International Women’s Day on Chinese Social Media
Today the world is celebrating the International Women’s Day on social media & China is no exception. Simply Mandarin published a social media calendar for Chinese digital marketers previously to help you catch the ‘trend’ on Chinese social media. You can view and download it here.
Brands, KOLs & social media users took the opportunity to engage with their followers by posting wishes, sharing stories about strong women and offering special deals. What is interesting for western marketers is different and subtle Chinese translations of International Women’s Day were applied in different situations based on the brand positioning and target audience. It is a perfect example of the importance of transcreation in delivering marketing messages to Chinese audiences. Transcreation is all about getting these nuances right. Getting them wrong will not only jar a native speakers sensibilities, it will turn away a potential audience!
The conventional and ‘proper’ (formal) translation of women’s day is 妇女节, however 妇女（fu nv) often refers to married women. It also has the implication of old fashioned, traditional and perhaps not so cool. Great if that’s the audience you’re trying to link with, but a disaster if it’s not your target audience!
The new generation wouldn’t want to be associated with this reference at all unless in a joking way with close friends.
CCTV （China Central Television）posted on Weibo to encourage people to show love to their mothers. The version 妇女节 is used here.
The Forbidden City offered half price entry for female visitors today on Weibo. They used 女性朋友(Female friends) in the message.
One popular transcreation of the occasion is 女神(nv shen)节—the Day of the Goddess. This version became popular among the social media culture where people refer to the women they admire or fancy as 女神(Goddess). Many girls/women will be pleased if they were addressed as 女神 in the greetings.
Starbucks posted a message to wish all 女神 a happy day.
We also have 女王节—the Day of the Queen. This version becomes popular among the entertainment world in Taiwan. There are a lot of strong female TV personal who are successful and were “crowned” Queen of their own field. This version is often selected by brands who target at confident, economically well-off & perhaps more mature female audience. A Chinese pop singer posted a message today. You can get the tone of voice here by the emoji she used.
And there is 女生节 – The Day of the Girls, which falls on the 7th of March. Most of the time, girls don’t want to be addressed as women so the Internet creates a day to celebrate youth. Brands targeting at younger girls often would take this version. A young TV personal posted messages on Weibo to its female followers – mostly teenagers on the 7th of March.
Which version would you choose to address your Chinese audience? Get it right and you connect with your audience immediately. Get it wrong and you’ve lost them! Transcreation; it’s more than merely translation, far more than a technical translation. Transcreation ensures your message remains true and spans the language and the culture barriers seamlessly.
I hope that gives you some insight into marketing on International Women’s Day in China, but also shows you the importance of transcreating marketing messages rather than just translating the messages.
Why not contact us for some tips and advice if you aren’t sure?