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Baby Killers - The Global Truth



INFLUENCER: Chris Turner, senior sound designer at Jungle, shares an ad industry horror story

Baby Killers - The Global Truth

In life, nothing compares to the miracle of giving birth.  With it however comes great responsibility. It requires effort, preparation and devotion; so it helps if you and your partner are truly compatible.  The journey ahead is strewn with challenges – both physical and emotional. 

Usually the first exciting challenge will be selecting a name. You’ll no doubt choose a different one every other week but that’s all part of the fun. Keep it secret; you can refer to your creation by a codename like Project X - unless of course you get people to sign an NDA. 

The next big question is who should deliver it? You need to get the best treatment. Choosing the right person is crucial, so you and your partner should ask yourselves these important questions:

1. Do you get on with them?

2. How was their initial consultation?

3. Would you feel at ease with them taking charge?

Next consider who should be at the birth? It's important to get the right team around you to offer support; hey some people even take their PA!

Finally, who do you want to film the birth? If you want a big production you should consider shooting in 4K with a proper DoP. 

Now, you’re all set to produce your shiny new TV Commercial…

You spend hours in labour and pour your heart and soul into your wonderful creation. Finally your offspring is ready to fly the nest.  You sit back and watch proudly as it makes it’s first public appearance in the ad break of Britain’s Got Talent. David Reviews gives it five stars and congratulates you and your team on a job well done.

Except it isn’t yet.

Tarquin the account handler delivers the good news that everybody loves your baby so much it’s going to play in 45 territories – your baby’s going to need to be adapted.

But nobody knows your baby like you do. Nobody cares about your baby the way you do. And if you want your baby to go out in the world and succeed you’re going to need to keep a close eye on it.

You see there are people out there who’ll want to change your baby with scarce regard to the monster it might become. The sad truth is, unless you’re willing to oversee this personally, someone is going to BUTCHER your baby!

It’ll go something like this….

Your baby’s a stunner, but Rushmekistan and Bulgovia like their babies with brown hair and brown eyes not blonde hair and blue eyes. They’re going to need to strip your baby down to its assets and re-build it before it could possibly work in their market.


“Yeah they did change the cut a bit,” says Tarquin. 

So since the edit is altered why didn’t they recut the SFX? Now we hear the taxi door closing as the fridge opens and a lion roar as the lady in the running shoes bends over! And as a bonus the music you had specially composed is now out of sync with the edit.  

Plus their ad is 32 Seconds long. “In Bulgovia they have no rules about length. Something to do with frame rate I think,” says Tarquin.  “So anyway the music’s too short, but they’re going to loop a bit.” 

And make the ad sound like it ends twice. Ba da bap ba - ba da bap ba.

Oh, and some of the territories have cast a VO of a different sex who for some reason shouts and sounds like they’ve been recorded in a bathroom on an electric razor.

Other regions have changed the script, “because the translation used verbs that can be confusing. Apparently.” Says Tarquin. 

But the back translation you’re sent leaves you mystified: “The world has fun when yous laugh with your shoe.”

It comes to the point where you’d fall out with Tarquin - but he’s just left for his gap year.

And you thought locking yourself in the bathroom, peeing on a stick and waiting three minutes to see if it turns blue was nerve wracking!

We help make beautiful babies every year at Jungle and we also do thousands of global adapts every year.  Sometimes we’re given the time to make the adapts as good as the original.  And sometimes we’re not.

Brands need to consider that if they're going to spend millions on making beautiful babies, it's a false economy to scrimp on their adaption. Send them out into the world as beautiful as the day they were born.

I thought you’d like to know. Wouldn’t every parent? 

Chris Turner is senior sound designer at Jungle Studios
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Genres: Music & Sound Design

Jungle Studios, Thu, 14 Jan 2016 16:15:33 GMT