When Transcreation Service Could Save the Marketing Campaign
Translation, localisation and transcreation services are three different services offered within the translation industry. When hiring a professional company to provide translation or transcreation services, it is important to discuss your specific goals and requirements. If you are launching an international or multilingual marketing campaign, we advise opting for transcreation services over a more literal translation.
What is Professional Transcreation?
Transcreation, also known as creative translation, is a high-level type of translation combined with copywriting, ideal for international marketing campaigns. A text or slogan is transcreated into a new language in a way that captures the meaning and intent of the message.
Experts offering transcreation services should consider the local context and the business needs of the campaign. Good transcreation examples have accounted for local history, culture, and folklore, as well as metaphors and idioms of the target language. It is important to think about and address unique references that are recognizable to the original audience but may not be clear to the target audience.
One successful transcreation example comes from the Pixar film Inside Out. In most versions of the film, the vegetable that baby Riley dislikes is broccoli, but in Japan, broccoli does not have a negative reputation amongst children; the Japanese version of Inside Out depicts baby Riley disliking green bell peppers. This small change conveys the same message to the audience, but in a local context.
Three Examples of Transcreation Fails
Poorly transcreated marketing materials can be disastrous for a marketing campaign. There are plenty of transcreation examples where companies failed to invest in transcreation services. This always led to poorly executed and embarrassing marketing campaigns.
- One well-known example featured Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) signs encouraging their new Chinese customers to “eat their fingers off” when first launching in China in the 1980s. The slogan “finger-lickin’ good” had not been contextually transcreated, with embarrassing results. Using professional transcreation services instead of a more literal translation would have mitigated the problems with this transcreation example.
- Another example of a company failing to use transcreation services was when the American Dairy Associationsent their iconic “Got Milk?” campaign to Spanish-speaking countries. When the phrase is directly translated to Spanish, it can be interpreted as “Are you Lactating?”. Needless to say, this slogan was both inappropriate and poorly received.
- Hiring high-quality transcreation services would have helped P&G when they launched the Pampers diaper brand in Japan. Instead, the product launch became one of many notorious transcreation examples online. P&G had successfully used advertising featuring imagery of a baby being delivered by a stork in the USA. Assuming that this imagery would resonate in Japan, they launched Japanese tv adverts that were similar to the American adverts. However, in Japanese folklore, babies are delivered on giant peaches floating down a river, not via stork.
In short, professional transcreation services can help you achieve the intended communication goals in new markets. You also need to consider the complexity of your content and differences in original and target audiences when choosing the services that are most appropriate for your project.
Renaissance Translations’ Professional Transcreation Services
Your carefully designed product deserves a marketing campaign that will get a positive reception from the target audience. Don’t let your entry into new international markets become as iconic as some of the transcreation examples mentioned above.
Our experts offer professional transcreation services at affordable prices. We have transcreated documents and campaigns for many global brands. Your partnership with Renaissance Translations comes with professional memberships such as ATC and SDL LSP Partner Programme. We can also guarantee to meet any tight deadline placed on us. Contact us to find out how our transcreation services could benefit your marketing campaign.