Are we "abroad" yet?

A Global Marketing Blog – Because "abroad" is a place that doesn't exist.


The first thing that comes to mind when creating a campaign for a new country is language. We have to translate everything, right? Yes, and a bit more than that:

–          All communications must display the correct language of that country. Just as American spelling in the UK is a no-no and vice versa, make sure you are using the appropriate version of the local Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese, for example.  It’s never as simple as you think it might be.

–          Using slang? Never translate it. Try to find out what works in that market and find some legit local contacts or agency to tell you what’s cool or not.

–          Tone & manner: You might have to position your brand and talk to your audience in a certain way: Formal? Informal? Humorous? Edgy? That decision must be included in your brand guidelines and be consistently implemented in all consumer touch points.

–          Try not to write in one language and translate to the other. You’ll end up with a really clunky text. Invest in a writer that’s not only fluent in the language, but is also familiar with local culture and usage, to write content that truly resonates with consumers.

–          In many countries people study English and enjoy seeing certain expressions in that language in advertising. It comes across as cool, young and/or sophisticated, depending where you are. Brands marketing beverages, sports apparel and fashion do that all the time. As long as your audience is interested in it, it’s worth a try.

English used in a ad in Brazil. Image credit: Adventures of a Gringa

English used in a ad in Brazil. Image credit: Adventures of a Gringa


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This entry was posted on July 1, 2013 by in Language and tagged , , .


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