How to Avoid Cross-Cultural Marketing Blunders

Use transcreation to ensure poor translations don’t kill your campaign. Marketing is, for most companies, a global effort. However, while modern technology makes it easy to market in other locations, it doesn’t do a whole lot of good when it comes to helping us translate.

How to Avoid Cross-Cultural Marketing Blunders

Your marketing message says everything about your brand, who you are, and what you stand for. Cross-cultural marketing blunders can be potentially embarrassing and can even kill your entire campaign.

Figures of Speech Are Important

The Japanese company Panasonic figured out the hard way how important it is to learn the lingo of the countries you’ll be marketing to.

They had landed the rights to use Woody Woodpecker as their property to brand a marketing campaign. Everything was going well until they published their, well, less than appropriate marketing slogan. The problem wasn’t the slogan, per se. It was that Panasonic hadn’t done the research necessary to realise how that would be interpreted to American audiences.

Always find out if you’re using someone else’s slang without realising it.

Say What? Terms with Double Meanings

One brand of mineral water learned just how important it is to make sure the phrase you’re using doesn’t translate into something very different in your target language. They named their brand Traficante, which, in Italian, means mineral water. However, in Spanish, it means “drug dealer”. Oops!

Too Soon

Cultural sensitivity is another priority when you’re dealing with cross-cultural marketing. One shoe company found out that their new shoe model had an unfortunate name that offended many people.

It was associated with a cultural event, and the brand didn’t know, so they had to pull the shoe, redesign it, and launch an entirely new campaign.

How a Translation Agency Can Help

Transcreation services can take your original marketing idea and ensure that it makes sense, is culturally sensitive, and will impact your target audience in a positive way. Don’t leave the fate of your campaign in the hands of mechanical or literal translation.

What can we do for you?

Do you need to translate a campaign for a foreign language market? Contact us today!

Further details can be discussed with us directly by telephone.
We look forward to receiving your call on + 41 56 470 40 40 or you can send us an email at