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  • iheartsubtitles 8:16 pm on July 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Promotion, ,   

    Sherlock – The Clue is in the Subtitles 

    I have blogged previously about this popular BBC TV series before and how Sherlock uses visual text on screen as part of the storytelling process (this is actually one of my most popular posts for hit counts!). Last week the BBC did something rather cool involving the subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for this series.

    On Friday 12th July the BBC scheduled a repeat of an episode and urged viewers to tune in to look for clues not previously released in any other broadcast of the episode that would give fans a sneak peek into an episode title for the next series due to air later this year/beginning of 2014.

    Like previous broadcasts the episode was subtitled for the deaf and hard of hearing. But in addition for this repeat only, the subtitles also displayed in the top left hand corner, letters that acted as clues to viewers and was part of the promotion to encourage repeated viewing and speculation about the new series. Nothing to do with providing access, but a fitting way to uses subtitles as part of a promotional campaign for the series. If you were watching without the subtitles switched on, you would have missed the clues but  this is entirely fitting as a campaign to the programme to think outside the box and consider all your options.  Below are screen shots showing the letters being displayed in the subtitles in the top left of the screen so not to be confused with any of the subtitled audio dialogue:


    Screen shot of Sherlock BBC TV series subtitles

    Sherlock BBC TV series – clues in the subtitles – The letter ‘H’

    SOURCE: tumblr

    Screen shot of Sherlock BBC TV series subtitles

    Sherlock BBC TV series – clues in the subtitles – The letter ‘I’

    SOURCE: tumblr

    Screen shot of Sherlock BBC TV series subtitles

    Sherlock BBC TV series – clues in the subtitles – The letter ‘S’

    SOURCE: tumblr

    It spells HIS, now fans just have to work out its significance in terms of the episode title.

    • NPHule 4:22 am on December 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      The subtitles look far better and cleaner on Indian television.


    • iheartsubtitles 2:33 pm on December 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Natalia. Better how? The images themselves are not of the highest quality which might be why the subtitles don’t look as clear as they could if that is what you mean.


      • NPHule 8:39 am on December 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Hello! The subtitles are lower on the screen and they are not highlighted in black. That way the screen appears cleaner.


    • Tessa 11:13 pm on October 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for this post! I’m only a recent follower, so coming late to this post. I am a screen scholar and I research issues around translation, access, etc… Just wondering if you can explain this Sherlock promotional campaign in some more detail. Were the clues only visible when closed captioning was switched on? If so, was this advertised? Was the promotion for both hearing and hard of hearing viewers?


      • iheartsubtitles 8:53 pm on October 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Tessa. Yes the clues were only visible if you had closed captioning switched on. I believe the campaign was promoted via social media telling viewers to watch the repeat closely to look for clues but it wasn’t made obvious that the clue would be in the subtitles. That didn’t stop viewers putting their Sherlock cap on and finding it though 🙂 In fact without those fans, I wouldn’t have known about it myself! Hope that helps. Good luck with your research.


        • Tessa 3:26 am on October 16, 2014 Permalink

          Thanks so much for your reply and for clarifying. Wow. Pretty innovative to use closed captioning in this way – and fits in really well with Sherlock’s other forms of textual play. Would love to hear about it, if you come across any similar types of promos. Cheers.


  • iheartsubtitles 1:30 pm on February 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Documentary, Promotion, ,   

    Coming Soon, a film about subtitler’s 

    I discovered this trailer a few weeks ago and thought I would share here. A documentary film has been made that goes behind the scenes of the subtitling industry. A trailer has been made which has been subtitled for the deaf and hoh:

    Interesting that the last 20 seconds illustrates a translation #subtitlefail! Is the issue of high quality subtitles and translation a problem that is getting worse?

    The film is due to be released next month. I hope I get to see it.

  • iheartsubtitles 9:37 am on June 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Promotion   

    Subtitles to promote a product 

    Before the main feature, cinema goers in the UK are used to seeing a trailer that reminds the audience not to ruin the movie for everyone by remembering to switch off your mobile phone. These are created by the mobile phone network Orange. There have been many versions over the years, often humerous and tied in with an up and coming movie release. The latest is no exception. And it is relevant to this blog because it uses subtitles in a creative and funny way. It overwrites the original French subtitles to a film with new and incorrect (but funny) English subtitles:


    Potiche as subtitled by Orange to promote it's own product!

