November 22, 2013
By Valerie M. Russo
Looking back at the year, it’s rather uplifting to see progress in marketing campaigns that speak to Hispanic audiences without the usual stereotypical tropes and tired clichés. Marketing when done well, connects to desires and needs that are human and universal. It’s a fine path to navigate through messages that touch both your core audience and doesn’t alienate others.
Here are a few that I felt truly resonated with the Hispanic consumer, had integrity and really nailed it:
Target’s Summer Up
Target’s colorful serenade to summer, included what they described as the “universal sound” of Argentine duo Illya Kuryaky & The Valderramas, and features the vocals from Puerto Rican singer Raquel Sofïa. Of course, unless you are familiar with the band you might not be able to tell from watching the ad and perhaps that’s what is so genius about it. They were able to blend in elements that spoke to Hispanics with it being overbearing or even too obvious.
The ad seems perfectly aligned with Target’s very young (and female) demographics and geared toward appealing to its Hispanic shoppers while avoiding exclusion. Last year, Shawn Gensch, senior-VP marketing , noted , "We're naturally seeing a larger population of Hispanic guests…We're doing guest insight work with Hispanic guests and finding there's a love for the brand across all segments. We're excited about that.” Nicely done!
This one hit home for me. It also riled a lot of feathers, with its realistic portrayal of a true bilingual and bicultural family, demonstrated by the relationship between a sassy Latina Millenial and her hip, wise grandmother and other family narratives that rang very true.
I was raised by a Spanish Dominant mother who washed our clothes loyally with Tide, regardless of pricing and other brands’ marketing. She went so far as to snub her nose at others who used what she considered “lesser” brands. I thought this was one was spot on and I guess I wasn’t the only one.
Cuba Libre - The Original Cocktail of Freedom – Bacardi
I saved the best for last. I actually wanted to stand up and clap when I saw this commercial. This is storytelling done right. The heroine in this story is beautiful Cuban actress Rebecca Valera. In the short, she introduces an American to the Rum and Cola highball and the Cuba Libre myth was born. The gritty way the commercial was shot, it’s historical and cultural significance, her costume, beauty and badassery makes this campaign pure genius.
The Biggest Loser
Ram Trucks Super Bowl Commercial "Farmer"
I was quite literally stunned during the Superbowl when I first watched this commercial. I was taking in by its grit, power and symbolism but the very first thought that crossed my mind, once my brain had fully digested all of the images, words and message were “wait a minute, where all the Latino farmers?”
I wasn’t the only one. Julio Ricardo Varela, founder LatinoRebels.com, went on record decrying that the ad forgot to include “the real face of the American farmer, one that is predominantly foreign-born and mostly from Mexico while Axel Caballero, founder of Cuéntame, called it a “white-washed Ad” and his organization went as far, as trying to rectify the ad by remixing it with images of Latino Farmers.
According to 2012 Census data, almost 50% of Farmworkers are Hispanic. And, for those of you familiar with the struggles of Cesar Chavez, you might be very saddened to see that the discrimination against Hispanic Farmers continues to this day, this lack of inclusion/invisibility is just another negative notch in a long trajectory of racism and injustice.
The Year Ahead
Over the past year, technology adoption among foreign-born Latinos and Spanish-dominant Latinos has spiked. The surge in connected TVs and devices, Social Shopping, Quantified Self Apps and the Internet of Things, tools to analyze Social Media and Big Data have resulted in a wealth of data that can and should be sifted for true human- level insights. While marketers may feel the pain of the incoming deluge, what this data symbolizes is a treasure trove of fully understanding your consumers and shoppers on a macro-universal level and on a granular, segmented, local level. Voltaire once said “With great power, comes great responsibility” and Spiderman made it famous, all I am saying is with this great wealth, much is expected of you. Don’t let us down or risk the wrath of a “$1.2 trillion Hispanic consumer market.”
About the Author
Formerly a senior copyeditor at Thomson Reuters, a research editor at AOL, and a senior web publicist at Hachette Book Group, Valerie M. Russo is editor at large of The Front End of Innovation Blog, The Market Research Event Blog, World Future Trends.tumblr, the Digital Impact Blog, and founded Literanista. She is the innovation lead and senior social media strategist for the Marketing and Business Strategy Division of the Institute for International Research, an Informa LLC., and her poetry was published in Regrets Only, on sale at the MOMA Gift Shop. Her background is in Anthropology and English Literature. You can reach her @Literanista.