Translating Advertising Assignment

By: Aaron Petit, Mike Filardi, Mary Kate Buckman

From observing the essay talking about advertising and its translations through other cultures, we determined that the three main points that are talked about in this essay are how advertising 1: is part of culture, 2: advertising is heavily influenced by language and 3: a person’s needs, motives, and emotions have a part to play in the meaning of the advertising itself.

For advertising as part of culture the essay talks about how cultural patterns and organized systems of significant symbols relate to peoples living styles and without those things, people would have trouble living together. This means that advertisements have to relate to these specific cultural patterns and symbols in order for the ad to get across and actually have meaning. When people relate to or find meaning in an advertisement, they are more likely to purchase the product. This is seen in our ad below, as it takes the style and format of an American iPhone commercial and makes a few changes to better fit within Chinese culture. These changes include focusing on apps that Apple assumes its customers in China will be interested in, rather than what is popular in America. For example, the ad focuses more on game apps than advertisements do in America. This is intended to make the comercial more relatable to its audience.

For the essays second point, language heavily influences advertisement across the world. The essay says that even though English is the most well known language out of all, many people are reluctant to learn a new language so all that would be left for the ad would be the image which could be horribly misinterpreted. The language of our ad is all in Mandarin so that the message of the ad can be clearly understood by its audience. This ad was made specifically for China, it wouldn’t translate well in other places if those places did not speak the language, as that audience wouldn’t understand what the advertisement was trying to highlight about the product.

Finally the essays final point being that an advertisement must suffice a person’s needs, motives, and emotions. The essay talks about how ones needs always comes first, for example clothing, and by using this the ad becomes very effective. This connects with the point about culture, if you can connect with someone on a personal level, the product and meaning to the commercial can be more easily sold. In our ad, we see this in the specific apps that are being shown off to the audience. These apps serve a clear need such as providing information, weather updates, or fitness techniques. The ad aims to convince its audience that it is a necessary tool for navigating everyday life. Further, although this ad is not very emotional, a personal connection is attempted when the audience is shown Chinese buildings, actors, and other things familiar to the culture..




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