Location: California, USA
Project: Transcreation of film titles
Language(s): French, German, English
Quote: “Seeing the titles we localised on our client's live catalogue, knowing we had helped introduce the films and shows to English-speaking audiences across the globe, was one of our proudest moments!”
Transcreation doesn't get more important than for over 200 million subscribers to the world's largest entertainment subscription. Over the past two years, we have been delighted to work on some of the most exciting French to English translation and transcreation projects for the world’s most popular streaming service.
The projects have ranged from localising film and TV series titles to translating scripts, interviews and on-screen text for marketing trailers and artwork.
We have localised over 200 film titles for our client's app catalogue from French to English, helping to optimise their reach within this market.
The project’s purpose is to capture the attention of English-speaking viewers across the globe and provide them with an experience that feels local and relevant. Localisation was also crucial to encourage English-speaking audiences to watch French films and TV series. Certain French programmes have enjoyed a massive surge in popularity among global audiences, and over 70 million subscribers now watch them.
The task demands creative thinking, thorough research and an ability to think outside the box.
Challenges and solutions
Challenge 1: Global English
Our task was to use "global" English that wasn't specific to English-speaking countries, to ensure global appeal with English-speaking audiences. Using "global" English meant that the text didn't have to be localised for each country.
Solution/Impact: Our thorough and targeted research meant that all film titles were UK/US-agnostic and did not contain any spelling variations or cultural references that a global audience would not widely understand. We also ensured that titles didn’t use terms that would offend in different regions. This approach saved the client time and money by preventing additional, region-specific localisation and enabled the films to appeal to a broader global audience.
Challenge 2: Genre
The title was required to align with the relevant film genre to meet viewers’ expectations.
Solution/Impact: Extensive research was carried out on our client's website and other similar, industry-approved websites in order to look at titles in the same genre to gain an understanding of the voice, tone and formatting for that genre. For instance, a film in the thriller genre would tend to have a short, punchy title that inspires mystery and intrigue and usually adopts the 'The + noun' format. The appropriate title format would then be adopted according to the genre. This helps the client to meet their objectives of providing the English-speaking audience with a local and relevant experience that fits their expectations of that genre.
Challenge 3: Originality
Titles had to be original and creative with no recent, existing films using the same title.
Solution/Impact: Again thorough research on reliable, industry-recognised websites was essential here. We searched against websites such as IMDb to assess for any conflicts in accordance with the client's title research guidelines. We also conducted thorough online research to check for any titles that may already have a fan base. Where conflicts were found, a thesaurus could be used to explore titles with a similar meaning. This helped the client to prevent any legal issues from copying any existing IP and also to improve the customer experience by avoiding having duplicate titles in the film catalogue.
These projects required a unique blend of skills: on the one hand, original and creative thinking, and on the other, a detailed approach to research and a deep understanding of genre conventions and audience expectations. With this knowledge and experience, our team tailored the title options to meet the expectations of the genre.
At the heart of our thinking process was the English-speaking audience and how they would perceive and experience the localised title in their context. We worked closely with the client to ensure that their feedback was incorporated into the title options provided. As a result, we were able to deliver thoroughly researched, creative title options that were tailored to the genre and target audience within the deadlines in order to appeal to a global English-speaking audience.
Seeing the titles we localised on the online catalogue was one of our proudest moments!