At Genesis, we are sometimes asked to check product and brand names prior to their launch in various countries. In some cases, a product name translates into a disagreeable slang or off putting term. They may make great stories and hilarious jokes, but cause embarrassment and even real marketing damage to these ill-named products.
Mitsubishi Pajero: When Mitsubishi launched its off-road vehicle model Pajero, it was proud of its new product and unaware of the naming gaffe. It turns out that in Latin American Spanish slang, Pajero is a term of abuse meaning wanker or a person who fiddles with himself for sexual gratification. If it had only devoted a miniscule percentage of its time and money to checking the name, Mitsubishi would have prevented the embarrassment. In response to the reactions they received, they quickly changed the vehicle’s name of the Montero.
More naming gaffes – in the next post