Naming is an important part of brand identity, and product names often go through different stages of development, from focus group testing to branding, before being slapped on a label and sold in stores. But even with all this testing and discussion terrible brand names sometimes slip through, and other times what we perceive as being a bad brand name is simply a matter of mistranslation.
Here are the stories behind ten products with seemingly unfortunate names, and the real story behind their bad brand names:
1. Tastes Like Grandma Homemade Jam-
Let's start off the list with a lighthearted entry- Tastes Like Grandma Homemade Jam, which derives its bad name from a typo.
Add an apostrophe and the letter S after Grandma and you've got a normal product, leave it like it is and it sounds like a spread beloved by cannibals and zombie cosplayers! If they ever come out with a Tomacco flavored jam they can slap Ralph Wiggum's face on the label and cash in!
2. Barf Detergent-
Generally folks are trying to clean the barf out of their clothes rather than trying to clean their clothes with barf, so this detergent probably isn't a top seller in English speaking countries. However, Barf is probably a fine cleaning product, and the word "barf" is Persian for "snow" so it makes sense after all!
3. Pee Cola-
Pee cola is brewed and bottled in Ghana out of cola, sugar and soda water, so it's not pee as you and I know it, that is until it comes out again. In this case the "pee" in Pee Cola actually means "Very Good", and this popular soda pop's sales certainly don't suffer due to mistranslation.
Megapussi is a word written across bags of chips all over Finland, but despite what your dirty mind might think the name actually means "large bag" in Finnish. So it turns out Megapussi is a bag size and not a monster movie about a giant cat battling a massive chip monster!
Contrary to popular belief Batmilk does not contain milk from a bat, but can you image all the wee milkers and tiny buckets it would take to squeeze out enough milk from bats to make this product?
Batmilk is a milky yogurt drink named "bat" after the company's name "Batavo", but due to bad press the company has since changed the name of the product to something less Chiroptera inspired.
6. Breast Munchies-
Breast Munchies is another unfortunate brand name that demonstrates how the omission of key words can make a fine food product seem unsavory. Leave out important words like "chicken" or "meat" and you've got a product that makes the purchaser feel like a total pervert!
7. Only Puke-
Chalk this one up to poor package design- the package actually says "Only Pukeet", and according to those who have eaten the snack these honey bean crackers are quite delicious and don't make you want to puke at all.
8. 666 Cold Preparation-
They must have a devil of a time selling this product in the Bible Belt! Usage of the number of the beast in the title comes from the formula created by company founder Tharp Spencer Roberts over 100 years ago:
The name derived from the prescription pad number on which he wrote a formula to treat a rural preacher with a severe case of malarial fever and chills. This formula was credited with saving the life of the much beloved fever sufferer and it came to be requested by reference to the “666” number off the prescription pad.
So you're not actually making a pact with Satan when you buy 666 Cold Relief, and no exorcist is needed as long as you take the recommended dosage!
9. Pet Sweat-
This product name may seem like a mistake, but it's actually named Pet Sweat on purpose- this Japanese product is an energy drink for dogs, meant to rehydrate dogs after they've been playing hard. Perhaps if they'd named it "For Pets After They Sweat" there wouldn't have been any room for misinterpretation.
10. OilyBoy Magazine-
The name "oilyboy" may make you think this is a dirty magazine, and the fact that it's Japanese and has a winking Popeye on the cover may reinforce that misconception. But OilyBoy is actually a lifestyle mag for Japan's "elder boys", grown men who are young at heart and live a life of leisure.
OilyBoy was actually a nickname given to Jiro Shirasu, and since Jiro is considered one of the coolest Japanese guys ever the creators thought it would lend a sense of flair to their hip magazine.
These fine products should serve as proof that you can't judge all brands by their names, because sometimes a bad brand name is simply a matter of interpretation!