Marketing in foreign countries poses a number of challenges. In addition to dealing with translation problems from one language to another, companies must also take culture into consideration. Avoiding errors requires research of the local traditions, political and religious beliefs. The number of possible language barriers also includes the native library of slang terms as well as regional meanings for words.

Marketing Mistake Blunder in Spain

Organizations must understand that context and meaning are defined within a specific geographic domain. The meaning of a word can be different in the same country based on the location. This is also the case within Latin America, where each country, city and province has its own Spanish language. Ensuring market entry necessitates that products and services have acceptable and presentable names, advertising and packaging. Many major corporations have learned the pitfalls of not performing adequate research before entering foreign markets.

American Motors – Matador

American Motors is our first case study in marketing mistake blunder in Spain. The well-known automotive manufacturer created the “Matador.” Executives meant the moniker as a symbol that represented courage and strength. This choice proved to be a marketing mistake blunder in Spain and Latin countries. The term matador is synonymous with the bloody sport of bull-fighting and means killer. Needless to say, consumers were not interested in owning a vehicle with a name equated with death.

Mazda – Laputa

Marketing Mistake Blunder in Spain

The Mazda Laputa had to change its name before entering Spain

Mazda’s Laputa is our second case study in marketing mistake blunder in Spain. In 1999, Mazda introduced the “Laputa” minivan. The Laputa was introduced as a sort of Sports Utility Vehicle/KEI car mix. Mazda derived the name from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, however the car had problems in the Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries given that the word “puta” means prostitute. The ads boasted that the minivan provided a smooth, comfortable ride, was lightweight and featured an impact-absorbing body. For obvious reasons, distributors in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries insisted that the company rename the vehicle.


Nissan’s Moco is our third case study in marketing mistake blunder in Spain. Nissan made a marketing mistake blunder in Spain when attempting to introduce the minivan that the company named “Moco.” The word in Spanish translates to mean mucous. Distributors in Spanish-speaking countries requested that the vehicle have another name. Nissan


Marketing Mistake Blunder in Spain HafeziCapital International Consulting

Parker’s internal market team incorrectly translated its slogan to “a pen that will not get you pregnant.”

Parker is our fourth case study in marketing mistake blunder in Spain. The American company failed to research the translation of its slogan for leak-proof pens. Advertising included the phrase “it won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.” However, Parker inadvertently misunderstood the Spanish word “embarazar” for embarrass when attempting to convert the slogan to Spanish. The error translated the phrase into meaning “it won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”

Perdue Chicken

Perdue Chicken is our fifth case study in marketing mistake blunder in Spain. The chicken company owner Frank Perdue has a slogan that reads “it takes a tough man to make a tender chicken.” The phrase proved to be an embarrassing and inappropriate marketing mistake blunder in Spain. Giant billboards featured Perdue’s chicken with a caption that read, “it takes a hard man to make a chicken aroused.”


Traficante is our sixth case study in marketing mistake blunder in Spain. Rumor has it that the Italian bottled water company became popular with the criminal element in Spain. The word “traficante” in Spanish is a phrase that means drug trafficker.


In this increasingly dynamic and globalized world we see a convergence and interdependence between technology, human capital and developing an international market entry strategy. The major challenges facing decision-makers is the efficiently management of scarce resources and ensuring that international projects are appropriately designed, developed and implemented for long-term sustainability and corporate value creation. It is therefore imperative for organizations to interact with experts for new ideas and sound advice based on a solid set of facts that help solve problems and seize opportunities as they arise.

HafeziCapital’s International Business Consulting team offers you expert consultants who can manage all or part of your project from start to finish. HafeziCapital’s International Business Consulting team can guide you through each step and find solutions when needed.

Contact Us to obtain help in entering the Spanish Market

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...