Peacock TV released a Facebook ad using lines and visuals from Shrek (in English and Spanish) to come up with a unique bilingual and bicultural clip. My initial reaction? It caught my attention, drew a smile and had me sharing it with my friends, bilingual/bicultural friends, who would also “get it”.

So, what did Peacock TV do?

In my opinion, they did 3 things really well.

  1. They picked a movie that went beyond a translation
    Shrek is a family movie with one of the best adapted scripts out there. Eugenio Derbez is acclaimed for his groundbreaking work when he was given creative freedom to make changes to the script, as opposed to just translating it. This makes the script feel fully conceived in Spanish: the jokes are there, the cultural references are there, the personality of the characters are there… it holds its own and it WORKS.
  2. They picked a scene that touches a nostalgic chord
    The dialogue between La Galleta (Gingerbread Man) and Lord Farquad carries key cultural nuances both in English (with the Muffin Man) and in Spanish (with Pin Pon), making us reminisce of old nursery rhymes or canciones de cuna from our childhood.
  3. They added relevant humor
    Peacock TV took a fun creative spin and mashed the English and Spanish clips emphasizing how unique each version is.


And boom, it hits a home run, un golazo! Peacock TV’s ad spoke to me and proved that they get it. Yes, the ad was just about Shrek en Español and English, but the deeper message I got is that there is more content for me and my family there.

Why does it work?

As a person who navigates English and Spanish worlds -and loves a good laugh in each language, I can tell the ad was an original creation conceived from a bilingual/bicultural framework for an audience that lives in both worlds, like I do. And this makes it far more effective than an English ad that gets translated to Spanish. Unfortunately, that’s where most companies spend their limited budgets on: translation.

To spark an authentic connection with us, marketers must go beyond translations and focus more on transcreations and original creations where a backbone of cultural insights and creative flexibility will help drive the real message. Not many choose that path. Those that do and do it well manage to get a special place in our minds and our hearts, and consequently…. a piece of our wallets.

Something to look out for

The ad has subtitles AND written ad copy which are hard to tell apart from each other. The placement and use of white font for both make them conflict for the viewer’s attention who must figure out the flow and purpose of each set of text. One more thing that marketers for bilingual audiences need to keep an eye for.

To view the ad:
Eugenio Derbez talking about the script adaptation for Shrek (in Spanish):

By Veronica Ulreich
Director of Client Services