Translators Without Borders is a non-profit organisation that offers language and translation support for humanitarian emergencies. With the global pandemic further highlighting the language barrier that exists for some of the world’s poorest regions, making health advice accessible for as many languages as possible is an ongoing battle.
That’s why TBWA\Dublin is launching a new campaign to help Translators Without Borders raise some much needed funding. The creative consists of a series of short videos and static posts for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The idea plays off words that share the same spelling across two different languages (homophones) and then shows how the word vastly differs in meaning through the use of bright and engaging illustrations. This sets up the campaign message to show viewers that “With Covid-19, accurate translations can mean life or death”.
Though colourful light-hearted visuals, the campaign illustrates how easily a message can be misinterpreted and draws attention to how important accurate translation is in a crisis. TBWA\Dublin aims to shed light on those parts of the world that don’t have access to vital information, from non-English speakers to people living in poorer, less developed countries.
The language selection is based on the variety of visual differences between languages. Contrasting English with Bangla or Arabic script helps drive home how even a simple message like “wash your hands” can look so different across the globe.
TBWA\Dublin used detailed/behaviour targeting and multi-lingual videos in order to ensure that the campaign will resonate with a global audience and will connect with people who speak a variety of languages.
Paul Arthurs, Senior Art Director at TBWA\Dublin says:
“Developing this campaign for TWB using language translation itself to communicate, has created a powerful and idiosyncratic campaign. Starting with the initial idea of homophones and working through dozens of translations proved to us that we had the ability to communicate our vital information clearly yet playfully. Likewise we chose a bright, playful look and feel as a Trojan horse for our important message giving stand out and appeal.”
Amy Tumelty, Social Media & Content Specialist at TBWA\Dublin says:
“We know that audiences are feeling overwhelmed with the volume of Covid-19 communications they’re seeing right now. That’s why it was important for us to create content that could break through this, and raise some much needed funding for Translators Without Borders. With such eye-catching creative, It was imperative to back this creative up with strategic decisions like employing highly targeted audiences, applying dynamic creative and using a variety of diverse formats.”
Getting the campaign off the ground would not have been possible without the generosity and time of some key contributors. Working with the creative concept, the charming videos were expertly animated by Daniel Coss, while the fun illustrations were created with help from Watermark. Designed to maximise global reach, the social strategy has been massively extended thanks to support from both Facebook and Twitter.
Sharda Sekaran, Head of Fundraising and Communications, Translators without Borders:
“COVID-19 requires a global response that speaks to people in their own languages and gives them credible information that they can understand. Wired Magazine called COVID-19 ‘History’s Biggest Translation Challenge.’ We are grateful to TBWA for creating a clear and engaging campaign to raise awareness about this issue and to help Translators without Borders raise much-needed funds to meet the need for multilingual health information.”
To support Translators Without Borders global response to the crisis, head to their website
- CEO, Deirdre Waldron
- Senior Art Director, Paul Arthurs
- Copywriter, Martin Corcoran
- Social Media & Content Specialist, Amy Tumelty
- Senior Account Manager, Aoife McCarthy
- Video Editor, Rupert Morris
Translators Without Borders
- Head of Fundraising and Communications, Sharda Sekaran
- Chief Technology Officer, Eric Paquin
- Communications Senior Officer, Krissy Welle
- Development Senior Officer, Rosie Marteau
- Communications Officer, Danielle Moore
- Animator, Daniel Coss
- Global Public Policy Strategy, Sara Eqozi
- Client Account Manager, Megan Templeton
- Account Manager, Adrian Ma
The TBWA\Dublin Group was established in Dublin in 1992. The driving vision in the early years was to challenge the conventions of the business and to lead the thinking within the industry. From the very beginning, the company earned a reputation for strategic insight and creative excellence. In 2002, the agency joined the TBWA\ network when it joined Omnicom. Today the TBWA\Dublin Group is a multi award winning full-service agency, which includes the TBWA\DAN Data Lab and the TBWA\Make production company.