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How Can Transcreation Help Your Business Advertisements?

By | Raman

Trying to expand a business overseas is fraught with challenges. To successfully hit the mark, the business has to send the right messages in order to be understood, accepted, and later embraced by the target market.

Appropriately adapting to the language, and more importantly, the cultural nuances of the new market are important. It’s like going to another country to study, where you have to prepare to fit in so, that you can later stand out.

Businesses accessing foreign markets use advertising as the main tool in reaching out to their desired target customers, and transcreation plays a critical role in making this possible.    

What is transcreation? 


Many people hear translation all the time, but transcreation is what you need for your business advertisements. Transcreation requires higher creativity levels as compared to that of translation.

 The main difference lies in the fact that translation merely supplies and replaces the words in a source language with its corresponding words in a second language. Meanwhile, translation requires specialty and creativity in expressing the exact message and concept in a second language. It aims to preserve the style, tone, emotional state, and intent attached to the original text or advertising campaign.

How does transcreation figure in business advertising?

More than lifting the language barrier, recreating a concept to resonate with your target market is the main purpose of transcreation. Apart from coming up with a culturally-acceptable campaign, transcreation helps ensure that your brand creates awareness that leads to conversions sooner or later.

Verbal and non-verbal cues are important in advertising, and they work together to create a powerful message aimed at conversions. Slogans, brand, or trade names form part of the verbal components; while non-verbal parts include the visual components and what goes beyond the words. While translation may only focus on the verbal cues or texts, transcreation looks past this and examines the non-verbal components, too.

For instance, you may have a very powerful and punchy tagline for your business, but if your visual cues are not adapted to resonate with your new audience, it won’t have the same impact, or may even get lost in translation, altogether. 

Language and culture play an important role in the society, and this is true wherever you may be in the world. However, each country, has its own set of values, norms, and customs that make it unique to other nations. The transcreation team should be able to tap this local flavor.

Even been to France or Germany and wonder why the McDonald’s background color for its logo is emerald green instead of red, as it is in most countries?  

More than a decade ago, this US-based fast-food giant decided to change its logo to adopt an eco-friendlier image in the whole European continent. The logo was not the only indication of McDonald’s desire to go green, as the fast-food company started the practice of recycling its used cooking oil to turn it into biodiesel fuel. 

If you want to have your content recreated in order to resonate with your target market overseas, transcreation is the way to go.  

How is transcreation done?

Transcreation services allow translators and copywriters to infuse their own creativity and cultural knowledge to create content that positively impacts audiences in a foreign land. 

It is a process that involves, firstly, assessing the business advertising or marketing materials already produced in a source or native country.

Secondly, transcreation requires studying to re-structure a specific content or advertising campaign to fit a specific foreign market. This involves not only translating the text but reimagining it while being cautious about retaining its original intent, tone, and emotional styles.

A successful transcreation activity requires not only a creative mind but also a deep understanding of the cultural preferences and market behavior, as well as consumer preferences, in the target country. Combining all these elements are essential for optimal advertising results.    

Transcreation in Social Media Advertising

With all the numerous content on social media, users can get easily drowned in information and don’t even bother to click on online advertisements. Your online campaign, then, should be able to grab online users’ attention to lead to conversions.

If you don’t have an effective campaign, for instance, if you fail to use the appropriate words, or if the visual cues don’t stand out, your advertisement may be dismissed by online users.

Other types of content that need transcreation

  • Slogans
  • Print advertising
  • TV advertising
  • Online advertising
  • Web copy
  • Film and book titles
  • Headlines
  • Claims
  • Banners
  • Corporate communications

Final Thoughts

Transcreation, which also means creative translation, focuses on meaning rather than words, making it an important and effective component in business advertisement campaigns for global brands. If you’re eyeing to launch a global advertising campaign, it’s important to give it a distinct, local flavor to connect to your target market in the best way possible.  

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