April 24, 2011

The Hispanic ad agency is doomed according to these new multiculturalists or cross-cultural theorists.  They  can only do one thing well; target US Hispanics in Spanish the old traditional way, but mainstream ad agencies can do it even better.

Well with that said, Ken Muench a cross-cultural theorist from Draft FCB and proponent of mainstream ad agency prowess in targeting US Hispanic Consumers stated in his blog recently about the GSD&M win of the Jarritos mainstream ad effort, “I’m sure GSD&M's work was great and the brand will do great (I love their Southwest work).   It just seemed like the perfect brand for a young, edgy Hispanic shop to own and break into the Gen Market.   It was a perfect situation: an undeniably Latin brand, a US consumer that loves consuming cultural authenticity and discovering the next cool cultural thing...who better to tell that authentic story than Hispanic ad pros?”

CLICK HERE to read. 

Ken, so if it is a Hispanic-only focused account it is OK for us to take them to market to reach non-Hispanics.  On the other hand, we are not good enough at our US Hispanic Ad Agencies to take American Brands to market to reach US Hispanics.


He also goes on to mention in this blog and has mentioned in previous blogs, that US Hispanic Ad Agencies are so siloed in targeting US Hispanics in Spanish through traditional media that the skill-set is not what clients are looking for anymore.

David Flynn/Marketing Director at Jarritos is a veteran Hispanic ad agency /marketer and his reasons MUST have been very sound to assign GSD&M the assignment.  He uses a Hispanic ad agency to maximize their skill-set, why not use a mainstream ad agency (award winning shop by the way) to maximize his mainstream goals?

‘Voy a David’ on this one.

Basically this is another example of using the Best of the Best to maximize your returns.

Ken, according to you and using your own words, Hispanic ad agencies offer “cultural authenticity and discovering the next cool cultural thing...who better to tell that authentic story than Hispanic ad pros”.

So tell me why they are not qualifies to target to US Hispanic consumers?

Multiculturalists or CrossCulturalists, what happened to Crispin Porter & Bogusky and Burger King account?

There is a real story to be told on how there was a possible disconnect between agency/client/consumer, more to come on this one.

It comes down to skill-set and ‘Insight de la Tribu’.  Part of this cannot be taught, but lived.

Gene Bryan


Gene you bring up another double bind paradox. I just finished reading legendary ad pioneer Lionel Sosa's book "The Americano Dream" and I think like him when he pitched the Coca Cola account. He went into the pitch with his BETA (Best Alternative To no Agreement) as all or nothing. While I don't know all the details, he writes about how they had done enough work to know they were on top of their game. The rest is history. Hispanic Agencies are not short on talent but on enough business to grow and to compete on a level playing field with the same resources as GM agencies. Does the business go to the most talented? If it did the ratios would give us the answer. Do you think we need affirmative action in the field? ~Victor Escalante

I find that in this industry there are many "Multiculturalists or CrossCulturalists" and "Hispanic ad pros" that consistently engage in newspeak, doublethink, and doublespeak, (Thanks G. Orwell). If it is Ok for a GM client to hire an HM agency, why is it wrong that a HM brand hires a GM Agency? Doesn't that represent "cross-over"? In any case, I don't think that one ethnic/minority/majority/ group has a monopoly on creating pop culture, and I don't think only Latinos can add authenticity to a Latino brand any more than Latinos can add authenticity to an American brand. Otherwise, many of us would be out of business immediately. Lo que es igual no es trampa.

Hey Gene. Always a pleasure. Quick response: I wrote a piece for adage a while back about what I consider crossculturalism. If you read it, it might help you understand my POV. Essentially, it's this: there is real value in using Hispanic/AA/Asian/LGBT viewpoints/lifestyles in the general market. It goes beyond simply "doing whats right." These are groups that are creating culture in the US today. Whether its Tide or Jarritos, leveraging those culture's viewpoints adds real value to the brand communications. Obviously, when it's a Latino brand, that benefit is magnified several-fold (because it has the added benefit of being authentic) I believe those things are best brougt to the table by someone intimately familiar with said groups. It adds authenticity and prevents it from living solely at the stereotypical level. Whether the author of the work is a Hispanic agency or a general market agency with a Hispanic group or a small shop with dudes that live the culture makes no difference in the end. The only thing i think is a miss is Hispanic/AA/Asian/LBGT agencies, groups and professionals being kept in a silo (ie, if you're Hispanic, you should only write ads for Hispanics). Like I said, GSD&M is a good shop, and I'm sure they'll do well by the brand, but don't tell me it wouldn't have been nice to see a Hispanic shop or group use this opportunity to break out of the silo?

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