More than words

All marketing professionals know that a successful campaign is not made through visual or written content alone. In order to ellicit the desired response from the audience the two must work together. It is this relationship that makes it almost impossible to separate one from the other whilst retaining the intended meaning. This is why Transcreation exists; instead of extracting the words from the campaign for translation, it examines the campaign as a whole. This will identify anything which the intended audience may find offensive or confusing.

a successful campaign is not made through visual or written content alone

Failure to translate
There are many examples of high profile campaigns that crash when they reach international markets and this is often nothing to do with the quality of the creative campaign. Pepsi learnt a hard lesson when their campaign strapline ‘Come Alive with Pepsi’ arrived in China with a literal translation of ‘Pepsi bring your ancestors back from the dead’. When tech company Intel wanted to launch their ‘Sponsors of tomorrow’ campaign to the Brazilian market they couldn’t run with the literal translation in Portuguese because it insinuated that Intel would be unable to deliver on their promises. When a translation delivers a different meaning to the intended message, at best the marketing campaign could fail but at its worst, brand reputation could be damaged within the given country.

How to use transcreation
From the examples above you can see how easy it can be to fall foul of a literal translation. Yet going back to the drawing board and devising a new campaign is often not viable. Transcreation is the ideal solution for this scenario.

Saab used Transcreation to support the launch of their global campaign when their message required localisation:

Adapting their message on their ‘Saab vs. Oxygen’ campaign, the Swedish automobile manufacturer wanted to portray the open space their customers would experience whilst driving their convertible car.

In the US the advert headline read ‘Saab vs. Oxygen bars’ as Oxygen bars were popular in the US at the time. Whereas in Sweden the Oxygen bar didn’t exist so running the same message did not make sense. Through the transcreation process the campaign for Sweden ran with ‘Saab vs. klaustrofobii’. By substituting ‘Oxygen bar’ with the Swedish word for claustrophobia, the wording was changed but the campaign retained its message.

“sometimes the literal wording needs to be changed for the campaign retain its message”

If you are planning a global campaign, ask your Language Service Provider about Transcreation. It could be the best investment you make.