At the tail end of 2018, top Amsterdam agency 180 Kingsday approached us to work on Replay’s Hyperflex+ upcoming campaign “Attack of the Stiff Jean Zombies”.
Replay, owned by Italian group The Fashion Box, is a successful brand of denim casual wear, accessories and footwear.
The concept behind the campaign was a tongue in cheek critique of the denim fashion industry, full of do’s and don’ts when it comes to what’s considered cool and on trend. The idea was that if you as a consumer follow these ‘stiff’ rules without question, you might be considered a bit of a fashion Zombie!
Replay have a long history of rebellion against such rules and wanted to show how wearers might enjoy the challenge of fighting off Stiff Zombie-like dress codes via a ‘kick-ass’ 90” ad campaign.
The campaign starred Brazilian professional footballer Neymar Jr and actress-model, Emily Ratajkowski, with fast-paced music by The Boom Shot Squad, featuring Chinese rappers, WendyNoNo and JP.
For the Chinese Market
It was our task to first adapt the phrase “Stiff Jean Zombies” for the Chinese market, then work on transcreating the accompanying superscript graphics for the film.
We offered 3 Simplified Chinese options for “Stiff Jean Zombies” with literal back translations resulting in “Stiff Pants Corpse”, “Hard ‘Cow’ Zombies” and “Cool Hard Zombies”. Each option was provided with a rationale explaining the linguist’s reasoning coupled with their own perspective on Chinese youth street culture.
Of course, to a Chinese audience the literal back translation won’t come across in the same amusing way as they do for us in English, but it’s important for non-Chinese speaking clients to gain some idea how their campaign messages are going to taken and understood.
In the end Replay chose to go with “Stiff Pants Corpse” or as they say in China, 僵裤尸
Take a look behind the scenes here.