latino lingo

All things related to effective Hispanic marketing, Hispanic advertising and Hispanic public relations.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

New Johnnie Walker responsible drinking campaign

I read with interest a Hispanic PR Wire release from Johnnie Walker about their new responsible drinking campaign. I thought it was a great idea to use Juan Pablo Montoya, the world famous Formula 1 driver from my native land, in their campaign.

The approach, as I can gather from the release, is to have some PSAs with Montoya, point of sale materials, kiosks, a contest and a bi-lingual website.

Cool, I thought, until I checked out the web site they direct you to:

The first thing you get to is an English language splash page that asks for your country of origin and age. After entering your information in English, you are then directed to the main page that is also in English. You have to click on the Spanish button to get a direct (and at times, very poor) translation of what is essentially general market messaging. I couldn't find the PSA, and the only videos they had were also in English.

This is one of the major gripes I hear about from consumers ... that Hispanic marketing campaigns inevitably lead them to a web site in English. I see this everyday with banks, mortgage companies, healthcare companies, etc. Some are completely in English. Some have a Spanish splash page but all the links lead you to the English website. Some, like this one, offer a direct translation.

I was also a bit surprised that a company of their size wouldn't develop a specific campaign for the Hispanic market and appear to have merely translated what is essentially a general market campaign. In this case, if you follow Formula 1 you know who Montoya is regardless of where you come from anyway.

I don't say all this to bash the campaign, but merely to point out that real resources must be allocated to do something effective and serious. Did they do any research to determine the rate of drunk driving for Hispanics v. non-Hispanics? How about determining how Hispanics and non-Hispanics respond to the same message about responsible drinking? For those who do drive drunk, do the Hispanics ones do it for the same reason as non-Hispanics? Do Hispanics have the same level of understanding about the issue of drunk driving as non-Hispanics (i.e. MADD has existed in the U.S. for decades)? Did they determining if there are any cultural or social differences that should be addressed in the Hispanic market?

Maybe they did do their homework, I don't know since admittedly I'm an outsider here. But, from what I can see in the execution, using translations and directing Latinos to an English language website to spread the general market message seems like a feeble attempt.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Hispanic marketing: proceed with knowledge

Grouping the multiple segments found with in the Latino population (i.e. immigrant, U.S.-born, Spanish v. English dominant, Mexican v. Caribbean) into a single block is a quick way to fail in your marketing communication outreach, according to an AP story carried in the Star-Telegram (Dallas).

The article reports on a marketing seminar held there and had these conclusions which if you've been reading this blog for a while will sound familiar if not repetitive:

-- Simply translating a slogan or ad from English creates a high margin of error and the chance of sending a message with the wrong connotation. The article gives the example of Hershey using the word "cajeta" to promote one of its products. Some Latinos recognize the word as caramalized milk, but for some it's a slang word that means something vulgar.
-- Marketing to Hispanics is about transferring an idea ... Rather than translating words, according to Juan Faura, author of "The Whole Enchilada," a book on Hispanics marketing.
-- A message relevant to a recent Dominican immigrant may hold no meaning for a Mexican.
-- Experts agreed that businesses must understand the demographic makeup of their Hispanic customer base in order to more effectively attract their interest.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Teaching the next generation of Hispanic marketers lacking

The AP ran a story covered in the Star-Telegram in TX about how only a handful of schools, in particular business schools, are offering courses on how to market to Latinos.

While this isn't earth-shattering news, as the push for marketing to Hispanics exploded with the release of the 2000 U.S. Census data and universities usually very slow to adapt their curriculum, it does raise a very valid point about the succession planning for the next generation of Hispanic marketer.

As I've written before, including in my "do you need to be Hispanic to Market to Hispanics" posting, being of Latino origin alone is not enough. But, that's often what is occurring. The AP article has a quote from Felipe Korzenny, advertising and marketing professor at Florida State University that validates my point: "Simply because there's a Hispanic on staff doesn't mean that person understands all Hispanics and can judge the market in an objective way."

I would take that sentence a step further and contend that you also need to know a little something about marketing. Hello ... after all, it is Hispanic marketing we are talking about, not Hispanic understanding or Hispanic judging. Marketing is art and science, and having a knack for it isn't determined simply by the color of your skin, your national origin or your last name.

John Fernandes, president of the Tampa, Fla.-based Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business says in the article that he thinks classes "should teach students to consider ethnic origins when coming up with marketing strategies. But he disagrees with having one class devoted entirely to one group of people."

He goes on to say in the article, "The university is supposed to be a place for everyone. When we start breaking down into ethnicity, who do we leave out?"

While this point is debatable and a bit kumbaya in my opinion, his argument on how we should teach about ethnicity's influence on purchasing decisions is valid. After all, this is the key mistake being made by many companies today who assume the only barrier to reaching Latinos is language.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Let the games (and cash register rings) begin!

In case you live under a rock or consider a football an oval, leather ball, the World Cup began today with host Germany beating Costa Rica 4-2. The frenzy was very clear as I hit my favorite area Colombian restaurant for a business lunch and the place was beyond packed. I commented to a nice anglos couple who were trying to enjoy their lunch amid screams and hollers any time the ball came remotely close to the net that they should not be concerned. I told them you don't hear this kind of excitement during the NBA finals when Shaq almost makes a dunk. They chuckled and finished off their empanada in peace.

It was evident, even if just at a local level, that the World Cup means big bucks to nearly all retailers smart enough to tap into it.

Here are some related articles and interesting passages from them:

World Cup draws frenzy for Hispanic business
"Marketing experts agree that this World Cup has no rivals in terms of advertising dollars spent — $1 billion, not including sponsorship fees, marketing, and hospitality, according to BusinessWeek — and dollars spent specifically on the Hispanic consumer, like those watching in area bars and restaurants."

Democrats Use World Cup to Reach Hispanic Voters
"Ads will air mostly in Spanish in 70 markets under the theme 'Mas que un partido,' a play on words in Spanish that can mean either 'More than a game' or 'More than a political party.'"

Wal-Mart catches soccer fever
"Courtesy of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Argentinians will be able to watch the international soccer tournament’s matches live this month in ministadiums set up at the chain’s supercenters. In China, Wal-Mart shoppers can practice dribbling through an obstacle course. And in the United States, shoppers can watch soccer demonstrations and play games on fields of artificial grass."

Marketers move on Hispanic World Cup
Advertisers spent $3.3 billion going after $800 billion worth of Hispanic spending power in the United States in 2005, and the World Cup concentrates that market.
That doesn’t mean milking it is easy. Habits are changing and stereotypes are fading fast. Advertising Age predicts that Hispanic online spending in the United States will grow by 32 percent this year, compared to 25 percent for the larger population.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Sí TV hunts for young, bilingual Latinos

BusinessWeek has a brief article on Sí TV's quest to fill a void for young Latinos who are seeking "hip" programming ... and in English. The article touches upon the issue of whether advertisers should target Latinos in Spanish or in English.