The cultural consultation is one of the most unique services within the Tag Localization repertoire. It’s a bespoke report containing qualitative responses from our extremely well-informed linguistic team members, evaluating how specific assets will resonate in their local market. We call it “asking the right people the right questions”—we’re able to contribute unique, nuanced cultural insights that are industry-specific and go beyond what can be found with a quick Google search. Our consultations are highly customizable and can be tailored to suit the needs of any client or project.
We recently worked with a large, US-based consumer goods company that wanted our help launching a new product in the UK. The client wanted to make the most of the existing creative materials, but needed more information. They enlisted us to design, streamline, and manage the localization process from end to end, using our cultural insight services to identify what could work as-is, what needed to change, and how to execute those necessary alterations in order to achieve maximum impact.
Looking at the UK market specifically, our cultural consultation brought to light several unique insights that became fundamental in shaping the direction of the final executions—including, but not limited to, the below:
- The US video spots were set in Alaska and narrated by a middle-aged male voice actor who sounded like a blue-collar worker; for the UK, we recommended changing the setting to an “extreme” area of the country like Scotland, using a Scottish voice actor with a gritty, rugged accent to make the concept more relevant to British consumers.
- Some language had to be adjusted to work effectively locally. For example, we recommended rephrasing “ain’t” for the UK market, as the term is too specific to the US and wouldn’t resonate with the British audience.
- We recommended tweaking the tone of the content to incorporate humor, which our UK linguists noted would help the spots stick in consumers’ minds and align more closely with the British advertising market. The earnest, “folksy” tone of the US spots sounded too American.
After reviewing the existing materials and deliberating with the client, we agreed on which assets would work well across all markets (with some tweaking), decided to cut the others, and proceeded with adapting language and casting talent to narrate the video voiceovers and radio spots. Per our standard process, we enlisted the same copywriters throughout, and used our key findings to inform all adaptations. The campaign was successfully launched in the spring of 2019, and we are still working with the client to support with adaptation of additional supplementary assets.
Cultural consultations can help with many different aspects of a campaign, and often illuminate fascinating market-specific nuances that can help shape future work in surprising ways. Even markets that seem similar, or technically speak the same language, are vastly different culturally, and repurposing US assets doesn’t always work.
While our preferred workflow is to begin any new project or partnership with a consultation to vet existing content and ensure we’re approaching transcreation in the most effective way possible, we’re happy to engage at any step of the process, and can accommodate any consultation request, big or small!