5 reasons international brands need advertising translation

Published on May 24th, 2019

International brands cannot function on the global stage without advertising translation. The biggest names in every industry have maximised their exposure around the world by crafting messages that break through language barriers and cultural differences to strike a chord with global audiences.

This does not happen by accident. Advertising translation is at the heart of every interaction between international brands and their customers. Here are the five key reasons this language service is so important to brands operating in overseas markets.

#1: Targeting foreign-speaking markets

Of course, the fundamental reason international brands rely on advertising translation is to help them connect with the foreign-speaking markets they are targeting. While the internet has provided a global communication platform, it has only made the linguistic and cultural differences between markets more obvious.

When you think of some of the world’s most lucrative markets (purely in terms of size), such as China, India, Russia, Indonesia and Brazil, you get an idea of how diverse the global marketplace is. Then you have to consider Spanish-speaking nations and French-speaking nations collectively and the prospect of Brazilian and European Portuguese and other linguistic markets.

The limitations of English quickly become apparent.

#2: Making ad campaigns more cost-effective

One of the biggest challenges for international brands is keeping on top of their marketing expenses. It costs a lot of money to reach all of those potential customers and creating original advertising campaigns for every market is not particularly cost-effective.

International brands turn to advertising translation to help them adapt a single ad campaign for multiple languages/markets. This is crucial for minimising your advertising expenses, maximising ROI and hitting those profit targets as quickly as possible.

#3: Getting the right message across in every market

Simply translating the same message into every target language is not always enough to get the job done. As with any marketing strategy, each demographic can have its own unique set of needs and expectations from brands and a whole bunch of sub-audiences that require a different spin on your original message.

International brands need to work with their translators to ensure they start with the most relevant message possible in their source material before translating them into other languages.

#4: Advertising messages are complex

Advertising campaigns in English are complex enough, before you start thinking about translation into other languages. It takes a lot of resources to create a single campaign and the messages your advertising teams come up with are filled with creative language devices such as puns, metaphors, stereotypes, social conventions and all kinds of other things that might get lost in translation.

For example, the gender stereotypes in the family home that an insurance company might use to craft the story of its latest ad campaigns might not be relevant in distant cultures such as Japan or Brazil.

It is important your translation agency is able to determine these cultural differences where direct translation might not work.

#5: Avoiding awful advertising translation errors like these

We have posted about some of the most embarrassing translation mistakes made by international brands before on this blog – and you can take a look at some right here. The key thing to take away from this is that not all translation services are equal when it comes to quality.

The consequences of translation mistakes on the international stage can range from highly-embarrassing to financially ruining – so do not scrimp when it comes to getting the right standard of advertising translation for all of your campaigns.

Advertising translation has become synonymous with international brands over the past decade or so, largely thanks to the platform the internet has provided. As long as you take the process seriously and show your foreign-speaking audiences they are worth the effort to reach out to – in their own language – some strategic translation makes global audiences truly accessible.

Get in touch with our team of marketing professionals for more on how to utilise advertising translation for your brand.

Posted on: May 24th, 2019