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How Are Advertisement Campaigns Translated?

ad-300x199Whether as a project manager or as a translator, when we take on a project related to marketing or advertising, we have to show off our creative side to its maximum degree.

Often times we must confront the arduous task of adapting texts and stories that come from a certain culture to be published in a country with a totally different culture. To make sure that the ideas conveyed are correct and that the receiving audience understands what the advertisement is about, the translator must modify the original text to the extent necessary.

Translating advertisements involves a difficult creative process, and generally, said advertisements are almost completely transformed before being launched in a new country and its different culture. On occasion, advertisement campaigns and “spots” for multinational brands are drastically different between countries. In these cases, it would be best to refer to them as “adaptations” or “localizations,” rather than “translations.”

Another important piece of information is that the big advertising agencies usually do not directly hire translators to do this type of work; rather, the campaign is often created from scratch. In this case, those in charge of re-creating the campaign for a new audience will be publicity experts of the culture where said advertisement will be published, be they natives of that country or not.

With regard to advertising, in some societies it is best to appeal to a more emotional profile, whereas in others it is much more effective to promote a mere consumer campaign. It is also necessary to analyze the colors used and the impact that these have on the public. To do this, market research is carried out beforehand to analyze each public and, in this way, discover which type of society the advertisement is destined towards.

In some countries or regions, people identify more with traditional concepts of family and groups of friends than with personal achievements.

What is interesting about this topic is that, without even realizing it, it is something that we see on a daily basis. Without noticing, we constantly find ourselves in front of these types of localizations in streets, on the TV, on the radio, etc.

Given these examples, we can conclude that translation is much more than simply replacing one word for another, especially with regard to advertisement campaigns!

To view the Spanish version of this post, go to:

¿Cómo traducir campañas publicitarias?