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“Make Me Beautiful” – Creative Translation of Female Beauty Hits Social Media

July 10th, 2014

One woman’s personal exploration into global perceptions of beauty was doing the rounds on social media last week. Ester Honig, a freelance American journalist, sent an image of herself to graphic designers in 25 different countries, with a simple brief: “make me beautiful”.

Impossible to Translate Words into Images? How an Obsessive Blockbuster French Director Proved Hollywood Wrong…

June 25th, 2014

The film adaptation of Reif Larson’s 2009 novel, The Selected Works of TS Spivet, was released in cinemas on Friday, 13 June. This is somewhat remarkable considering that the book was initially deemed “unfilmable”. In a recent interview in the Guardian, Larson explains that despite a flurry of initial interest from Hollywood agents, the book was too challenging to adapt for cinema.

Most Global Campaign Ever? Soccer Fever Transcreated…

June 12th, 2014

For the next month, football fans around the world will be united in World Cup fervour, a collective frenzy ranging from pure elation to inconsolable rage and quiet disappointment. International events such as the World Cup present the perfect opportunity for global brands to appeal to customers in their local market based around one global concept. Which is exactly what Coca-Cola has done with its anthem “the World is Ours”.

North Korea Fashion, Lost in Marketing Translation

December 9th, 2013

Something has been lost in translation between Pyongyang and the western world; fashion brands have found chic in advertising the décor of tyrants…

Why Translate Words when You can Steal Them?

August 15th, 2013

From curses to cuisine, language has never been content with its own borders, “stealing” words from other countries’ tongues while ironically marketing the protection of its own…

Marketing to China’s New Elite: When Ad Campaign Translation Falls Short

June 12th, 2013

China’s new elite are not at all like their western counterparts, as global brands are coming to realise when translating their marketing and advertising campaigns…

Translating Saudi Arabia, Refresher for International Advertisers and Agencies

May 16th, 2013

Every marketer knows how to tailor and translate their marketing campaign to Saudi Arabia; stay conservative, respectful, and chaste. But is this just a myth? Advertising transcreation Saudi Arabia, 2.0…

Global Brand Translation Misfires, Corrected by Culturally Smart Apologies

April 11th, 2013

Major brands have recently made shocking translation (and transcreation) gaffes — and have come begging for forgiveness. It is more important than ever to know how to apologise locally for a global campaign or brand misfire, especially in an always-on, international culture…

Core Values in a World Where Everyone’s Watching

March 13th, 2013

A brand’s reputation hangs on the success with which it projects and maintains its core values, providing consistent quality and a unified image that is at once universal and culturally relevant. So in a world as instant, integrated and interconnected as ours, how feasible is it for international brands to stay in complete control of their identity, protecting themselves from being compromised by actions beyond their control?

Transgender Trouble in Thailand for IKEA

February 20th, 2013

IKEA had to issue an apology after a recent spot launched in Thailand drew criticism from transgender rights groups. Angry activists lambasted the global Swedish brand, claiming the advert, which depicts a transgender lady getting so excited at a bargain in the store that her voice drops a few octaves, much to the surprise of her male companion, played on negative stereotypes and even violated the human rights of the transgender community of south-east Asia. The company have publicly apologised for the video, which aired on Youtube and to commuters on several of the country’s train networks, and issued a prompt response to the Thai Transgender Alliance, who made the original complaint. This sparked further complaints from the transgender community around the world, who poured scorn on what they saw as a demeaning, trivialising and offensive piece of advertising.