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.

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.
* 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

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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Dabitch's picture

Oh dear, I forgot my Danish Candy. This is good stuff. ;)

(I also have the black logo on a giant soft fleece which I have in my toddlers pram for heat/sudden picknic ideas. It gets a giggle from most other moms also on the park-path).

evil_tony's picture

There is a great brand of pies in South Africa (Cape Town more specifically) called Beavers Pies.

There was also a flavour of crisps which was a little odd - "Cheesy sausage". Strangely it did not last very long before being pulled off.

There is also a Christian bookshop called "Cum"?

PubADdict's picture

There's a good example of a Spanish product that wouldn't translate well to the Portuguese market, although they tried do enter it. I'll translate the meaning (apologies for the language I'm about to use).

The product, a line of ready made meals, is called in Spanish "La Broche de la Pila", which in Portuguese means "Blowjob of the Dick"!

Dabitch's picture

Gee, you'd think that would sell really well!

alex's picture

I'm quite keen to know what other kinds of blowjob there are.

Allan1's picture

A local radio show** has sort of created a new one - a Blowgie - where the guy eats a hoagie* while getting a blowjob.

* Hoagie = Submarine Sandwich = Sandwich on a long Italian roll, with miscellaneous meats, cheeses, etc. A Philadelphia favorite.

** The Preston and Steve Show, which also boasts an ice cream named after a catch-phrase of theirs: Gadzooks! (and now Gadzooks! Blanc), which they devised and is produced by Bassetts Ice Cream, and distributed locally by WaWa.

malkie66's picture

Dabitch, I've heard "Kukident" - a German denture toothpaste, means "dick in mouth" in Swedish. Can you confirm?

Dabitch's picture

Negative. Kuk is slang (much like cock) but for it to be "in mouth" you'd need Kukimun. "I" is "in" but dent is nothing, well except "dent" in english and if you add an "e" it'll be tooth/teeth in Italian.

RLDavies's picture

We've seen the Shitto Sauce on TV, in an interview years ago with somebody who collects this sort of thing. It's a kind of meat sauce, and looks pretty much like the name suggests. It was served with Pee Cola, which comes from the same country (Uganda, I think).

I recently bought the book Shelf Life by Rosie Walford, which I can recommend most heartily.

Kilteddude's picture

In Northern VA there is a car sales chain named after the founder's last name. "Koons of Manassas" When I first moved there I was shocked, but no one thought anything of it.

And spotted Dick is actually pretty good once you get past the name.

tfjules's picture

This post gave me a good chuckle, it is so true. When I am doing my weekly grocery shopping it seems I always go down the aisle that has a few cans of spotted dick on the shelf. This seems to add a bit of humor to my day.

LeonardKlaatu's picture

I've eaten far too many cans of SHITTO.

TDD's picture
Dabitch's picture

That's genius.

darkphoenix's picture

"but in Australia Coon isn't a slur"

For the record, this is not correct. Over here, "coon" is used as a derogatory term for Aboriginals. A few years ago we heard of an Aboriginal activist who tried (unsuccessfully) to get Kraft to change the name of their cheese...

Dabitch's picture

Oh, I had no idea - I naivly thought the word didn't exist in Australian English. Sorry about that, I've put a strike through the text.

Andreas-Udd's picture

I'm afraid to ask, but I can defend my ignorance with the fact that English is my second language. What on earth does coon mean?

Dabitch's picture
Andreas-Udd's picture

Oh! Holy shit.

Dabitch's picture

Speaking of shit. I forgot the poo tofu sticks. *shudder*

Zunken's picture

I was in Fuldar Germany and saw a car dealership Assmanshausen which I thought was hysterical untill I came to Minnesota where I found Kuntz Chevy/Buick of Coon Rapids. What is it with car sales that makes you have to have the worst names?

RLDavies's picture

How about Peniston Automotive?

Neo's picture

What about really bad shapes?

Dabitch's picture

BWAHAHAHAHA! Those are awesome! Me wANT!

Dabitch's picture

Oi, y'all I need to get me some more of these PMS BREATH MINTS

caffeinegoddess's picture

More bad shapes!
Found here.

Dabitch's picture

Jesus, this thread will never die, right? :))

Andrew Weiss's picture

Australia also has: "Golden Gaytime" Ice cream bars.

atb2005's picture

Cheesy Poofs

Dabitch's picture


atb2005's picture

Shitto is a product from Ghana. It's “a gravy made from dried pepper, smoked dried fish, dried shrimp power, a variety of spices, ginger, onion, garlic, tomatoes and seasoning.”

Via Ghana also comes this other product, called Pee Cola.

So we've got Shitto and Pee Cola.

atb2005's picture

Remember the AYDS diet candy commercial? No "disastrous brand names" post is complete without it. In fact, this is arguably the worst brand name ever invented!

atb2005's picture

Andrew Weiss previously mentioned Gaytime. Here's a recent Gaytime commercial, which is umm pretty gay.

Dabitch's picture

Should be noted that's a students spec job, not a real ad. :)

Pomtidom's picture

In Belgium there is a company that sells cured meats:

Dabitch's picture

That's epic.