Building localization-ready masters the right way

Building efficient master assets starts with asking the right questions about the countries where a campaign will be localized. The sooner Hercules can identify the key nuances and subtleties of each market, the better prepared we are to deliver effective localizations.

At Hercules, we work with Agencies of Record in building master assets in-house, ideally right from the beginning. That way we can help identify where, for example, a locally specific shot is needed, or where post-production will be required to remove a street sign or create a different cityscape. Casting is, of course, a key consideration too. We can help identify when the production team should shadow shoot an actor who represents the local market or offer an alternative post-production solution. Additional executions of an original asset can meaningfully simplify the whole localization process, hence why we are always looking for opportunities to capture culturally nuanced assets from the beginning and can avoid costly changes later.

While every localization project is different, Hercules creates a checklist with five key factors to consider when developing master assets:

1.What do people look like in your localization markets?

Skin tone, facial features, how people dress, even subtle gestures are all cultural essentials. Your actress or actor should represent the market.

2. What does the environment look like – from landscapes to interiors?

Should your shiny new automobile be winding through mountain roads or speeding down city avenues? It depends on the local market. A sprawling suburban home might be a great setting for the US market, but people live differently in, say, Japan.

3. Are there specific cultural practices?

The cultural roles people assume in real life need to be reflected back to them in communication. If your actress is not wearing a veil to cover her hair, that may be a problem in certain countries (in the Middle East for instance).

4. How will the original language work in localization?

For example, the length of different languages varies. Can a voice-over work in a different language in the time allotted? In print, diacritical marks may require a tailor-made font. Or the length of the local language may change the layout. Knowing language variations upfront can help agencies develop flexible assets.

5. Does the tone and humor of your communication resonate?

Humor can be highly culturally specific. In the early stages of development, Hercules can help agencies know when humor will translate, and when it will not be possible. We help you build master assets which travel wherever your message needs to go.

Providing cultural insight for creating powerful and locally relevant masters.

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