Hispanics make up 17.8% of the U.S. population, and almost half of the United States’ population growth. Add that to the fact that the Hispanic ad market is currently worth $9.6 billion, and you have a powerful argument in favor of creating ads geared specifically towards a Hispanic audience.
Because Hispanic audiences are bilingual, and engage with content in both English and Spanish, advertisers need to make sure that they are prepared. Below are a few of my favorite Hispanic marketing campaigns, and an analysis of what made them successful.
As a promotion for the second series of its hit series “Narcos,” Netflix teamed up with Hispanic agency Alma to create a series of video ads. The first campaign, “Spanish Lessons,” saw the lead actors of the show teaching their most-used Spanish expressions, starting with Pablo Escobar’s de facto catchphrase, “Coma mierda.” The campaign ended up being wildly successful, winning Alma seven prizes at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and several ANA Multicultural Excellence Awards.
Netflix later followed up that campaign with a partnership with language site Babbel to create a “narco-Spanish” course. In the words of Thomas Holl, Babbel’s founder and president, “The partnership with Netflix lets users engage with Spanish in a uniquely Pablo Escobar way, showing them that learning a new language doesn’t have to feel like sitting in a Colombian prison.”
The campaigns with Alma and Babbel are great because they take a humorous approach to what is a fairly serious show — not to mention the fact that everybody loves learning curse words in a different language. In addition, the fact that they have content in both Spanish and English make them perfect for bilingual audiences (or audiences looking to become bilingual).
For Toyota’s latest campaign for its new Camry, the company opted to create a whole series of ads targeted to different demographics, including African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Hispanics. One of the ad spots made specifically for Spanish-speaking consumers shows a man driving down a highway in a Camry, when he gets a call from his mother. Instead of answering immediately, he hesitates — eventually declining the call to focus on the joy of driving the car.
Jennifer Dellapina, group strategy planning director at Conill, the Hispanic-focused agency behind the ad, said that the goal was to create an ad that reflected the sense of responsibility, especially to family, that many in the Hispanic community felt, as well as the desire to make some changes — or “soaring with sense,” as the agency called it internally. Dellapina notes that the man declining his mother’s call is somewhat of an “edgy move” but one that is relatively safe compared to, say, jumping off a cliff.
What makes Toyota’s ads successful, besides the fact that they reached out to an agency with experience reaching a bilingual audience, is that they took the time to figure out what was important to Hispanic consumers, and then used those insights to inform the narrative of their ads.
Marriott decided to take a different approach to Toyota’s, embarking instead on a social media campaign geared specifically towards Latino and Hispanic consumers, with the aim of celebrating what travel means to them via the hashtag #LoveTravels. In addition to video ads on YouTube, Marriott rolled out ads on Pandora, Facebook and Twitter, allowing them to create campaigns that are more personal (and cost-effective) than television ads.
In addition to posting on popular channels, Marriott also enlisted the assistance of several influencers, all of who come from Latino backgrounds. Their video series on YouTube features actress Diane Guerrero, of “Orange is the New Black” and “Jane the Virgin” fame, Diego Boneta from the television series “Scream Queens,” and popular YouTubers Boyce Avenue. Unlike Toyota, where the goal was to directly drive sales of a specific product, the goal of Marriott’s campaign is to, in the words of the company’s vice president of public relations, “[encourage] all travelers to explore their personal passions, and celebrate their unique perspectives and experiences.” In other words, the point is to create a conversation around a topic and get it to spread as widely as possible on multiple platforms, thus keeping the brand top-of-mind for many potential travelers.
These are just three examples of successful Hispanic marketing campaigns out of many. Hopefully, they will inspire others to come up with interesting, innovative ideas that will continue to move the needle.