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  • Writer's pictureMaría Palomares Tarí


When international companies need to make their marketing campaigns, they must create assets that audiences in local markets are drawn to, just as audiences in their home markets are. However, launching a product globally is no easy task, and definitely not a case of translating content from one language to another.

Take the computer-chip manufacturer Intel. The brand changed its successful slogan “Intel: Sponsors of Tomorrow” for the Brazilian markets. Why? Because research showed that in Portuguese, “Sponsors of Tomorrow” implied Intel would not deliver on its promises immediately. In Brazil, the slogan became “Intel: In Love with the Future”. This is called TRANSCREATION.

As in the previous example, depending on the country, certain brands have to change their name, logo, or strategy in order to avoid potential disasters and maintain the efficacy of their campaign, that is, the source content must be recreated to suit a local market and culture using transcreation.

The term is a combination of the words ‘translation’ and ‘creation’ and it isn’t limited to the way we express concepts.

VISUAL ELEMENTS such as shapes, colors and sizes also need to be adapted to cultural preferences. This is something that often goes unnoticed, but even small changes can make a huge difference in any campaign’s success. Let’s have look at two real-world examples of how important these elements are to create high-quality transcreation:

- In Europe, the background of the McDonald’s logo is green rather than red, which evokes the idea of a healthier and more natural product.

- To Red Bull, ‘transcreating’ the brand involved changing the colors for the Chinese market. As red and gold are considered lucky or prestigious colors in Chinese, the Chinese version of the drink comes in gold cans with red bulls and black writing. Even the bulls look more stylized!

Transcreation not only requires linguistic expertise, but also creativity and a cultural understanding of the target market. It provides brand new messaging that is targeted and localized and to achieve that, transcreation must elicit the same emotional response in the target language as it did in that of the source language.

Had you ever heard the term transcreation before? Tell us about it!


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