Building your brand identity and creating a marketing campaign requires a lot of creativity and consideration. And when it comes to communicating with your audience abroad, you need to make sure that the idea behind your message resonates with the particular language and culture. That’s where transcreation comes in.

What is Transcreation?

Transcreation (from translation and creation) is a method of creative translation that preserves the intent, emotion, and tone of the original copy. Your message is creatively adapted so that it resonates in a new language and culture and triggers the desired response in the reader.

Originally conceived for marketing and advertising, the main goal of transcreation is to craft a new message, taking the source text as inspiration. For this reason, transcreation has similarities with copywriting and content creation because the language expert needs to produce new copy.

A creative 5-step process

This is what the transcreation process looks like:

  1. Transcreators dive into your brand, looking at your tone of voice and products or services to fully understand what your company stands for. For this reason, just as you would brief your copywriter, you should also brief your transcreator, defining your objectives, your target audience and your tone of voice. 
  2. They then study the reason behind the message and the desired response to come from your marketing materials, taglines or slogans.
  3. Now is the time when they create a message in a new language, adapting the original copy as much as needed to evoke the desired response in your local target market. 
  4. Sometimes transcreators will provide a few options, since the new messages may be based on different ideas and concepts. Your team can review the options and see which message best fits your brand.
  5. Lastly, the language experts provide back translations into English, or a language you can understand, so that you can assess the new messages.

Transcreation vs translation

Translation is key to communicating successfully with your potential customers abroad, but transcreation can help in ways translation cannot. When word-by-word translation does not work, transcreation is used to create a new message that works in the new language and maintains the impact and meaning of the original text across borders. 

There are also differences between translation and transcreation in terms of the purpose, the level of adaptation, the emotional connection of readers and the type of materials:

It is important to note that translation and transcreation often work together in the same text. For example, if you are translating a hotel website or a new car brochure, there may be emotional messages throughout the copy that will require transcreation, while other sections will only need to be translated. 

Closer to copywriting than translation

While a good translation often requires a certain degree of adaptation, transcreation usually calls for a total adaptation of the message and the tone of voice to remain consistent with the concept of the original message. Therefore, transcreation is associated with copywriting because it requires the same creative writing skills that copywriting does. 

More than just words

Our language experts will ensure that all the creative elements of your materials, such as imagery, colour, and layouts, align with the local market and the ideas behind the new wording. The ultimate goal of the new copy is to provoke a response, and this often requires new images that work together with the new messaging. 

Capturing the uniqueness of each language

What works in one language, may not work in another one and vice versa. For example, McDonald’s decided not to translate its motto “I’m loving it” into a number of languages to remain faithful to its American feel. Instead, they opted for the slogan “It’s good to get together” in other countries to better suit their culture. As long as you connect with your target audience, the message is right! 

3 examples of good transcreations

Here are some real examples of transcreation that show how getting your message right can determine whether your international campaigns are a success or a failure. 


A great example of transcreation is the tagline for the Samsung S6 in Arabic. The English tagline reads “Next is now”, which is based on the idea that the smartphone is equipped with the latest (or future) technology.

Tagline of the Samsung S6 in English


The Spanish car brand is well known for its creativity when it comes to its marketing campaigns. They often use a play on words, cultural references and humour to bring the “Spanish factor” into each country.

Congratulations to the transcreators of Seat, who adapted their slogan for the British market and used corresponding imagery to evoke positive feelings associated with the good weather of Spain. “Shining in the UK” is a great example of their clever play on words.

Transcreation of a Seat campaign in English

Image source


Haribo’s German slogan “Haribo macht Kinder froh, und Erwachsene ebenso” is another good example of transcreation done well. The delicious German gummy sweets slogan translates well into English as “Haribo makes children happy, and adults too”. However, they transcreated the message into other languages including French, Italian and Dutch:


“Haribo c’est beau la vie, pour les grands et les petits” (Haribo life is beautiful, for big ones and little ones).


“Haribo è la bontà, che si gusta ad ogni età” (Haribo is the delicacy that one can taste at any age).


“Luk op for noget godt! Luk op for Haribo! Den er go” (Open for something good! Open for Haribo! It is good).

These brilliant examples of transcreation show how you can create a playful slogan in several languages that sticks in the mind of the reader.

Haribo gummy sweets

Transcreation made simple

Entering a new market with the same tone of voice and marketing messages doesn’t always work because cultures and habits are different around the world. Transcreation transforms your brand’s message for global audiences to connect with customers on an emotional level. Your message speaks to them. They feel understood and remember you.

At Ampere, our transcreation experts work with you to adapt your message into any language. From websites to tv adverts and brochures, we provide the guidance you need throughout your translation and transcreation journey. Get in touch with us to find out more.

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