German automaker Audi should have thought about checking with its neighbors in France before settling on a name for its new all-electric line, the e-tron. As it happens, it’s a little too close to the French word “étron,” which means “excrement” or “turd.”
Audi is literally calling its new vehicle a POS.
But let’s not let that distract from the excitement of the company’s shiny Super Bowl LIII commercial, which, as seen on YouTube, starred a cashew. Well, it starred an office drone choking on a cashew, having a vision of being given the e-tron by his grandfather in a pastoral paradise, rounded out by a clip of Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky.”
In the ad, Audi promised that “One-third of all new Audi models will be electrified by 2025.”
“A new era of electric is here. Meet the Audi e-tron, the only electric SUV built with Audi DNA. With ample space for everyday life, long-range capability and exhilarating performance with Quattro all-wheel drive, this is way more than an electric car. This is electric done the Audi way,” reads the Audi website.
Twitter reactions to the Super Bowl spot were generally positive, with most users agreeing that Audi had one of the better commercials from the evening. They must not parlez francais.
“No to chunky milk. Pepsi is NOT okay. Audi eTron is winning. #SuperBowl,” user Kim Overstreet tweeted.
“Ok that Audi eTron commercial was pretty good #SuperBowl53,” tweeted KnitGnosis.
But not everyone was pleased.
“Disappointed with #Audi #etron ad – Audi is usually so clever with its #SuperBowl advertising. #SuperBowlExp #brandexperience,” said Debbie Laskey.
The lone reply that tweet received was from someone who finally got it.
“I just can’t stop laughing at the name etron. In French, it means ‘Turd.’ Such a good name XD,” tweeted GileadRoland – Ciaphas, whose Twitter bio lists their location as Strasbourg, France.
The Audi e-tron may be somewhat unfortunately named, but it’s not the first product to have such a distinction and it doubtless won’t be the last. Take, for example, Pee Cola, a soft drink from Ghana. Beverage site Dizzy Frinks notes that the soda is bottled in Ghana’s capital city of Accra and points out that Ghana’s official language is English. Awkward. Dizzy Frinks users ranked Pee Cola 7.6 overall, averaged across 50 ratings.
Not content with Pee Cola, Ghana is also on the list of poorly-named products with Shitto, a spicy pepper sauce. You can buy Shitto on Amazon, just like almost everything else in the world.