The localisation of advertising

The dance between translation and marketing

Advertising has developed its own ecosystem around language and, because of this, the translation of advertising has made headway as a specialism. But that’s not all, given its evolution towards new platforms where brands can advertise, the translation process has evolved to become a process of localisation in which the use of images, the cultural and terminological adaptation of the text and the appropriateness of the socio-cultural component of the target language all have a part to play.  

Undoubtedly, the principal purpose of this type of translation is to maintain the same communication strategy in all of the countries. The standardisation of campaign strategies is useful for standardising consumer behaviour.  

To that effect, various factors that only a professional translator can accomplish need to be kept in mind.

One of these is the socio-cultural factor which takes the following aspects into account: the religious, social, moral and commercial aspects of each target market. This component has a crucial role in the potential client’s first impression of the text. An error in this type of terminology may cause the client to reject the text within the first few seconds of reading it. 

It is also worth keeping in mind the political legal component of the target culture relating to the restrictions within each country, as well as the terminology relating to the political and legal situation within the target country. For this, we can give a current example for the advertising regulations on the sale of face masks. Every platform and every country issues regulations on terminology for advertising these products. For example, Facebook does not allow advertisements of products that denote an emergency, that incite fear, or for products that guarantee the prevention of COVID-19 or any other respiratory disease. 

From the adaptation of units of measurement, weight and currency, or the symbolism of colours and shapes in each culture to, among other things, cultural stereotypes such as national or religious symbolism. For these reasons, the localisation of advertising material for other markets should be carried out by a professional in linguistics and the target culture. Their role is becoming increasingly important due to the paradoxical effect of the return to local and national identity resulting from globalisation. 




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