I translated and localised the video clip of the campaign #weareislay by Bruichladdich, shown during the whisky festival in Paris.

Helping Rémy Cointreau market its new whisky and gin brands in France

In 2017, I was asked to help the Rémy Cointreau Group translate two English marketing campaigns into French. Rémy Cointreau is a well-known French luxury spirits brand with plenty of experience marketing to French people — however, it had acquired two luxury Scottish brands, Bruichladdich whisky and The Botanist gin, and it needed a little help translating the brands’ stories and existing marketing materials as it brought these products to the French market.

These products had been established by Scottish companies and had only been marketed to an English-speaking audience. My task was to help Rémy Cointreau market these products to a French audience by translating the language and storytelling used in the previous English-speaking marketing campaigns.

Understanding different audiences

A good translator translates the words, the idioms, and any cultural references into something their audience will understand. A great translator considers how appealing or persuasive the translation is to the new audience. This is absolutely essential when translating marketing material as the purpose is not just to inform the reader, but to convince them that your brand, or your product, is worth investing in. To ensure my translations had the maximum impact on a French audience, I had to think about how French people might react to The Botanist and Bruichladdich brands and to their stories.

Translating the story of The Botanist and Bruichladdich

As I said above, when translating for any marketing campaign it is important to understand the story or narrative the brand is trying to tell. Rémy Cointreau is a big believer in storytelling to help market their products and establish their brands, so they were keen for me to translate the Scottish stories of The Botanist and Bruichladdich and to make them appealing to a French audience. This required an attuned cultural sensitivity to the differences between French-speaking and English-speaking audiences, to the kinds of stories that attract and inspire them.

Translating Bruichladdich’s values, identity and unique selling point

Bruichladdich is one of the first distilleries in Scotland to introduce the concept of terroir and provenance. Terroir is a French term used to discuss and describe wine or food deeply rooted to a specific region. Terroir emcompasses a range of environmental factors, such as soil, topography, climate, etc. These aspects of the terroir influence the flavour and character of the finished product.

This groundbreaking and rebellious approach to Scotch Whisky production is a big part of Bruichladdich’s identity and it was important to them that I help convey the concept of terroir in the French marketing materials I translated for them.

The French audience is already very familiar with the term terroir and they are already sensitive to the provenance of the products they buy — but less so in the context of whisky making. Telling Bruichladdich’s brand story in France involved using concepts a French audience uses on a daily basis and showing them how they also apply to whisky. I explored the quality and origin of the barley, the micro-provenance of the raw materials, and the experience of the local workforce who have inherited the art of whisky making from their ancestors. All of these ingredients and ideas are why  Bruichladdich is a whisky brand that appeals to a French audience, and it was this complex cocktail of terroir and Scottish whisky that made for a truly fascination translation project.

Do you have a marketing campaign or a product you’d like to appeal to a French audience? As an experienced French translator based in the UK, I will be able to help. Please get in touch if you’d like so know more about my English into French translation services.

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