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4 Key Elements to Achieve Global Brand Success
2017-03-12 00:00

There has been a lot of discussion as to whether ‘Transcreation’ is anecessary term or if

it is another fancy way of saying ‘Translation’. But companies, agencies, and linguists now understand that marketing text is not like any text. It not only implies culture, as translation does, but also other language nuances such as humour,irony, timing, momentum and creative intent.


Transcreation means freedom, but with certain limitations. And these limitationsare not the same as in Translation.


Asuccessful tagline may work in the US, but not in China. This is kindof obvious. But that’s exactly why agencies rely on linguists withexperience in target markets. As well as helping you with translation, agencies have reliable human resources to work ascultural consultants. This is really helpful when it comes to knowingif a similar campaign is currently running on tv, if there’s arecent ad on the radio with the same creative concept or if the printthey’re working on has been used by competitors three monthsearlier. It’s not only about achieving the highest possiblestandards, but also about preventing a campaign from disaster.


Whichelements should we take into account when adapting or creating campaigns that will later feature in other countries? These are somebasic questions that will lead you to success:


1.To whom are you speaking?

This is a tricky one! While in several countries it is possible toapproach the target audience in an informal tone, this could mean atotal catastrophe in other countries. Something as basic as using‘you’ can change the whole feeling of a sentence depending on thelocation. For example, in Spain, ‘usted’ is used by formal industries like medicine or law. However, many banks — which couldbe considered as part of the most formal industry —are now choosing‘tú’, which is a more relaxed way of saying ‘you’ with the objective of appealing to a new generation and to differentiate themselves from competitors.


This may seem insignificant, but a social change is implied and that is why professionals thatunderstand the culture, the history of advertising and their ownlanguage must be involved when adapting the original copy to a newaudience. Only a curious transcreator (who is experienced inmarketing) could say which way the wind is blowing.


2.Are you using the right emojis?

Emojis are here to stay, but they should be treated with caution. In some languages copy can be so powerful that adding an emoji is redundant.However, when adapting a campaign to another language, that‘powerful’ nuance could mean ‘serious’, so to relax theintention of the message, an emoji could help a lot. The same happenswhen an emoji is out of place and should be removed.


Emojis should be reviewed depending on the market. And, of course, linguists and copywriters should put quality before quantity, as it is aresource that should be managed in a smart way so it preserves itseffect and adds to the copy.


3.Which are the forbidden words?

Thisis probably the most important point. There are certain words that should be avoided in some languages, while in others can mean beautiful things. Language specialists are aware of this and willkeep this in mind when it comes to ‘adapting’ a campaign. But what exactly does adapting a campaign mean? We could say it isgetting final copy that works as the original would, accomplishing the marketing objectives, and maintaining the spirit of the brand. Sounds complex right? It is also exciting. No need to worry, a good agency and a good linguist would recognise a ‘wrong’ word immediately in their own language.


4.Is your company ‘translatable’?

Whena company is global, it understands the power of good copy. When aglobal company has a vision, it understands that copy is only good ifit can be adapted to other countries where it has presence.


It is wise to count on a copywriting team in-house to create thecontent. But this only works

if these copywriters are aware thatthey’re crafting content that will later be adapted for another market. This doesn’t mean creating plain, neutral text. It means forward planning and taking care of elements that, if not observed,could be an issue for the company in the future.

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