Onstuimig

“Artsy” domestic violence awareness campaign is lost in translation

Posted by Tom Megginson | 14-11-2012 19:41 | Category: Violence



image

Violence is not beautiful. But for some reason, BETC, Paris seem to have tried to make it so.

The original French-language campaign can be seen, in thumbnail form only, on the front page of the Ni Putes Ni Soumises (neither whores nor submissives) web site. The big images on the press release are broken links.

image


Here are two in larger form, via lachaineducoeur.fr:

image

The copy makes all the difference. Or rather, the poor English adaptation for the international ad appreciation community.

In French, the tagline is “Indifference kills,” and the call-to-action is to learn more about International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. While still a graphically shocking campaign in the English version, the copy “Fight violence against women” — in addition to being sadly ironic — is so generic that it makes the campaign appear self-serving (for the agency, who want the attention) and exploitative (of harmed women).

image

The “Grave Green” translation isn’t just confusing. It’s misdirecting. In all of the French language ads, the bruises are shown as evidence of ongoing violence: “Rape Green,” “Rage Red” and “Fist Brown” (the wordplay doesn’t translate). The implied recent death of the woman below the image tells us what the woman’s fate will be (or was), due to people around her not noticing the warning signs of abuse. In this context, it’s a powerful message: THESE BRUISES ARE TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING. And although the worldplay is a little off-putting, the overall idea of bruises as urgent messages is clear.

image

“Booze brown” is another misdirection. While alcohol is certainly a contributing factor to some abuse scenarios, the “message” of the bruise is not about alcohol abuse. It’s about violence.

So, why did BETC completely ruin their campaign? I am baffled. But the horrible translations and loss of campaign context do worse than devalue their work — they appear to devalue the cause.


Advertiser:
Ni Putes Ni Soumises
Agency:
BETC, Paris
Source:
Copyranter







My comment



Comment:




Your comment will not be visible until a moderator approves it.








Some rights reserved 2005-2013 Osocio/Houtlust.
Disclaimer. Terms of use. Privacy statement.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.







Support us

Do you like our blog? Support us with a donation.
We're non-commercial. We all make Osocio pro bono in our spare time and we can use some support.





image of a graduation cap

Recent in Academy


Is this eating disorder ad too sexy?

It’s a serious question. This woman has the typical idealized body of a model, and despite the scary body painting, the portrayal is undeniably drawing attention to her curves and bare skin. When I think about eating disorders, I try to imagine looking in the mirror and seeing a funhouse…
Read more

Book review: Hidden Persuasion

33 psychological influence techniques in advertising Designing for behavior change is our thing here on Osocio.  We discuss the wide area of social campaigns from all over the world. ‘Is it a good or bad campaign’ is our first question. And we often judge a campaign based on professional principles…
Read more


About Osocio

Osocio is dedicated to social advertising and non-profit campaigns. It’s the place where marketing and activism collide. Formerly known as the Houtlust Blog, Osocio is the central online hub for advertisers, ad agencies, grassroots, activists, social entrepreneurs, and good Samaritans from around the globe.
Read more

(the about page is also available in Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese 汉语/漢語, Deutsch, Español, Français, Italiano, Nihongo 日本語, Ivrit עברית, Filipino, Polski, Português, Russian Русский язык, Slovenčina, Suomi, Svenska and Türkçe)