Is your marketing campaign lost in translation?

Tag sits down for an interview with Sophie Youles, Creative Lead for World Writers, Tag’s language services division, to talk about the brand-shattering mistake marketers make when trying to be global.

How do brands get it wrong when adapting marketing campaigns for international markets?

If you’re a global company, of any size or prestige, you may believe that all you need to reach a multinational audience is to translate existing marketing materials. Your creative agency has already crafted the content to perfectly communicate the campaign messaging and now you’re thinking “we just need to convert all of those English words into Spanish.” This is the biggest, and sometimes even the most noticeable, mistake in marketing globally.

So, if translation is not as simple as it seems, what else do marketers need to think about when they are expanding into international markets?

You want your brand’s message to hit home, but when home changes, the content can get lost in translation, as different audiences have different reactions and emotional cues. Marketers generally get stuck on the words and forget to think about the importance of cultural nuances. More often than not, clients know the sentiments they hope to ignite in their international audiences, but don’t realize that the triggers for these emotions vary widely from market to market. Enter transcreation, translation’s culturally savvy, slightly capricious sister, and a much-needed solution for global marketing brands.

What is transcreation?

Using basic translation alone, the iconic Milk Board slogan “Got Milk?” would be “Are you lactating?” in Spanish. By identifying the emotional touchpoints (nutrition, security, family life) for the target audience in question and crafting copy back from that, the slogan “Familia, Amor y Leche” (Family, Love and Milk) was developed and circulated to Hispanic audiences, instead. That is transcreation.

The term “transcreation” is defined as the creative adaptation of marketing and advertising copy. With transcreation, our goal is to keep our clients “on brand” by sparking the right feeling in the target audience.  To do this, we enlist our internal Creative Team and an expert linguistic team of bilingual copywriters based in-market to carry out the transcreation process. We assemble a highly detailed creative brief that includes background and positioning, campaign goals, a description of the intended target audience, tone of voice, specific linguistic insights, and any other context clues to help dissect what the master copy is trying to say, to whom, and why.

The result? Relevant, compelling localized copy that reads as though it was tailormade for the market in question—something regular translation is unlikely to accomplish when dealing with nuanced, “above-the-line” content.

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Schedule a call today to find out how Tag can support your brand’s creative production and sourcing needs.

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