Work May 17, 2016

“Sellin’ the dream.”

Living Word
By Living Word

Cadillac is one of the World’s oldest premium automotive manufacturers, dating back to the classic era of American motor vehicles. In fact it is such a beloved brand that in 1984 Bruce Springsteen wrote a song about the fun to be had in his Pink Cadillac.


Cadillac logo


Since then the company has expanded, and Cadillac now aims its cars at a diverse range of markets and cultures. We were therefore delighted to be awarded a three-year contract with them recently, and now report direct to the European team and cover their translation requirements on a more official basis.

Crossing the pond.

As a US-based brand, much of the English source text has been originated with the American purchaser in mind, but this doesn’t always sit so well with Cadillac’s European audience, with their European expectations, values and demands. Advertising and selling cars in Europe calls for a completely different approach. Adapting the style and tonality of the English source copy allows the company to accommodate an entirely different demographic.

So our job starts with rewriting the English copy. A dedicated, experienced UK English copywriter, who understands the car industry and the Cadillac brand, recreates the English source for a European and UK audience. From that we then have a solid base to work from, ensuring that the brand positioning is right for the next stages of translation and proofreading.

Cadillac CTS
The new Cadillac CTS


Keeping up to speed.

Cadillac’s requirements span a vast range of material types – from website localisation and printed marketing collateral to tech-specs and sales briefing documents. As such, source materials can come to us from a variety of agents and departments, so it is vital that we have a common approach to the translation process. Records of difficult and in-house terminology are retained from each translation, and up-to-date glossaries, which include the latest automotive innovations and trends in terminology, are essential.

Feedback in both directions is encouraged at every stage and progress meetings also help to keep everyone informed. Cadillac’s feedback is cascaded down to the translation teams so that the style for each language remains consistent throughout.

Premium translation for a premium brand.

Servicing a premium brand has particular and evolving challenges, especially in terms of style. The translation team needs to be fully up to date with the brand positioning, including target customer profiles. This helps us to maintain the tonality the client is looking for, and to keep the messaging on target.

The evolution of the brand and the client’s requirements are constantly changing. Having a dedicated team of linguists working for Cadillac means that we easily adapt to fulfil the translation part of this organic process. Our translation teams comprise of both creative and technical linguists who check each other’s work thoroughly, allowing Cadillac to rest assured that the translations we send them will match the quality and finesse of their trusted brand.

At Living Word we love being able to play our small part as Cadillac’s translation agency, keeping this icon of American automotive engineering strong and focused within the minds of Europe’s car buying public.

They may not be pink anymore, but Cadillac is still sellin’ the dream.