Our Story Through the Lens of Film

The Making of Smartling’s New Brand Videos


By Adrian K. Cohn, Director of Brand Strategy and Communications

The world is shrinking more rapidly today than ever before. This is evident to each of us at Smartling with every Global Delivery Network request, API callback and saved translation. Our customers, who make the greatest products and deliver the best services, enable people to experience life without language as a barrier. It’s also an obvious path to economic growth.

In advance of Smartling’s annual Global Ready™ Conference, I set off to tell this story through film. Having seen endless reels of B2B advertisements that focus on the features of the product, I knew we had to do something entirely different in order to do justice to our customers. I retained two creative companies — CounterTake and Spots and Boxes — to oversee the production and copywriting, respectively. Both groups are based in New Orleans and labor tirelessly on delivering their best work with every engagement. Here they are:

Anywhere, Today

Technology seamlessly connects our world. It’s possible to fly directly from Australia to the UK in a little over 17 hours, a trip once reserved for Royalty that took nearly 13 days. This type of innovation exists across almost every industry.

Pick a playlist. Cars on demand. Book a flight. Swipe left. Or right.

These everyday experiences seem ordinary- and, they should feel this way. But anyone who’s a part of global fulfillment, from logistics and compliance to in-language content creation, knows this to be far more complex than it may seem.

Content creation is particularly interesting because it’s an art form that carries economic utility. The same is true for translation; however, the complexities of creating and delivering content in multiple languages present challenges to scalability. Smartling customers have re-imagined this process by eliminating copy/paste actions, providing linguists with a contextualized translation interface, and leveraging real-time analytics to reduce costs.

Quill to QWERTY

Businesses depend on technology to drive efficiency and cost savings. This has been the case for decades and transcends every business vertical. It has enabled companies to scale their operations and distributions internationally, where providing content in-language is a requisite. Smartling is a technology-first approach to translation management poised to facilitate our customers’ growth through accessing new markets or driving efficiency.

Quill to QWERTY is our second brand spot that addresses how the tools used to create content, and the evolution of new features, have changed over time. In its infancy, translation was reserved for the most sacred of texts. Yet as the world became more deeply connected, so, too, did the demands for translation. Typewriters accelerated the pace of content creation, and over time, new models introduced features such as the ability to overwrite a typo or manage the paper feed with the push of a button. My grandfather, whose typewriters are featured in this commercial, used to speak with such pride about these innovations!

Today’s tools are far more sophisticated. What we’re particularly excited by is how easy it is for Smartling to deploy new code — a feature that enables our customers and linguists to operate more efficiently — multiple times a week. It isn’t uncommon for customers to spot a bug or make a feature request on a Monday, and see a fix deployed later in the week. This flexibility adds value to our customers because their product requests aren’t just stashed away in a JIRA until “the next release,” but instead can be adopted as soon as they’re ready.

As a technology-first company, Smartling can better serve our customers by addressing their needs quickly. This is a charge everyone at Smartling takes seriously, and it’s what makes this company so great. We believe in our customers and we want to see them successfully deliver their products and services to their end users.

Translation engineered for the future. This is the final on-screen text in both films for a reason. We’ve been in this business since 2009 and are continuously refining everything we do to better serve our customers. People are better connected today than ever before, but what about tomorrow? We believe the products and services of our customers enable everyone to do great things: build a better business, express oneself in unique ways, travel across the world to visit family and friends. This isn’t going to change. We know this to be true because the human race advances year over year, decade by decade. To best position our customers and their end users, we are focused on engineering a platform that can scale to any demand, connect with any system, and reach every user efficiently.

Video Credits: Director: Simon Marthinsen, Director of Photography: David Reece Jr., Composer / VFX Supervisor: Nick Vitter, Producer: Robert Vernier, Producer: Robert Vernier, Copywriter: Julie Dorman, Editor: Aaron Greenbau