A new condiment introduced in Canada for a limited time is eliciting quite the reaction on social media for its unintentionally saucy name.
Kraft Heinz has acknowledged “Mayochup,” its mayonnaise-ketchup product, has an "unfortunate translation" in Cree. Arden Ogg, director of the Cree Literacy Network, told the Canadian Press that the name can be construed as "shit face" in a Northern region of Ontario.
While the condiments company is a bit red-faced about the flub, the moniker actually came to be as a result of social media crowdsourcing.
So naturally, Twitter, the medium that named the product, had plenty to say about the Cree translation.
I have some important information to distribute about Mayochup, first shared with me by Jonathan Solomon of Kashechewan First Nation pic.twitter.com/e2FRDnKj8v— Waubgeshig Rice (@waub) May 17, 2019
So it sounds revolting and its name translates into something revolting. Bravo Heinz 😂😂😂😂https://t.co/UfC07T5go0— Gerald Chyzenski (@GeraldChyz) May 21, 2019
I’m getting Mayochup’d tonight!— Waylon, usually (@BannockHammock) May 19, 2019
It eventually made international headlines.
There’s even a petition to get the product renamed.
Petition to rename it "Shitface Sauce" 😂 😂 😂https://t.co/8mwOCO0VVH— MTL Blog (@mtlblog) May 21, 2019
This certainly isn’t the first branding blunder that has made some do a double-take - and would be considered quite mild compared to other cringey marketing mishaps.
Last year, luxury brand Dolce and Gabbana launched a culturally insensitive and sexually suggestive ad campaign that featured a Chinese model attempting to use chopsticks to pick up Italian food like pizza and cannolis. The designers apologized for the campaign and were forced to cancel a fashion show in Shanghai.
A Heineken ad released in March 2018 with an unfortunate slogan was immediately labeled as racist. It featured a bartender sliding a beer past three black people, to a white woman, followed by the tagline “Sometimes, lighter is better”.
In 2015, Yellow Pages were put on blast for a subway ad mixed up a Korean food staple. It read “Find out if Bi Bim Bap tastes as fun as it sounds” juxtaposed with a graphic of a bowl of noodles. The dish actually consists of rice.
that's not bibimbap, @yellowpages_ca, those are noodles pic.twitter.com/tD0tb8JQU6— edwin (@edwaan) July 28, 2015
Also in 2015, British grocery store Tesco promoted bacon-flavoured Pringles in a display case with the messaging, Ramadan Mubarak.
David Soberman, a marketing professor at the Rotman School of Management, says the world of marketing is an on-going education, and sometimes lessons are learned after a product has been launched.
“There was no ill intent with this (product) but guess what, I bet you the next time Heinz launches a product, they’ll check what it means in Cree,” he tells Yahoo Canada News.
The fact that Mayochup is only on shelves for a limited time means there’s little the company can do outside of issue a statement acknowledging the flub.
“If it’s a short-time product then it’s less likely to be a big issue than if it was a big launch for something that was going to be around for the next 30 years,” he says.