Translation / Copywriting
...where what's between the lines is as important as what's on them.
Much more than a simple word-for-word translation, a good adaptation is faithful to the original text, elegant to read, and emotionally evocative.
To properly adapt advertising and marketing copy, we start from the ground up. Where the original English expression, pun or rhyme has no equivalent in French, a different -- but equivalent -- expression, pun or rhyme must be used.
A mediocre adaptation translates merely the words in the original text; a good adaptation conveys the intent of the original text; and an outstanding adaptation reads like fresh copy: it recreates in the mind of the reader the same emotion as when reading the original, while leaving no trace of the translation process.
SMIRNOFF VODKA MONTREAL BOTTLE x BESPOKE FRENCH COPYWRITING
Platforms: Product packaging
Client: Diageo Canada / Smirnoff
A limited number of city-themed Smirnoff vodka bottle wraps were created, each celebrating local references and culture.
Working closely with the agency’s creative team, we crafted custom copy to highlight Montreal’s famous joie de vivre and vibrant spirit. Integrating a ‘hidden message’ using certain letters of the copy was an additional fun and creative challenge.
Additionally, we were tasked with adapting the copy for the 'Canada' themed Smirnoff bottle.
SMIRNOFF VODKA “STAY OPEN” CAMPAIGN x FRENCH ADAPTATION, VOICE DIRECTION
Platforms: OOH, TV, Digital, Social
Client: Diageo Canada / Smirnoff
Agency: trevor/peter | 72&Sunny
The “Stay Open” campaign celebrates Canada’s openness and diversity. We adapted the overall campaign slogan, TV spot and other assets, giving specific guidance on Quebec-appropriate messaging for the OOH component.
Non-professional voice actors were brought in to give extra authenticity to the spot, and we coached their performances to give maximum impact.
CADILLAC LIVE x FRENCH ADAPTATION
Platforms: Branded Website, Digital
Client: General Motors Canada
Agency: Isobar Canada
Business Objective: To create excitement around targeted Cadillac models and drive tech-savvy consumers to book appointments with dealerships to test-drive them.
Execution: A virtual showroom was created, allowing brand agents to communicate with prospective buyers via one-way video and offer guided walk-throughs with detailed descriptions of vehicle features and characteristics.
Our Involvement: Building off a long-standing relationship with the agency, we were entrusted with adapting the content and promotional messages to drive consumers to the virtual showroom and onward to dealerships.
SQUARE CANADA AWARENESS CAMPAIGN x FRENCH ADAPTATION
Platforms: TV, Digital, Print
Business Objective: To drive awareness of Square as a simple and cost-effective solution for Canadian small business owners.
Execution: French adaptation of the TV spot and two case studies of existing clients to be used as marketing materials.
Our Involvement: We were brought in by agency to present the adaptation to the client’s Canadian head of marketing and French-speaking team, walking them through the numerous plays on words in the English script and how they were recreated in French using different – but equivalent – puns or plays on words in order to make the spot impactful and culturally relevant.
JOHNNIE WALKER DOUBLE BLACK
Platforms: Product packaging
Client: Diageo Canada / Johnnie Walker Double Black
Communication Objective: To create Canadian-compliant product packaging for Double Black, a line extension in the iconic Johnnie Walker family of whiskies.
Execution: Working with the brand and compliance teams, we delivered a careful and thoughtful French translation of the carton and label copy that communicates the product's premium character and its edgier, bolder personality.
NFL VIRTUAL TAILGATE
Platforms: Microsite, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Client: National Football League, Pinty’s Wings, Nestle
Agency: Capital C (now forsman & bodenfors)
Communication Objective: To generate awareness of Pinty’s Wings BBQ sauce with a Superbowl-themed “Virtual Tailgate” and offer participants the chance to have their BBQ sauce recipe bottled by Pinty’s, as well as win a KitKat prize pack or tickets to the Superbowl.
Execution: An NFL-themed “Virtual Tailgate” microsite was created where participants submitted their BBQ sauce recipe and photos of their Tailgate in order to win different prizes. We adapted the copy into French to drive engagement on different social networks and encourage participants to enter the contest.
RBC TRAINING GROUND x FRENCH ADAPTATION, VOICE DIRECTION
Platform: TV, Digital
Client: CBC Sports
Business Objective: To drive awareness of an RBC-CBC Sports cobranded Canada-wide contest aimed at teen athletes encouraging them to compete in local tryouts and, potentially, for a spot on the Canadian Olympic team.
Execution: A TV/digital spot was created in the run-up to the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang and it aired across Radio-Canada’s various properties.
Our Involvement: Working closely with CBC and the Radio-Canada team to ensure consistent messaging across all platforms, we adapted the script into French and coached the voice actor to deliver the same energy and enthusiasm as in the original spot.
Platforms: Social media
Client: Hilroy / Five Star
Communication Objective: To generate awareness among high school-aged students of the Five Star line of school supplies through a series of humorous memes and a contest to win a scholarship.
Execution: A series of memes were generated with the #FiveStarProblems hashtag relating to high school life. Adapting these to Quebec French required an especially creative approach to recreate the humour and the light, self-deprecating tone of the English.
COLUMBIA SPORTSWEAR / OMNI-FREEZE ZERO TOUR
Platforms: Facebook, experiential
Client: Columbia Sportswear / Omni-Freeze Zero
Agency: Burst XMG
Communication Objective: To generate awareness and consumer trial of Columbia’s Omni-Freeze Zero sports fabric and its sweat-activated cooling technology.
Execution: Users entered a contest on Facebook for a chance to win a summer adventure trip, and were introduced to the Omni-Freeze Zero tour, an experiential component executed at various festivals and public events across Canada where participants could try on a sleeve made of Omni-Freeze Zero fabric while playing an engaging video game.