Lost in Trans­la­tion

ArabAd - - AD SPOT -

In­sti­tut­ing so­cial change is al­ways con­sid­ered a noble and wor­thy cause as the mes­sage com­mu­ni­cated is self­less by na­ture. And, when it comes to such cam­paigns, renowned NGO Kun­hadi is one of the most ac­tive in the field. The re­cent work, cre­ated by M&C Saatchi for Kun­hadi in as­so­ci­a­tion with alfa tele­com, aims to raise aware­ness to the dan­gers of so­cial­is­ing us­ing the phone while driv­ing. Arabad, a pro­po­nent of such causes, asked the peo­ple be­hind the work about the ef­fects they ex­pect this out­door mes­sage to have on the com­mu­nity at large. Com­ment­ing on the ef­fec­tive­ness of ‘soft’ ver­sus shock com­mu­ni­ca­tion to get the mes­sage out to the com­mu­nity at large, the cre­ative team noted, “Well, this mes­sage is geared more to­ward the youth in­stead of the com­mu­nity as a whole, but as far as our tar­get goes, we be­lieve it can be ef­fec­tive… and quite so. The point is to take some­thing away (phone) they truly think they can't live with­out, and with this con­cept, we feel we've tapped into it.” The two vi­su­als, ex­e­cuted in both Ara­bic and English, are com­prised of a straight­for­ward state­ment writ­ten in big bold white type on a black back­ground to en­sure max­i­mum vis­i­bil­ity. The col­lo­quial Ara­bic tagline is com­prised of two parts. The first, trans­lates to “There is no re­cep­tion”, fol­lowed by a clear say­ing, namely “Be­neath the 7th earth”, which lit­er­ally means, “When you die”. Sur­pris­ingly, es­pe­cially for a glob­ally renowned ad agency, the English copy is not in line with the Ara­bic copy nei­ther when it comes to the first part nor the se­cond. In the for­mer, “There’s no net­work,” doesn’t mean there is no re­cep­tion, rather im­plies it. In the lat­ter, “Un­der­ground’, does not mean ‘dead’. Again, this is only im­plied. A more fit­ting in­ter­pre­ta­tion would have been, ‘six feet un­der’. What’s worse, is that if one were not fa­mil­iar with the Ara­bic ver­sion, the English ver­sion makes very lit­tle sense. It’s not in line with, and as strong as, the Ara­bic punch­line. If we were to take it a step fur­ther, it could be in­ter­preted as a ser­vice by a mo­bile phone com­pany of­fer­ing an un­in­ter­rupted con­nec­tion con­sid­er­ing that mo­bile op­er­a­tor alfa is part of this. Again, our aim is not to of­fend, rather un­der­stand how such a blun­der could have hap­pened.

Ad­ver­tis­ers: Agency: CRE­ATIVE TEAM: English copy­writer: Ara­bic copy­writer: Se­nior Art Di­rec­tors:

Alfa tele­com and Kun­hadi M&C Saatchi Beirut

and Roger Hajj

Maral Ghanma Nivine Baz

Youmna Sargi

AC­COUNT HAN­DLERS: Ac­count Di­rec­tor: Ac­count Ex­ec­u­tive:

MC Ha­j­jar

Danya Taha:

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