Small Languages Are BIG Business

Track: Global Business | A7 |
Wednesday, March 9, 2022, 2:45am – 3:30am
Held in: Jujama
Ricky Kalu - Kalu Media 
Abigail Kazembe - Kalu Media

Big brands are beginning to move toward hyper-localization of smaller African languages. In this session, we will explore the phenomenon and see what can be learned together. In addition, we will discuss the trend of big businesses going more regional in their pursuit for sales, the effect of localizing anything into a new language, and beginning to recognize the societal impact. Part of this presentation will be describing a creative localization project done in conjunction with VMLY&R, a digital marketing agency. The project was a localization of the all-new Colgate Toothpowder which was developed to penetrate among the most rural and under-developed parts of Africa where communities have used charcoal and twigs to clean their teeth for decades. We will describe what drove the company to localize their campaign for the Kenyan, Swahili, and Kikuyu people. Our tasks included the transcreation of the radio commercial copy as well as the composition and recording of the jingle into these languages. We will cover the transcreation process that combines the localization processes of a minor dialect and to do it — to music — which was another mountain to climb. It was a wonderful project with many steps.

Takeways: Attendees will learn about some common challenges to expect when expanding into African languages meaningfully; why a partnership approach is better with ambitious clients than a generic service provider; music localization is a “thing”; and how to approach and develop your internal processes.