swedes who brought us the giggletastic classic "plopp" which makes everey UKer I know fall into gigglefits. It's a small chocolate bar with a creamy caramel center, obviously.
plopp

Snickering aside. There's a serious side to brand names that don't export well. Take for example the Australian brand Coon. If you sold this in the United states, you bet people would be offended, but in Australia Coon isn't a slur* - in fact it's the last name of Edward William Coon who founded the company.
coon
* see comments, it appears I was incorrect. Apologies.

This brings us to "Darkie" toothpaste over in China. The Wikipedia tells us how the name evolved from Darkie to Darlie after the 1985 merger with US corporation Colgate-Palmolive.
However, the Chinese name of the brand, "黑人牙膏" (in English, "Black Man Toothpaste"), has not changed; a Chinese-language advertising campaign reassured customers that "Black Man Toothpaste is still Black Man Toothpaste". This is because the term "黑人" does not have any negative meaning in Chinese. The phrase 黑人(hēi rén) in Chinese is a general term for persons of African descent. The wiki explains: "Because of the contrast with very dark skin, it was a common perception that the teeth of people of African descent were exceptionally white." White teeth is what we all want from a toothpaste and looking at it from that point of view, it makes sense but obviously wouldn't sell well in any country with a more mixed population.

I can't explain this name at all. I don't know what it is. I don't think that I'd ever dare to eat it. That has got to be the shittiest brand name in the world.

Now, if you excuse me, I'm going to eat some of my snacks and try not to giggle when I misread the name on this bag for the umptebillionth time.
nut sack

Comments (36)

  • Andrew Weiss's picture
    Andrew Weiss (not verified)

    Sep 07, 2011
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    atb2005 (not verified)

    Sep 10, 2011
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    atb2005 (not verified)

    Sep 10, 2011
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    atb2005 (not verified)

    Sep 10, 2011
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    atb2005 (not verified)

    Sep 10, 2011
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    Pomtidom (not verified)

    Feb 07, 2013

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Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.