    The latest advert…features a tie-in with Potiche, an upcoming French comedy featuring cinematic legends Gerard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve. Billed as the ‘French feel-good film of the year’, acclaimed independent film ‘Potiche’ represents the ad series’ first break from blockbusters and details the triumphs of a former trophy wife who takes the reins of the family business when her husband is taken hostage – that is, until Orange get their hands on the subtitles.
    With the use of clever editing of the French film’s subtitles, Orange succeeds in disrupting the sophisticated French fare with over the top branding and impeccable comic timing that makes mobile phones the hot topic of conversation.

    The above is a section of the official press release which you can read here. Watch the full advert below:

    • Alan 8:35 am on June 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I’m happy to have little access to subtitles for adverts lol I think titling should be selective to worthwhile things, not pizzas whatever… educated advertising, (we can hope !), and about an 90% reduction would be fine too ! There is access and ‘access’ I think,TV has become un watchable the last 10 years.


  • iheartsubtitles 9:38 pm on November 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Promotion,   

    Subtitles & Closed Captions – Promotion 

    So how many of my readers use closed captions or subtitles all the time whilst watching TV? I am guessing the majority of you. But what about those who may not even be aware of the service or might not think to use it because they can ‘hear perfectly’. It might sound like an absurd concept to those of us that use it all the time but I think it does pay from time to time to promote the service and remind viewers it is available. So, how often is that done in your country on the channels you watch?

    I have seen it here in the UK but not for a long while I must admit. One of my favourite promotions came from Channel 4 who made a fantastic dramatic almost silent promo with some sound effects. Not until halfway through are subtitles displayed. It made no reference to this service being for any specific group of people (such as the deaf and hard of hearing) and was a perfect illustration of how anyone can benefit from them in an environment where sound is not clear.

    Here it is:

    From a bit of research on You Tube other channels have gone the informative route choosing to concentrate on telling the viewer how to access them. Here is one:

    And another one:

    ^ One thing about this – where is the captioning for promo itself?! There is an awful lot of audio only instruction.

    This is a slightly better effort where at least the key instructions are provided in the text even though the promo itself is not captioned:

    This promo from a subtitling and captioning company has the right idea promoting how subtitles and captioning results in a shared experience for a family:

    I have never seen this kind of promotion in the UK, where a TV network has promoted that a specific show being broadcast has closed captions (other than within a station ident just before the programme airs)

    And similarly a sponsor promoting its support of closed captioning for a news channel in the USA. Subtitles in the UK are not sponsored so you would never get this kind of advertising for the service.

    Please share any examples you have or can remember of subtitles or closed captioning being promoted. How would you promote them?

    • ασημενια κοσμηματα 2:46 am on November 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I just built my new website and i am searching for new improvements.Your design is quite nice and you do know how to write well. So, keep up the good work and thank you for giving me some good ideas.


    • guitar recording software 12:47 am on November 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, this was very interesting to read. Have you ever considered submitting articles to magazines?


      • iheartsubtitles 11:24 pm on November 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for your kind words. If I knew which magazine’s might be interested then perhaps I would. On the other hand, I’d rather my readership remains on this blog….


    • Denisse Bereda 8:41 pm on November 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Sometimes I just think that people write and dont really have much to say. Not so here


    • radardistanzmesser 1:49 pm on November 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply

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    • JAMES GARITSON 1:44 am on May 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Please ask TV networks showing golf matches not to cover up the picture of the player about to hit the ball with closed captions or tell announcers to keep quiet till they hit would be helpful for the hearing impaired


    • iheartsubtitles 1:03 pm on May 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Hi James, thanks for your comment. Which TV channel were you watching? A good TV captioner will display the text away from the visual action – for example at the top of the TV screen rather than the standard bottom of the screen display to ensure that you do not miss any important aspects of the game.


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