Real Advertisements

  • Two female Boston Terrier puppies, seven wks old, Perfect markings, 555-1234. Leave mess.
  • Lost: small apricot poodle. Reward. Neutered. Like one of the family.
  • A superb and inexpensive restaurant. Fine food expertly served by waitresses in appetizing forms.
  • Dinner Special — Turkey $2.35; Chicken or Beef $2.25; Children $2.00.
  • For sale: an antique desk suitable for lady with thick legs and large drawers.
  • Four-poster bed, 101 years old. Perfect for antique lover.
  • Now is your chance to have your ears pierced and get an extra pair to take home, too.
  • Wanted: 50 girls for stripping machine operators in factory.
  • Wanted: Unmarried girls to pick fresh fruit and produce at night.
  • We do not tear your clothing with machinery. We do it carefully by hand.
  • For Sale. Three canaries of undermined sex.
  • For Sale — Eight puppies from a German Shepperd and an Alaskan Hussy.
  • Great Dames for sale.
  • Have several very old dresses from grandmother in beautiful condition.
  • Tired of cleaning yourself? Let me do it.
  • Dog for sale: eats anything and is fond of children.
  • Vacation Special: have your home exterminated.
  • If you think you’ve seen everything in Paris, visit the Pere Lachasis Cemetery. It boasts such immortals as Moliere, Jean de la Fontain, and Chopin.
  • Mt. Kilimanjaro, the breathtaking backdrop for the Serena Lodge. Swim in the lovely pool while you drink it all in.
  • The hotel has bowling alleys, tennis courts, comfortable beds, and other athletic facilities.
  • Get rid of aunts: Zap does the job in 24 hours.
  • Toaster: A gift that every member of the family appreciates. Automatically burns toast.
  • Sheer stockings. Designed for fancy dress, but so serviceable that lots of women wear nothing else.
  • Stock up and save. Limit: one.
  • We build bodies that last a lifetime.
  • Man, honest. Will take anything.
  • Man wanted to work in dynamite factory. Must be willing to travel.
  • Used Cars: Why go elsewhere to be cheated? Come here first!
  • Christmas tag-sale. Handmade gifts for the hard-to-find person.
  • Modular Sofas. Only $299. For rest or fore play.
  • Wanted: Hair-cutter. Excellent growth potential.
  • Wanted. Man to take care of cow that does not smoke or drink.
  • 3-year-old teacher needed for pre-school. Experience preferred.
  • Our experienced Mom will care for your child. Fenced yard, meals, and smacks included.
  • Our bikinis are exciting. They are simply the tops.
  • Auto Repair Service. Free pick-up and delivery. Try us once, you’ll never go anywhere again.
  • Illiterate? Write today for free help.
  • Girl wanted to assist magician in cutting-off-head illusion. Blue Cross and salary.
  • Wanted. Widower with school-age children requires person to assume general housekeeping duties. Must be capable of contributing to growth of family.
  • Mixing bowl set designed to please a cook with round bottom for efficient beating.
  • Semi-Annual after-Christmas Sale.
  • And now, the Superstore–unequaled in size, unmatched in variety, unrivaled inconvenience.
  • We will oil your sewing machine and adjust tension in your home for $1.00.
  • 50% Off Our Rockers! Tires Slashed 30%!

Five Famous Commercials

These five commercials were aired during the Monica Lewinsky/Barbara Walters Interview” (and yes, these really did air during the interview)

  • Victoria’s Secret lingerie.
  • Burger King – featuring the song “It’s My Party, and I’ll Cry if I Want To.”
  • Oral-B Deluxe.
  • A promo for the TV movie “Cleopatra,” with the following voice-over: “When she was only 20, she seduced the most powerful leader in the world.”
  • Maytag’s Neptune washing machine – “It actually has the power to remove stains!”

Classified Ads

The following were actually taken from classified ads in newspapers:

