Rosetta Stone's new campaign highlights words for those indescribable moments

Language learning platform debuts new campaign as competition in the category heats up

Published On
Jul 26, 2022

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Software company Rosetta Stone has been a leader in language learning for decades, but the market in recent years has seen the emergence of new competitors such as Babbel and Duolingo, the latter which was recently named one of Ad Age's hottest brands

Now, the brand is trying to reassert its presence with a new campaign, “There’s a Word for That,” created by its agency of record,  Duncan Channon.

The new push features two 30-second long films focused on trying to find the perfect word to describe a familiar feeling—an expression that might not even be available in your own native tongue.

The first spot entitled “The Appointment” introduces viewers to words in Tagalog, German and English that relay ideas such as “when something is so cute you want to pinch it" or "to worsen something by trying to make it better" via a scenario featuring a dog getting a makeover at a salon.  

The idea continues in a second film, "Turf War,” which shows a town square packed with people watching street performers and describes more ideas in Tagalog, Arabic and Hebrew. The ads were directed by RSA Films' Marie Schuller, known for her character-driven fashion films.


The company has been around for 30 years and its platform offers instruction on 25 different languages. “Rosetta Stone is the OG of language learning,” said Kelly McCullough, creative director, Duncan Channon. “They are the gold standard, then and now."

While the company prides itself on its academic excellence, “our goal was to show that learning a language with Rosetta Stone is fun, accessible and immersive, and leads to positive benefits and experiences, even if you just learn a few words and phrases,” said Paul Mishkin, CEO of IXL Learning, Rosetta Stone's parent company. 

Duolingo recently became the most popular language app in the world with over 40 million monthly users and more than 38 languages to choose from. But even so, Rosetta Stone is “such a strong and enduring product” that the business has seen “more people than ever” tuned in to lessons, according to Mishkin. The campaign includes TV, digital video and paid social media including Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.