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Localize Your Ads and Boost ROAS with AI Video Translation

November 29, 2023

In today's globalized world, businesses need to be able to market to audiences across different countries and languages. Localizing your ads is key to effectively reaching and resonating with foreign audiences. However, traditionally localizing ads is an expensive and time-consuming process. You either have to create entirely separate ads for each market or do voiceovers in different languages. This is where AI video translation comes in. New technologies like HeyGen's AI video translator allow you to easily localize video ads by automatically translating scripts and matching voices and lip movements. In this post, we'll look at how you can use AI video translation to boost return on ad spend (ROAS) by localizing your video ads for different markets.

HeyGen Video Translation for Enterprise

The Benefits of Localized Ads

Localized ads speak directly to foreign audiences in their native language and culture. This makes the messaging more relevant and impactful. Key benefits of localizing ads include:

  • Increased ad comprehension and engagement: Viewers better understand and connect with ads in their own language. This leads to higher view-through and click-through rates.
  • Improved brand image: Demonstrating the effort to speak to audiences in their language shows you respect and value those customers. This builds goodwill and trust in the brand.
  • Higher conversion rates: Removing language barriers means viewers are more likely to take action after seeing the ad. Localized calls-to-action in particular make responses more likely.
  • Expanded reach: You gain access to broader international audiences that may not understand ads in your default language. Localization expands your total addressable market.

The Challenge of Video Ad Localization

Localizing static image ads or text is relatively straightforward. However, translating video ads poses unique challenges:

  • Cost: Professional video shoots in multiple languages get very expensive very quickly. Completely re-filming ads in each new market is usually not scalable.
  • Production time: Re-shooting ads delay time-to-market. The content risks becoming outdated or irrelevant.
  • Lip synchronization: Overdubbing new audio on top of existing video looks sloppy if the lip movements don't match. This ruins the viewer experience.
  • Consistency: Actors, scenes, and scripts that test well in one market may not resonate the same in others. It's tricky to maintain a consistent brand experience across markets.

This is where AI video translation services come in. Instead of remaking videos from scratch in different languages, the original ad can be automatically translated both linguistically and visually using machine learning.

The simple Video Ad Localization with HeyGen

How AI Video Translation Works

AI video translation tools like HeyGen use advanced machine learning algorithms to localize ads. Here's an overview of how they work:

  1. Script translation: The video ad's script is translated from the source language into the target language using neural machine translation. This retains the meaning and formatting of the original text.
  2. Voice cloning: The translated script is then synthesized into a voiceover using text-to-speech technology. The AI replicates the tone, cadence, and pronunciation of the original voice talent.
  3. Lip synchronization: Using computer vision and deep learning, the AI maps the spoken translated audio to the lip movements from the original video. The mouth shapes are edited to perfectly match the new voiceover.

The resulting video looks and sounds like it was created natively in the new language. The visuals, voice, and script all feel locally authentic. At the same time, the original creative intent and brand messaging are preserved.

Driving Higher ROAS with Localized Video Ads

Localizing ads with AI translation delivers better results across key ROAS metrics:

  • Higher CTRs: Viewers are more likely to click on ads in languages they understand fluently. Localized messaging also increases relevancy.
  • Increased conversions: The removal of language barriers means prospects actually comprehend your offer and call to action. This directly lifts conversion rates.
  • Expanded audiences: Each localized ad version gives you reach into new non-native-speaking populations. More reach equals more conversions.
  • Lower production cost: AI translation saves all the time and money required to physically remake multiple ad versions. Those savings directly improve return on spend.
  • Faster iteration: AI translation allows you to test more ad variations and localizations simultaneously. This speeds up learning and optimization.
  • Consistent branding: Maintaining the same visuals and tone across markets helps build cohesive, recognizable branding worldwide.

With AI translation, the same ad assets can be efficiently localized into any language at scale. This unlocks bigger, more engaged audiences in foreign markets. And the cost savings mean overall ROAS sees a significant upside.

Case Study: Rosetta Stone

Global language learning company Rosetta Stone used HeyGen's AI video translation technology to localize their video ads. By translating the creative into Spanish, French, German, and Italian, they were able to expand paid advertising into additional markets cost-effectively. The translated ads mirror the original English video's branding and scripting. Lip movements and voiceovers were synthesized completely automatically by the AI.

The results show the power of AI-translated ads to drive higher engagement and conversion rates:

  • 75% lower production time and costs compared to manual translation
  • 13% higher click-through rate for localized versions
  • 9% increase in sales conversion rate from non-English viewers
  • 5X increase in ROAS across Spanish, French, and German markets

By unlocking additional language markets, Rosetta Stone was able to scale international paid advertising and saw ROAS multiply. AI video translation provided cost-effective localization that would have been unviable through traditional methods.

Tips for Getting Started with AI Video Translation

Here are some best practices to optimize your usage of AI translation when localizing ads:

  • Focus on scripts over visuals: Well-translated scripts and voiceovers matter more than matching visuals exactly. Prioritize translating the spoken and written words properly.
  • Adapt references: Be open to adapting references or examples in the script that may not translate well verbatim. The AI will retain brand tone and messaging.
  • Specify pronunciations: For brand names and other key terms, provide phonetic spellings to guide proper pronunciation by the AI.
  • Mind sentence length: Long, complex sentences may need to be simplified to translate clearly. Break Up sentences focused around a single idea.
  • A/B test: Run A/B tests of translated vs original ads. Use learnings to refine translations to maximize relevance.
  • Enunciate clearly: Capture clean, clear audio in the source video for best lip synchronization results. Mumbled speech is harder to map.
  • Work with experts: Have native speakers review final ad translations to catch any errors and provide nuanced feedback.

With the right strategy, AI video translation can drive big ROAS wins through expanded reach and lower production costs. Machine learning eliminates the friction traditionally associated with localized ad content. Follow these tips to make the most of this emerging technology and see improved results from your multilingual campaigns.


Localizing ads has always been critical for effectively engaging international audiences. New developments in AI video translation are now making this process far more scalable and cost-efficient. Brands can automatically convert existing ad assets into new languages while retaining branding, visuals, and continuity.

AI video translation services like HeyGen break down language barriers at a fraction of the time and money required for traditional localization. By expanding your paid advertising reach into additional languages, you can expect to see significant lifts in engagement, conversions and ultimately overall campaign ROAS. Machine learning has opened up whole new possibilities for efficiently localizing and optimizing ads across global markets.