When an American airline company attempted to advertise its new leather seats to potential Mexican first class passengers, they translated the slogan “Fly In Leather,” literally. They didn’t know that the translation read “vuela en cuero,” which in Spanish means “fly naked.” To some, that sounded a bit too comfortable.
This is a prime example of a bad transcreation, or the adaptation of an original message into another language. As the name implies, transcreation not only means translating, but also recreating your branding text and your ad campaign for international markets. Transcreation is used in fields where messages can carry many nuances, subtle meanings and plays on words, such as advertising, public relations, and marketing.
Bromberg’s copy-writing experts can create your global image by reinventing your idea and adapting it to the country of your target audience.
Here are some funny, yet disastrous examples of what happens when transcreation is not taken seriously:
1. A chicken restaurant chain experienced quite a headache when a phrase from their ad campaign, “finger lickin’ good”, came out in Chinese as “eat your fingers off.”
2. The Dairy Association’s successful campaign “Got Milk?” in Mexico turned into “Are You Lactating?”
3. A Swedish household appliance giant promoted its vacuum cleaner to the US market, assuring its American customers that “Nothing Sucks Like” their brand.
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