• Three Examples of Marketing Transcreation for the Italian Market

    Marketing transcreation into Italian

    Marketing transcreation, Marketing translation • 26.04.2021

    Want to run a successful marketing campaign in Italy? The first step is to localize your content from English into Italian in order to effectively deliver your message. That is to say, marketing transcreation into Italian is the first stage of the journey.

    If you’re trying to find out what transcreation is, keep reading! In this post, you’ll also find three examples of marketing transcreation into Italian from over the years.

    ​What is Transcreation and Why Is it Useful for Marketing Content?

    When it comes to advertising, a simple translation from English into Italian is not effective if you really want to drive your message home to a different audience. The solution is transcreation: a kind of creative translation that is more copywriting than translation and takes into consideration the creative brief and intended scope of the marketing campaign. It’s the perfect way to translate marketing content for a different target!

    In fact, when carrying out a “simple” translation task, it’s very important not to change the meaning or structure of the source text, yet this process might not make for an effective marketing campaign. As you know, copywriters work very hard with their source language to convey a message in their text, so transcreation is needed not only to translate it from English into Italian, but also to properly localize it for the new audience.

    ​Examples of Marketing Transcreation into Italian

    Transcreation is essential when you need to deliver your message to an audience from a different culture, taking into consideration not only the language, but also the customs and sayings of the target language.

    Here you’ll find three examples of marketing transcreation into Italian. This kind of creative translation is needed not only to correctly deliver slogans or payoffs, but also to make sure that brand and product names (or movie titles!) won’t cause misunderstandings when they reach the target language, while properly conveying the desired message.

    ​1) Esso

    In 1959, the oil company Esso exported its Put a tiger in your tank marketing campaign to Italy. The marketing transcreation into Italian was Metti un tigre nel motore. This claim is a very effective example of transcreation because it would never have been accepted as a translation: it contains a grammar mistake!!!

    In fact, in Italian the word “tiger” is a feminine noun and the correct translation of the claim would therefore be “Metti una tigre nel motore”. And, to be even more precise, it should be “Metti una tigre nel serbatoio”. “Serbatoio”, in fact, is the corresponding Italian word for “tank”, while “motore” is “engine”.

    For the marketing transcreation of the Italian campaign, Esso decided to “masculinize” the word “tiger” in order to make it more appealing to men, who were the primary target of the campaign. It was the 60s, after all. Choosing to change the translation of “tank” and using the word for “engine” makes no “mechanical” sense (don’t put gas in your engine!), but it helps the sound of the claim, alliterating the Ts and Rs of the original claim, to make it… roar!

    ​2) Moana

    The 2016 Disney movie Moana was released in Italy with its title changed to Oceania. The transcreation doesn’t end here, since the very name of the main character was changed from Moana to Vaiana. You might not find an official statement from Disney as to why this title was changed possibly Moana was a registered trademark in some European countries. However, Italians believe they know the answer. Moana, in fact, is also the name of a very popular Italian pornstar, and Google searches in Italy for the upcoming movie could have returned the wrong type of content.

    This marketing transcreation into Italian helped to make the movie Italy-friendly, but didn’t jeopardize the essence of the movie or the characters. “Oceania” helps, of course, to set the geographical setting of the movie, while the new name of the main character, Vaiana means “water that comes of a cave”, and is in line with the original name of Moana that meant “ocean”.

    ​3) Norton AntiVirus

    Norton AntiVirus has quite the nerdy payoff: “Boldly Go”. In these two short words, Norton enclosed a sense of something bigger, of exploration into the deep unknown – the web – as they were uttered in the very first lines of the Star Trek episodes. The intent of the payoff is easily understood, especially because Star Trek is such an iconic series and the sentence “To boldly go where no man has gone before” is now a common saying.

    But what happens to the Italian version? Very interestingly, the adverb “boldly” is completely removed from the Italian version of the dialogue in the Star Trek series.

    So, the marketing transcreation into Italian for Norton’s payoff became “Punta in alto,” or “Aim high”. The marketing translation into Italian completely changed the source text

    but maintained the inspirational idea of trailing the unbeaten path – and doing it safely with Norton Antivirus.

    ​Boldly Go

    To boldly go into the Italian market, you’ll need the right partner to accompany you on your journey. Drop me a line and we’ll discuss the right strategy for your marketing transcreation into Italian!

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