Advertising is not translated, but rather adapted. Because an advertising spot, a slogan, a radio jingle or an on-line campaign do not basically transmit information, but passion. In the translation industry we call that "transcreation".


  • Why did SEAT choose to use the original Spanish-language slogan "autoemoción" instead of translating it into German, "Autoemotion"?*
  • Why did Electrolux run up seven-digit losses due a to a vacuum cleaner campaign?**
  • Why were American Airlines' Mexican passengers travelling first-class flabbergasted by the airline's new campaign?***

Advertising carries an enormous emotional and cultural charge, which means that it cannot just be translated literally from one language into another. It is a creative process that requires the analysis of the following aspects:

  • The message
  • The target population
  • The target country
  • The target culture
  • The purpose
  • The medium of communication
  • The timeframe

To this end, the translation company and the creative staff must work shoulder to shoulder in order to ensure that the advertising campaign is a genuine one, not a translation. We are well aware of the needs and the time constraints that companies and advertising departments have to contend with and we adapt our processes accordingly.

Tradeus Traduccions is highly specialised in PR transcreation targeting the German and Spanish markets. Our expert knowledge of the reality and the culture of both countries allows us to analyse all the elements involved, make the relevant proposals and participate in the creation process as a linguistic, cultural and advertising consultant.


* Because the qualities most positively rated by Germans about Spain and Spaniards are joie de vivre, drive, vigour and genius. The campaign managers decided to promote these more passion-related associations and used the original Spanish slogan.
** Electrolux translated its Swedish slogan directly into English as "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux", with the corresponding furore. The right verb in English would have been "hoover" or "pick up". Naturally, the manufacturer had to withdraw the advertising campaign immediately, leading to seven-digit losses.
*** The airline translated the slogan "Fly in leather", referring to the upholstery of its Business Class seats, and targeting the Mexican market, literally as "Vuela en cuero", which means "Fly stark naked". Hardly a laughing matter.

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