The Bachelorette Season finale – what did it have to do with Hispanic Marketing?

By Christine Clavijo-Kish – Senior Vice President, Multicultural Markets at PR Newswire

So maybe some of you heard that Ali- the latest Bachelorette on ABC’s reality show about finding your mate on television chose “Roberto” from the crowd of men vying for her heart? I’m not a viewer, but the headline due to his name did catch my eye on the Aug 6th People magazine cover which I just got to read this week!! So I read further and it turns out that not only is he Hispanic and bilingual- but that the Bachelorette herself learned some Spanish in order to ask Roberto if he would accept her final rose (the prelude to an engagement.) When asked about this moment in People Ali responded, “I wanted it to be special.”

So what does this have to do with Hispanic marketing? For a long time now Hispanic marketing, advertising, branding and PR experts consistently get asked why should press materials, ad campaigns and marketing/branding initiatives be in Spanish or at least bilingual? And my (among many others) answer has consistently been that utililizing the native language, or language of preference (at home in a more relaxed environment) helps to connect brands with their target audience in the language of their “heart strings.” Our industry expert Jose Cancela referred to this very cultural concept in his 2007 book “The Power of Business en Español” which more directly says that Spanish is key as it’s the language Hispanics make love in.” This is a theory proven rather interestingly by Ali’s partial, Spanish-language, heart felt rose offer to Roberto on national television. It also makes for good marketing from the show producers- but I’d rather go with the initial theoretical logic.

There is much research, as well as webinars, conferences, industry blogs, etc that addresses this topic from a variety of angles:

–    Are Hispanics buying online via English- or Spanish-language retail sites?
–    Are Hispanics consuming more media in English or Spanish?
–    Should all communications be in Spanish to Hispanic consumers or a mix?
–    What materials should or should not be created and offered in language for local community outreach efforts?
–    Should Hispanic youth be addressed at all in Spanish?
–    Should brand websites be developed bilingually?

Your Hispanic brand marketing, PR or advertising agency team or consultants can really drive the answers most clearly for a particular organization or initiative, and most importantly depending on the targeted Latino/a consumer. Some current research, in particular online language usage studies, point to English beginning to dominate but Spanish, or Spanglish in some cases, remains very strong among some significant Hispanic community segments.

for an insightful blog post from Elianne Ramos of Latinos in Social Media. She was a panelist during PR Newswire’s recent webinar focusing specifically on language issues when connecting with Latino audiences online.

My point today was to illustrate that “heart strings” really do still matter, and some communications that are aiming to truly drive a connection still need to happen in the language that resonates with, or touches, a majority of Hispanic audiences. At least in part, like Ali.

Food for thought…

By the way, as my 8-year old twin girls say, “Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!”

Hasta pronto.

Saludos, Cristy

Christine Clavijo-Kish
Senior Vice President, Multicultural Markets
PR Newswire

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