Photo: Samsung Ad
Two commercials come to mind when I think of multinational companies attempting to attract the growing Hispanic market: Tide with Toque de Downy: Osito and Samsung Galaxy S4 – Meet the Parents.
In the Osito commercial, the husband is white and speaks Spanish with a thick accent, while the wife is Latina, who only speaks to him in Spanish. The wife says that before she met him he was a “flacucho y muy descuidado” (loosely translated to a skinny and disorderly person). But after meeting her, she fixed him up and made him chubby, soft and orderly. She tenderly calls him her “Osito” in the interview (little teddy bear), but when the husband hears this, he contemplates the root of the Spanish word “Osito” and defends his sense of manhood by demanding that she call him her “Oso,” (bear) instead.
This commercial was carefully crafted to target not just any type of Latinos, but Latinos who have been acculturated in the United States but who have not lost their identity. Some key indications of this are:
It is an intercultural marriage between a white man and a Latina
They both speak Spanish and most likely English together
When the Latina wife entered his life, she made him chubby and adorable; something that Latina women/mothers often do because they enjoy overfeeding their loved ones.
As a brand, Tide is sending out a clear message to the Hispanic population that their brand brings comfort, satisfaction, happiness and love to the Latino family.
Take Samsung Galaxy S4 – Meet the Parents, as an example of a commercial that aims to be culturally relevant to Latinos. The commercial revolves around the idea of the importance of family unity and acceptance. In order for someone to consider him/herself a boy/girlfriend of a Latino/a, one must first pass the “Familia” test. The first 18 seconds of this commercial exemplifies how Latino parents feel about a new boyfriend: for the Latino father, this means total distrust. But if you see the commercial, the distrust is even bigger because the boyfriend is a white guy who does not speak an ounce of Spanish. There is a cultural gap between him and the Latina girl’s parents, but thanks to the new Samsung Galaxy S4’s translation application, he was able to formally introduce himself in Spanish and court the mother. First impressions count, and the Latina mother just adored him at first sight! The father was not too pleased or impressed, but in the end, the last one to have the final word in a Latino household is la mujer. Samsung probably had marketers gathering information from a plethora of sources to carefully craft this message. Bravo.