What happens to advertising when Latino consumers align with Anglos?

December 16, 2014

Posted by Javier San Miguel

There’s one sentence that Hispanic ad agencies fear most during a pitch. It’s actually a question. And it’s being asked by increasingly skeptical CMOs under pressure to justify major dollar spends in ethnic-specific ad campaigns:

“What’s Hispanic about it?”

Nothing else deflates Hispanic agencies more, because it calls their very existence into question. As Latinos assimilate in greater numbers into mainstream American society, so will their consumer preferences. U.S. brands will increasingly be able to factor them into Total Market campaign strategies without having to carve out separate dollars for a dedicated Hispanic approach. It’s a sensible move. After a certain generational point, why does my sales pitch for the Garcías have to be any different from the Joneses’?

Folks at Buick appear to have asked themselves that very question. In a surprisingly resonant English-language spot for the 2014 Enclave, they deftly speak to U.S. Latinos without alienating Anglo consumers by screaming: This-Is-A-Latino-Spot-With-Latino-Characters-Talking-About-Latino-Insights-In-Spanish-or-Spanglish-With-A-Hot-Tamale-Graphic-Slap-On-The-Logo.

Roll camera.

It’s a simple premise, simply executed. And it speaks volumes. In America, we’re no longer keeping up with the Joneses. It’s the Garcías who set the standard. And you don’t have to hear this explicitly stated in dialogue or see it prominently displayed on a supertitle to get the point.

Thank you, Buick.

Compare this spot with GM’s 2012 Chevy Cruze “Ana & David” ad, featuring a set of safety-obsessed Latino parents hovering over their young son, “Toñito.”

Charming. But does it reflect a uniquely Hispanic insight? (Anglo helicopter parents are not exactly unusual.) Perhaps this is why the spot ran prominently on Anglo TV, featuring Tim Allen’s soothing sotto voce. And even more tellingly, the spot also ran in Canada (though the boy’s name was discretely changed to “Lucas” north of the border.)

In the end, aren’t we all the same?

Pretty much. So why should our advertising be that different?

Try telling that to Hispanic ad shops still clinging to Hispanic-only marketing strategies. For the rest of us—absent a larger holding company tossing over the Hispanic slice of their Anglo business—the message is loud and clear:

Adapt or die.

Why Atlanta Is the Hottest Hispanic Market

December 5, 2014

Posted by Jose Villa

Atlanta seldom comes to mind when most marketers think about the future of Hispanic marketing or the dynamic Hispanic millennial segment. It’s usually far down the list in discussions of the growing Hispanic population. However, it shouldn’t be. The Fastest Hispanic Population Growth in the U.S. Is Happening in Emerging Markets Like Atlanta. Atlanta is READ MORE…

Is Pharma Ready for the “Total Market?”

December 3, 2014

Posted by Jose Villa

Since 2011, direct-to-consumer (DTC) Hispanic marketing efforts by pharma companies have fallen off the radar. Measured media activity in Spanish-language media by pharma companies—which provides a strong barometer for overall Hispanic marketing investment activity—has fallen off from 2011 peaks of more than $100 million, as key players like Pfizer and Sanofi have significantly reduced their READ MORE…

¿Y Qué? It Matters That Biculturalism is Not News in Puerto Rico

November 16, 2014

Posted by Javier San Miguel

What’s in a jelly doughnut? Nothing special. Even if it’s a Krispy Kreme doughnut filled with queso and guava. Yet if this flavor were promoted in Los Angeles, it would carry some form of eye-rolling publicity predictably touting its Latino cultural mix. Thank goodness Krispy Kreme already sells this tasty confection in the one region READ MORE…