Humour is a great resource for advertisers, isn’t it? Many brands use it for two reasons:
- It can make consumers remember the brand and/or product;
- It can improve consumers’ engagement, making them feel more identified with the brand.
However, it’s not always easy to get humour right, hence why I wrote “It can”. Advertisers need to bear in mind that not everyone finds the same things funny; therefore, they need to make the joke easy to understand and, of course, they need to be careful not to offend anyone.
Now, if the above already seems like a tricky job, imagine how tricky it would be to carry out the translation of advertisements or their adaptation for different countries, with different cultures, and quite possibly a different sense of humour; and to do this causing the same positive reaction.
Don’t forget that what the word “culture” entails is pretty serious. Culture is how people from a particular group (in this case, a country) behave and react socially, their attitudes and beliefs, their customs, traditions and origin as a country, and the way they express themselves. The language difference is the least of the worries, when doing any marketing translation!
As a translation and transcreation agency, we believe that professional translators who specialise in ads translation and creative translation (i.e. transcreators) must meet the following criteria:
- Be native speakers of the language they translate into;
- be immersed in the language and the culture of their country of origin;
- know their country’s history;
- keep up-to-date with language, marketing, advertising and social developments in general;
- know the brand they’re working with well;
- be creative with words; and
- have a good sense of humour being cautious at the same time.
Does it look like a reasonable list? It’s important that advertising and translation agencies follow the above criteria when choosing the right transcreators, because, for once, humour needs to be taken seriously!