Coca-Cola Enterprises had carefully crafted a strapline for recruitment. It was all based around the word ‘thirst’ – like ‘a thirst for success’. But how does that translate into Norwegian, French or Dutch?
When you translate copy, you have to understand the local culture. You can’t rely on transliteration. You do, however, need to comprehend how people feel about your messaging and brand.
‘Drink Coke’ works. Because consumers have been exposed to it everywhere from billboards in Madrid to lit-up signs in Piccadilly Circus. But when you start using metaphors, like ‘a thirst for success’, things can go quite wrong. “What do you mean? I have to drink this to be successful?”
And that’s exactly the kind of unwanted sentiment we try to avoid at Creative Translation.
To create recruitment advertising, on and off line, candidate packs, banners, calling cards, posters and flyers, we conducted workshops with country managers and our own linguists and copywriters. There, we established common ground and got the messaging right – without compromising their message. It resulted in compelling communications in a range of European and Scandinavian languages that befitted the Coca-Cola brand.
As well as the translation service itself, we implemented a system that removed bottlenecks, reduced costs and sped the project to market. Our copywriters and linguists worked with the country marketing managers rather than against them.
We’ll drink to that.