In marketing circles there’s incessant hype about being culturally relevant to the vast Hispanic market here in the U.S., which is 59 million strong. It is great to see examples of it done right.
Here are two solid examples of being truly culturally relevant that illustrate the power culture has in connecting brands to this lucrative consumer segment.
This year the San Antonio Missions, a minor league baseball team in San Antonio, Texas, was asked to “rebrand” themselves for a season-long tournament called Copa de la Diversion or the “Fun Cup.” The team landed on the name “The Flying Chanclas,” a cultural insight made famous by Hispanic comedians such as George Lopez poking fun at the Hispanic mom’s preferred tool of corporeal punishment — the cheap plastic sandal often hurled at misbehaving children to snap them into submission.
As part of celebrating the new name, a logo was created for The Flying Chanclas and was sold on branded materials like baseball caps, t-shirts and jerseys. The effort was such a success that Flying Chanclas merchandise outsold an entire year’s worth of Missions merchandise in just two weeks and Sports Illustrated gave it the #1 Rank for Fun Name.
Another example is for a CPG brand our agency worked with. Like many brands that targeted a traditional Hispanic, Spanish-dominant, first generation consumer, their sales were lagging with the aging of this population. It was clear they needed to reach a younger generation (Latina Millennials) who are majority U.S.-born and are more likely to be English-dominant or bilingual. This segment was also being exposed to and leaned towards many other general market brands. Significant consideration was built into the strategy to not insult the core consumer.
The solution was to keep the status of the brand as being a very Hispanic product (true to its roots) but give the brand a playful twist of “Hispanicity.” We used cultural cues like color and fashion to illustrate the brand’s Latino roots but in a playful way that appealed to this younger demographic. In essence, bridging a sense of pride for the brand that all Latinas could connect with while showing a new face representative of the unique cultural space inhabited by Latina Millennials. The results were a huge success.
The lessons here come from taking the right cultural insight and letting it grow in the right medium. For the Missions, it was something culturally very funny and very much a part of many childhoods. For the CPG brand, it was holding onto the roots of the brand, but letting the branches invite something modern and true.
Developing truly culturally relevant Hispanic marketing is based on knowing your target and trusting in the insight to connect to your brand.