The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) has gotten a good rep for its sarcastic and refreshingly honest customer communication about public transportation in the German capital. With the hashtag #weilwirdichlieben (becauseweloveyou), the BVG comes across as laid-back, personable and tongue-in-cheek on its social media channels, even when responding to complaints about delays and other vocal criticism. Now Supertext’s transcreations are letting English-speaking passengers enjoy this repartee too – and ensuring that even the most complex communications never go off the rails.
Rapid transit-lation services for the BerlKönig campaign
BerlKönig is the BVG’s new ridesharing service, which costs nearly as little as the price of a bus fare. BerlKönig (borrowed from Goethe’s classic ballad) currently operates within the city center and has gotten a positive response for its environmentally friendly sharing ethos. Going against expectations is just as important at GUD.berlin as it is for the Berlin metro service. Which makes it, alongside Supertext, the ideal partner to steer the project. It quickly became clear that the team led by Account Director Ben Kloeden and Supertext Key Account Manager Rea Caneve had something good going:
“Timing is everything, and no one knows that better than the BVG. Supertext is a creative partner able to get on board with this – turning around jobs within 24 hours and sometimes even the same afternoon. Partners who are able to keep our pace are few and far between.”
Ben Kloeden, BVG Account Director at GUD.berlin
Beyond translation: witty transcreations
The BVG has shown that it understands how important it is to relate to customers. And since successfully communicating in a foreign language often requires more than a literal translation, they’ve chosen our transcreation service. A creative adaptation, in other words. Generating headlines that truly do stick in your head – and that above all represent BVG’s image: always a bit cheeky with a generous dose of irony. Key Account Manager Rea Caneve says:
“The BVG knows not to take things too seriously. But nothing could be farther from the case when it comes to our language professionals’ commitment to top-quality transcreations. We take the company’s style into account and use an imaginative approach to develop new, unique headlines that you’ll never forget.”
Here’s some of what we came up with for the BerlKönig campaign:
The new JELBI app website, which brings together all of Berlin’s mobility services on a single platform, was also on the road map. Supertext transcreations are now ensuring that passengers are able to find their way in English as well.
Images via BVG