Champagne, s’il vous plaît – how transcreation captured the charm of a fresh brand of bubbly

Champagne du Goupil was born from the vineyards of Avize in northeastern France. The new blanc de blancs takes a fresh, playful approach to the traditional Champagne market, from the charming fox mascot to the enchanting storytelling on the label. Supertext was tasked with capturing the delightful French nuances for an English-speaking audience. It turned out to be the perfect case study for a comparison between translation and transcreation.

Translation opens up markets

Like many new companies looking to go global, the brand’s first step in reaching a wider market was to translate the product – in this case, the bottle label. This not only contains important information about the wine’s origins, cuvée and taste, it also communicates who the maker is and what it stands for. The translator was able to accurately relay the former, but the translation of the latter left much to be desired.


French original:

English translation:

Il était une fois un jeune et vigoureux Goupil qui demeurait au cœur de Versailles. Il y observait la vie de La cour, parée de ses plus beaux atours.
De toutes ses magnificences, celle qu’il admirait le plus était ce vin spécial qui rendait les femmes belles de son effervescence.
Désireux de découvrir l’histoire du breuvage de renom, il fit le voyage en Champagne, dont il s’éprit plus que de raison. Il choisit La Plus Belle vigne qu’il puisse trouver, dans l’intention de pouvoir l’exploiter et, à discrétion, se désaltérer, puis décida de ne jamais plus la quitter.

Once upon a time, a strong young fox lived in the heart of Versailles, where he observed courtly life in all its finery.
Of all its magnificent features, the one he admired the most was the special wine with bubbles that burnished women’s beauty.
Wishing to discover the history of this acclaimed beverage, he journeyed to Champagne, a place that fully captured his heart. He selected the most beautiful vine he could find with the intention of harvesting its fruits and quenching his own thirst – and then decided he would never leave again.

Transcreation builds brands

This translation didn’t capture the essence or charm of the original. In fact, some might say that it could even be damaging to the brand. And no wonder – a translator is not a branding expert or a storyteller. They don’t have the time or budget to invest in carefully choosing words and imagery to evoke emotions, represent values and make an impact. A transcreator, on the other hand, understands what it takes. Here are two versions of the same text from a Supertext transcreator:


Transcreation A:

Transcreation B:

The fabulous Monsieur Fox loves the finer things in life. A true bon vivant, he’s a vulpine with a passion for fine wine – always ready to grab life by the bottle. He found himself falling for one special variety: beautiful and bubbly, it gave life that extra bit of sparkle.

Embracing his natural curiosity, our hero went in search of the origins of this fizz fantastique. His travels took him to the French region of Champagne, where he traced natural effervescence to its very source. He realized the best wines come from the best vines. Choosing his own, he made his mark on the terroir – and made it his home.

The road to Champagne is lined with fine vines and great minds. Nobody knows that better than our intrepid Monsieur Fox. The vulpine from Versailles loves the finer things in life. He’s been all over France, searching far and wide – and his quest for the perfect vintage has brought him to Champagne, the natural home of effervescence.

Not to be outfoxed, our crafty connoisseur has got in on the act, selecting the finest vines from the iconic region to make a sparkling wine that’s full of Gallic flavor and panache. Now, our hero is feeling more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed than ever before.

Based on the image and the French concept provided, the transcreator conjured up a debonair Fantastic Mr Fox travelling France looking for fine wines. For an international market, they played up the French reputation for sophistication, opening up opportunities for French wordplay and giving the reader a lovable entry point for understanding the character’s quest.

The original text’s suggestion that the wine made women more beautiful reads as slightly old-fashioned and perhaps even sexist to an Anglophone audience, so the transcreator adapted it to suggest the fox had fallen in love with the wine – still in line with the idea of romance, but more egalitarian. Voilà: beautiful copy that’s a pleasure to read!

Images via Champagne du Goupil

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Ein Kommentar zu “Champagne, s’il vous plaît – how transcreation captured the charm of a fresh brand of bubbly”

  • Mike Dever am 8. December 2022 12:14 Uhr

    Outstanding work!

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