• Feb 15, 2018


by Diego Cresceri


When working in marketing, you need to create a powerful message — a slogan, phrase, image, video — that relates to the audience. You want to evoke emotion, memories, and actions in your target audience. However, one phrase or message can have a different meaning in other languages. Even through translation, a message can drastically change and lose its meaning and power. This can result in not only failed marketing campaigns, but you may also offend many individuals if the copy does not translate well from one culture to another.


What is Transcreation?

Transcreation involves taking your message and changing it so it provides the same meaning and evokes the same emotions within each language its applied to. Transcreation is not a direct translation of your marketing campaign. Instead, it is changing your entire copy, a small section, or even a few words to better adapt to the culture and the language you’re addressing.

This process is to ensure that the emotions, memories, and actions you want to trigger in one language carry over well into the next. Additionally, it isn’t just when referring to your written copy. It also involves all your audio, images, even your video content. It is much more sophisticated than just running your content through a translation machine.


Why Does Transcreation Matter?

Localization is critical in marketing. It is creating a customized marketing strategy that reaches a target audience, particularly in varying cultures and locations. And as with all marketing strategies, understanding and knowing your audience is essential. If a marketing campaign is confusing or doesn’t make sense, it won’t attract that audience and therefore it won’t be successful.

Additionally, because of the differences in culture and the lack of information, it can be easy to offend and create major challenges for a company. Throughout the transcreation process, campaigns are carefully evaluated to ensure the content doesn’t offend or cause a major uproar due to your naivety.


Is transcreation just for advertising?

It is also important to note that transcreation is not just about marketing campaigns.  While advertising and marketing use this technique often, content and video creation, even website design and website development can use transcreation to better reach audiences in different languages.


While transcreation can seem daunting as it is much more involved and time-consuming than simply translating your campaigns, it is also more successful. Using this approach, you can more easily reach your target audience and evoke the emotions and the actions that you are trying to trigger in your overall campaign.



Diego Cresceri - Founder and CEO of Creative Words, he does not deny his past but never looks back. An absolute lover of languages, he's an incurable optimist and cannot wait to se what the future holds.


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"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."   Nelson Mandela

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