With the globalization of the mass media market the conversation surrounding the translations of advertisements has increased. In the required reading of chapter 7 this translation, and the factors that affect it are discussed. The author suggests that certain factors often limit the effectiveness of an advertisement when the targeted audience is changed. The three main points the author focuses on is the actual translation of language, different needs and wants, and the various communication styles.
The author states how often the most common way to translate an ad is to simply to translate the language. However, this is often not as simple as it first might appear. Due to the structural differences between languages the meaning often shifts. This causes the purpose of the ad to be lost. In addition the language of a nation is essential to the culture. Therefore if the only the language is simply changed, the language and culture that the ad presents do not align. This translation of language also plays a key part when deciding whether to translate the actual Brands name. The success of business is reliant on the audience and media time it can obtain. Therefore by keeping the same name they keep a standard image of themselves, however, the question arises whether the name will be as effective in other nations.
The reading also suggests that the needs and desires of the people change across borders. The advertisements that are the most successful play on the needs, wants, wishes, and desires of their target audience. These differences can be seen even between affluent nations. For example, the present desires of Americans and Brits may differ depending on the current media culture in the country. Therefore, this change in the needs and desires require a change in the advertisements as well. Global companies need to tweak their media campaigns based on the emotional and logical tools that will work best on their target audience.
Lastly, the author talks about the different communication styles of cultures around the world. The largest variation he sights is between direct and indirect communication styles. In indirect cultures the point of the ad is preferred to be embedded into the ad. This can be done through metaphors, music, images, etc. With a more direct communication style the meaning or purpose of the ad is preferred to be more blatantly stated. This leads advertising agencies to often map the different communication styles to make their ads more meaningful.
However, while it is difficult to do, some companies have mastered this advertising translation. An example is the Google 2010 Superbowl ad.
This ad plays on common human empathy – incorporating messages of love and family. In addition people around the globe use Google and English, making the ad successful in countries such as the USA, Australia, Canada, etc.