Transcreation – Creating a Global Marketing Campaign


The main purpose of marketing is to deliver the message of your organisation in an attractive, unique and professional manner to have a positive impact on your intended target audience. In order to stand out in a highly competitive market with an overabundance of businesses and companies offering the same services and products, your marketing campaign needs to be creative and compelling. Companies of all sizes and industries are now looking to expand globally to capture a share of the international consumer market.

Although the world is often referred to as a global village, there are still several barriers companies need to overcome in order to create global awareness regarding their respective brands. Language and culture are one of the biggest barriers for companies looking to expand their operations globally. Innovative and brilliant marketing campaigns might be successful in one part of the world but would lose all their charm if the message gets lost in translation. If your company or business manages to overcome this immense barrier, it will open up to endless opportunities to expand its operations globally.

Clarity, relatability and innovation –these are three essential components of a successful marketing campaign. A marketing message which cannot be comprehended by the audience properly and does not resonate with the culture and customs, will be considered as a disaster. People will not be compelled to purchase your products or use your services. This is why, in order to create an effective and successful marketing campaign for a global audience, you need to acquire services of a professional language service provider.

Expanding your operations globally does not only include translation of your company’s message into the local language, but it requires transcreation. Transcreation services include the recreation of your marketing campaign using the original message of the company. A team of dedicated, skilled and experienced linguist experts, copywriters and designers transcreate your marketing plan in a way which resonates with the home audience.

Transcreation Builds Cultural Bonds through Understanding

You can substantially save your money and potential embarrassment when you think strategically, involving language service provider on developing an International marketing campaign. Also, one cannot afford not to take advantage of transcreation services on deploying an international marketing campaign, in our globalized world. In case you do not hire a transcreation service provide your marketing campaigns, results in communication gaps or language barriers, hurting your brand’s image.

Also, it can potentially insult your target audience when you are unable to come up with inappropriate campaigns, tarnishing your company. Basically, transcreation considers political influences, local market insights, mannerisms and gestures, traditional customs, gender views, levels of conservatism, and ideologies that greatly vary between languages, cultures, and countries. It understands the local culture of the particular targeted region, so that your message is conveyed to the potential audience, ensuring about the same spirit which it does in your home market.

Lost in translation – Famous marketing disasters due to mistranslation

  • Colgate-Palmolive launched a toothpaste brand called ‘Cue’ in France without realising that there was a pornographic magazine with of same name in France.
  • Gerber displayed their baby food formula products with a baby’s picture on the jars in stores across Africa without taking into account that the literacy rate in African countries such as Ethiopia is particularly low. This led to people thinking that the company was selling food made of human babies in their jars!
  • Mercedes-Benz faced an embarrassing situation when an amateur translator translated the automotive brand’s name to ‘Bensi’ which roughly translates into ‘rush to your death’ in Mandarin.
  • Nike introduced a shoe design including a shoe sole texture which resembled the term ‘Allah’ which is the Arabic word for God. Once the shoe was put up for sale, it created an outrage especially amongst the Muslim community who found it offensive and distasteful.
  • ‘Puffs’ is often used to refer to a brothel in German slang language. Unfortunately, Puff’s did not know this when they introduced their tissues under the brand name Puffs in the Germany.
  • London has a sizable Muslim population so the local Tesco store decided to put up decorations to commemorate the Holy month of Ramadan. The issue though was that they used a Bacon flavoured Pringles display with ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ printed on it as they did not know Muslims do not consume Bacon.
  • Taco Bell’s return to Japan was met with marketing disaster due to a major error in translation. Taco Bell’s slogan ‘we have got nothing to hide’ was mistranslated into ‘what did we bring here to hide?’ The slogan originally meant to indicate the quality of the ingredients used in the meals prepared by Taco Bell lost all its meaning due to this lapse in translation. To make things worse, the Crunchwrap Supreme was translated into ‘Supreme Court Beef’!

As shown in the examples stated above, there is no alternative for translation and interpretation services offered by a highly professional and experience language service organisation. Using cheaper and unreliable alternatives such as translation software, or hiring an unqualified and barely trained individual to translate is a risky endeavour. Any translation or individual done by an amateur will expose your company to extreme risks as highlighted in the examples above.

A company’s reputation and brand image are one of its most valued assets, therefore, it is imperative to ensure it doesn’t fall into jeopardy. Instead of risking the reputation and stature of your company, and making it a laughing stock due to translation mistakes, hire a professional and reliable language service company to assist you in the process of transcreation. Develop your global marketing campaign in an authentic and reliable manner by keeping all linguistic and cultural aspects in mind.

Linguist Point aims to bridge the linguistic gap between businesses, cultures and people across the UK and Beyond. We enable businesses to engage and communicate with global audience efficiently in more  than 100 languages. Contact us today and navigate in the international waters safely 020 8523 5791