This is a fun challenge that I've used a few times in class, and it should only take you about 30 minutes!
The above example, a retooling of an ad for avoiding infant formula, was turned into an ad for Woodland Park Zoo by Donnie Dinch... which shows how you can do this exercise with a straight face or have some fun with it.Lost in Translation
Your ad reads: “Lorem ispsum consequat dolor ix vox populii.” Either your audience is fluent in designer’s Latin, or you need to roll up your sleeves and start writing some real headlines. Crafting copy for a design project can be fun if you have a strong command of your native tongue—though if writing is not your forte, the process can be nerve-wracking.
But don’t be scared. You’ve probably been copywriter at one point in your life. Just think back to when you took a trip to a foreign land. When confronted by cryptic billboards and bewildering ad images, you couldn’t help but write sales copy on the fly. How else could you process that otherwise unintelligible mass of foreign characters atop a smiling, bikini-clad woman clutching a piping-hot cappuccino?
Use the following challenge to take a journey into the mind of a copywriter. Find a foreign-language advertisement that you admire, then redesign it with text you’ve written in your native tongue. If possible, do not adjust the layout to fit your words. What will help this foreign ad make sense in your cultural context?
If you'd like to take it further: Find a television advertisement in a foreign language, take screen captures from key scenes that incorporate written text, and retouch them with dialogue in your language that makes sense of the progression of images.
Included after the break is another example from a set of images that I provided in this post from this past January.