  • free yorkshire terrier. 8 years old. Hateful little dog.
  • free puppies:
    1/2 cocker spaniel
    1/2 sneaky neighbor’s dog
  • free puppies…part german shepherd part stupid dog
  • German shepherd 85 lbs.
    Neutered. Speaks German. Free.
  • found: dirty white dog.
    Looks like a rat…
    Been out awhile..
    Better be reward.
  • 1 man, 7 woman hot tub — $850/offer
  • Amana washer $100.
    Owned by clean bachelor who seldom washed.
  • snow blower for sale…
    Only used on snowy days.
  • 2 wire mesh butchering gloves:
    1 5-finger, 1 3-finger, pair: $15
  • tickle me elmo, still in box,
    comes with its own 1988 mustang,
    5l, auto, excellent condition $6800
  • cows, calves never bred…
    Also 1 gay bull for sale.
  • 83 toyota hunchback — $2000
  • star wars job of the hut — $15
  • soft & genital bath tissues or
    facial tissue 89 cents
  • full sized mattress.
    20 yr. Warranty.
    Like new. Slight urine smell.
  • free 1 can of pork & beans with
    purchase of 3 br 2 bath home.
  • for sale:
    lee majors (6 million dollar man) – $50
  • nordic track $300
    hardly used, call chubby
  • bill’s septic cleaning
    “we haul American made products”
  • shakespeare’s pizza – free chopsticks
  • hummels – largest selection ever
    “if it’s in stock, we have it!”
  • get a little john:
    the traveling urinal
    holds 2 1/2 bottles of beer.
  • harrisburg postal employees
    gun club
  • georgia peaches
    california grown
    89 cents lb.
  • nice parachute:
    never opened – used once
    slightly stained
  • free: farm kittens. Ready to eat.
  • american flag
    60 stars – pole included
  • tired of working for only $9.75
    per hour? We offer profit
    sharing and flexible hours.
    Starting pay: $7 – $9 per hour.
  • exercise equipment:
    queen size mattress and box springs
  • our sofa seats the whole mob and it’s made of 100% italian leather.
  • joining nudist colony!
    Must sell washer and dryer
  • lawyer says client is not that guilty.
  • alzheimer’s center prepares for an affair to remember
  • gas cloud clears out taco bell.
  • open housebody shapers toning salon
    free coffee and donuts
  • fully cooked boneless
    smoked man
    $2.09 lb

Bad Marketing Translations

  • The Dairy Association’s huge success with the campaign “Got Milk?” prompted them to expand advertising to Mexico. It was soon brought to their attention the Spanish translation read “Are you lactating?”
  • Coors put its slogan, “Turn It Loose,” into Spanish, where it was read as “Suffer From Diarrhea.
  • Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign:
    “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.”
  • Clairol introduced the “Mist Stick,” a curling iron, in to Germany only to find out that “mist” is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the “Manure Stick.”
  • When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with the smiling baby on the label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the labels of what’s inside, since many people can’t read.
  • Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious pornographic magazine.
  • An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope’s visit. Instead of “I Saw the Pope” (el Papa), the shirts read “I Saw the Potato” (la papa).
  • Pepsi’s “Come Alive With the Pepsi Generation” translated into “Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back From the Grave” in Chinese.
  • The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as “Kekoukela”, meaning “Bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with wax”, depending on the dialect.Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent “kokou kole”, translating into “happiness in the mouth.”
  • Frank Perdue’s chicken slogan, “It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken” was translated into Spanish as “it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate.”
  • When Parker Pen marketed a ball-point pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to have read, “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.” The company thought that the word “embarazar” (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad read: “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant”
  • When American Airlines wanted to advertise its new leather first class seats in the Mexican market, it translated its “Fly In Leather” campaign literally, which meant “Fly Naked” (vuela en cuero) in Spanish.
  • Ford blundered when marketing the Pinto in Brazil because the term in Brazilian Portuguese means “tiny male genitals”.
  • Ikea products were marketed in Thailand with Swedish names that in the Thai language mean “sex” and “getting to third base”.”
  • KFC made Chinese consumers a bit apprehensive when “finger licking good” was translated as “eat your fingers off”.”
  • Mercedes-Benz entered the Chinese market under the brand name “Bensi,” which means “rush to die”.
  • Nike had to recall thousands of products when a decoration intended to resemble fire on the back of the shoes resembled the Arabic word for Allah.
  • Panasonic launched a Web-ready PC with a Woody Woodpecker theme using the slogan “Touch Woody: The Internet Pecker”.
  • Paxam, an Iranian consumer goods company, markets laundry soap using the Farsi word for “snow,” resulting in packages labeled “Barf Soap”.
  • Puffs marketed its tissues under that brand name in Germany even though “puff” is German slang for a brothel.
  • Vicks introduced its cough drops into the German market without realizing that the German pronunciation of “v” is “f” making “Vicks” slang for sexual intercourse.

Truth About Car Ads

    ….before it blows up.
    ….was blindsided by a Winnebego.
    ….just don’t try to drive it anywhere.
    ….I never had anything fixed, adjusted, or replaced.
    ….each one more troublesome than the next.
    ….unfortunately, that’s the best thing I can say about it.
    ….doesn’t run.
    ….doesn’t run.
    …doesn’t run.