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When Mitsubishi PAJERO meets Mazda MR2 and market and trend researchers have not thought about the momentum...


Companies, agencies, designers and product managers, together with trend researchers, face the same difficulties time and again when it comes to new products on the way to to the hospital. Sometimes mistakes happen. Be it the wrong name or the wrong target group.

This blog article deals with some of the better known products and shows the story behind them.

"Mitsubishi Pajero. ... In Spanish, the word pajero means wanker in vulgar language."

When we encounter brands and products in everyday life, we rarely think about where the names come from and why the products are called the way they are called. Especially with names that are foreign for us no thought comes up. Thus our brain follows the natural urge of lethargy. But sometimes it is worth looking into a foreign dictionary or taking a step back. Here are some examples.

Mitsubishi Motors released the PAJERO in 1982 and quickly became a worldwide success with his successful participation in the Paris-Dakar Rally. The name was derived from the Latin Leopardus pajeros, which is at home in the impassable mountains of South America. In the Spanish-speaking area as well as in the English kingdom, Mitsubishi changed the name quickly, which is understandable at least in the first mentioned area, which means "Pajero" in the Spanish "Wichser" and a car with this name would certainly hardly have found buyers.

This somewhat clumsy naming is not an isolated case, however, and it is often Asian products that receive dubious honours in Europe. There is also the Mazda MR2, which does not offer an attack surface at the first moment, but which caused a sensation in France and quickly caused tears in the eyes. But you have to pronounce the M-R-2 in French and then you get to "em"-"er"-"dö" (phonetically written). This is then quickly pronounced "mer-de", which means "shit" without the hyphen.

It's not only products that are treated this way, but also internationally renowned artists repeatedly experience unexpected associations with your name during their travels. One of the best-known examples dates from the 1990s/2000s and concerns the hip hop artist "Puff Daddy", who was confronted with this name almost every day during his first trip to Germany, and in every interview. The same happened in 2015/16 to the African artist OMI, who in cooperation with the German DJ Felix Jaehn achieved the first Billboard No. 1 placement of a German artist in the USA for decades.

No matter whether your product, a product name, a campaign for a product or the entire brand image needs to be designed and built: Brands For Characters is a brand agency because we ourselves have products in the market so we have gathered daily experience. This gives us a decisive advantage over traditional advertising agencies, because we can really meet the customer at eye level and provide all the advice and ideas from many years of experience. You see: The name is the program for us, too. Brands For Characters