Advertising directed at the Hispanic community in the United States is moving away from ads in Spanish to focus more on potential consumers who are bilingual but who are preserving cultural elements that distinguish them from other Americans.
Experts from the sector gathering in Miami on Thursday agreed on that central fact at the Annual Conference of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies.
“Hispanic advertising is undergoing a very clear change which is the result of a much more general change: there are more and more Hispanics in the United States but there are fewer and fewer who speak Spanish,” said Gustavo Lauria, a member of the AHAA and president of the Circulo Creativo.
In an interview with Efe, he said that traditionally we have referred to Hispanics as those who spoke Spanish and advertising for Latinos was filled with “cliches, stereotypes, phrases in Spanish and campaigns based only on the language,” but both concepts “are disappearing.”
“Although traditional Hispanic advertising ... is no longer so strong, this is a great opportunity, but it has to adapt itself to this new reality,” he said.
Luis Miguel Messianu, the president of the ALMA advertising agency, one of the 10 largest in the country, emphasized that “we’re seeing a resurgence of the pride in people’s origins and roots,” in which “Spanglish” has a larger and larger space.
The ad execs agreed that there are more and more brands that are targeting “multicultural” customers “who speak in English,” and “they are also looking for their advertising to be done by a multicultural agency.”
Why then not create the same advertising for everyone? According to Lauria, although there are second-generation Hispanics who prefer to use English, “they are growing up and handling themselves day to day in a context that has a high Hispanic influence, that makes them consume in another way.”
“The customs, the ways of doing things in life, of acting and all that has to do with culture and roots are very different,” said Lauria, who gave the example that “Hispanics have a very different closeness with their family” than other Americans.
“On the weekend, the ‘gringas’ dress down and the Latinas dress up,” Messianu graphically summarized after having studied the Hispanic market for brands like Neutrogena and Maybelline.