The Little Book of Transcreation – excerpt #3

2 comments Written on October 5th, 2011 by
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It’s not just English brands that often leave slogans in the original language for international audiences.

Car maker Volkswagen is using its “Das Auto” line worldwide. It highlights the fact that the cars come from Germany – a country known for high-quality engineering.

But in Brazil the strategy has backfired.

The VW Beetle was made there for decades, and the brand was seen as an “honorary Brazilian”. This was reflected in its previous slogan, “você conhece, você confia” (“you know, you trust”). By emphasizing its foreign-ness, VW threw away an emotional bond built up over many years.

By contrast, the German line was well received in Russia. Market research is crucial!

Car maker Volkswagen is using its “Das Auto” line worldwide


2 comments “The Little Book of Transcreation – excerpt #3”

One bit of information should be added. The experience went so wrong because Brazilians didn’t understand the meaning of “Das Auto” that now they have it both in Portuguese and in German: O Carro/Das Auto. It seems to me that by “explaining the joke” they also lost some points with the Brazilian market.


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