Advertisers Cater to Hispanics via English Language Television

June 7, 2013

By Yasmin Melendez, director of committees and conferences, ANA

Last June, Ford aired a Spanish language commercial for its Ford Escape during the fourth game of the NBA finals on ABC. While this initially confused some viewers, it signifies a recent trend of advertisers targeting Hispanics via English language television. According to a Nielsen 2012 study, if the US Hispanic market were a standalone country, its buying power would make it one of the top twenty economies in the world. The rising economic power of this segment has made advertisers pay attention to Hispanic consumers of all acculturated levels. Here are three of my favorite commercials that have aired on general market media: 

  • Mi Tide- Abuela” - This commercial shows a bicultural, bilingual, millennial granddaughter translating her grandmother’s reaction to the new Tide. What resonated with me was how the younger generation is able to understand Spanish, even if they are not able to translate it word-for-word. I especially liked the insight of Hispanics use of “remedios caseros” or home remedies.
  • Volkswagon Passat “Vamonos” – This commercial imagines what would happen if you took a cross country road trip with a friend and all you had to listen to was a Spanish language learning CD. Well, it turns out that after 13 hours you become fluent in Spanish. I found this “what if” scenario very humorous and appreciated the actor “talking with his hands,” which is common in Latin cultures.
  • Target “Clap your Hands” – Target uses the children’s song “If you’re happy and you know it” and alternates between English and Spanish lyrics.  As many people do, I watch TV while browsing an iPad and this spot cut through the clutter with the simple soundtrack. The insight portrayed is universal of a family caring for a newborn, but it targets Hispanic consumers through the soundtrack and casting.   

Depending on the company’s level of sophistication, advertisers can connect to Hispanic consumers through music and casting as Target did, or appeal to them with multiple cultural insights as Tide does. There’s a starting point for everyone. Consider this if you are not selling to a multicultural audience, you may be impacting your future business growth.

I invite ANA member and nonmember companies, as well as agencies or media companies submitting on their client’s behalf, to enter the 2013 ANA Multicultural Excellence awards. These awards celebrate the year’s best multicultural advertising campaigns. Learn how you can submit your multicultural campaign in one of our 9 categories.

What’s your favorite multicultural television spot?

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