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A Beautiful Mind

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Matsushita Electric is promoting a new Japanese PC targeted at the Internet. Panasonic has developed a complete Japanese Web browser, and to make the system "user-friendly", licensed the cartoon character "Woody Woodpecker" as the "Internet guide." Panasonic eventually planned on a world version of the product.

A huge marketing campaign was to have introduced the product in Japan last week. The day before the ads were to be released, Panasonic suddenly pulled back and delayed the product launch indefinitely.

The reason: the ads featured the slogan "Touch Woody - The Internet Pecker." An American staff member at the internal product launch explained to the stunned and embarrassed Japanese what "touch woody" and "pecker" meant in American slang.

-From EE Times, October 8, 1996

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