How to show people that language learning is important? Hijack movie subtitles to show how easily you can be mislead if you don’t grasp the language

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

I am not sure why language training is such a fertile creative sector, but it continues to churn out fantastic work from all corners of the world. Just a few months ago I wrote about a series of campaigns from Holland to Brazil that truly provoked to spotlight the need to learn English (see here). The Brazilian example brilliantly honed in on an environment where language knowledge comes in handy – the cinema. Especially when seeing films with subtitles. The Britanico English Institute in Peru leveraged a similar subject-matter, but found a much more powerful forum to bring to life its message.

The BEI in Peru looked to use a popular film-watching ritual to bring to life its message that learning English is important. Apparently, the pirate film-watching industry is vibrant in Peru and there are subtitle services that are used on the pirate sites. So the BEI created its own subtitle program and seeded it on these sites. However, the translations were a bit off. After a few back and forths between the characters in select programs and when a natural pause occurred, the real intent of the “mis-translation” was revealed.

I really love this idea, even though its legality is questionable, because it identifies a perfect environment to bring to life its idea rather than focus on existing channels. As a result, the impact is much stronger and its virality is noteworthy. As media environments clutter, these kinds of initiatives will become more and more important. The popularity of stunts is the beginning of this, but we have only scratched the surface. Looser regulated markets will likely push the boundaries most but their boldness will inspire novel idea everywhere else. Y&R Peru is the agency.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>