Work November 29, 2018

Fish, gladiators, transcreation and ebookers.com

By Rhian Dighton

ebookers.com are extremely passionate about travel, working with over 400 airlines and 270,000 hotels to help clients find their perfect holiday. Not only can users search for flights and hotels, but also activities, making planning a holiday a truly unique and customisable experience.


Last Summer Living Word was tasked with providing the transcreation of ebookers’ new Swiss TVC campaign ‘Book Unique’, briefed in by Leo Burnett London’s subsidiary agency Fallon. Two film scripts had to be worked on, ‘Catch of the Day’ and ‘Gladiator’.

Fallon’s creative angle emphasised that with ebookers, you’re booking an ‘experience’ and not just a holiday. Taking influence from the likes of Stanley Kubrick and Wes Anderson, the films used wide-angle lenses close to the subjects, adding a sense of cinematic drama and humour. The real humour, however, came from the larger than life characters depicted in the films themselves.


Magnus & Lotte Paulson absolutely love fish.

In the film ‘Catch of the Day’ we first meet the couple in their own home, surrounded by fish paraphernalia, and then follow them on their journey to realise their dream of ‘sleeping with the fishes’.

Marketed at a Swiss audience, Living Word was tasked with a Swiss-German and Swiss-French transcreation. Rather than simply translating the scripts and returning them to the client, we worked closely alongside them, giving the client the opportunity to adjust where they saw fit and helped really develop their ideas.

Providing several creative options with back translations and comments from the translator allowed us to do this very effectively.

Adapting the copy for market.

In the Swiss-German version of the video we see Lotte speeding down a huge waterslide and the narrator says: “…And wasted no time getting stuck in. Perhaps a little too stuck in…” However, as there is no equivalent to ‘get stuck in’ in Swiss-German, our translator provided two creative options for our client to choose from:

Option 1: “Aber sie haben keine Zeit vergeudet. Und sind gleich abgetaucht…” or “But they have wasted no time. And immediately immersed themselves.
Option 2: “Doch dann ging es auch schon los. Vielleicht ein wenig zu schnell?” or “But then it quickly started. Maybe a little bit too quickly?”

See if you can spot which one they chose by watching it here: Catch of the Day


Julius the Gladiator.

The second film ‘Gladiator’ also required a lot of creative input. Featuring the Norris family, who live and breathe history and their son Julius, who dreams of being a Gladiator.

The line ‘come on Julius, he’s not that big’ was an addition to the original script and ebookers required several different creative translations for the line. In true Living Word style, we provided eleven different options! Here are a few examples we provided for the Swiss-French version.

Option 1: “Allez Jules, il n’est pas si grand…” or “Come on Jules, he’s not that big…”
Option 2: “Vas-y, Jules, tu peux le faire” or “Come on, Julius, you can do it”
Option 3: “Fonce, Jules, donne-lui une leçon” or “Go for it, Jules, teach him a lesson”
Option 4: “Vas-y, Jules, fais-lui mordre la poussière” or “Come on, Jules, make him bite the dust”

After reviewing all of the options, Fallon asked us to refine parts and, in turn, we gave them our opinion on what worked and what didn’t for a Swiss audience. After several rounds of amends and some re-writing of the English script, Fallon were ready to record.

The Swiss-French version can be watched here: Gladiator


Involvement with the recording sessions.

Our collaboration didn’t end there however. Living Word was on call to give input during the voice over recording sessions with our translators standing by to call in with any last minute changes to the script. By hearing the script out loud, our translators were able to give further on the spot creative input and adapt lines where necessary.

Once the script had been recorded, we provided a new transcript to match the new and improved audio.

Working with so many different people on a project can be challenging at times. But, at Living Word we endeavour to make the process as straightforward as possible. Working with the client, rather than for them, meant that we could create something truly unique for ebookers’ ‘Book Unique’ campaign.