U.S. Hispanic Marketing Enters A More Creative Era

La Llorona

One mistake advertisers commit while trying to reach the Hispanic American consumer is to bang them over the head with a stilted attempt at Latino cultural representation. The result is a turn-off from the very consumers you seek to attract. Now that 1 in 6 Americans are of Hispanic descent, sophistication in your message is a must if you don’t want to see your brand go the way of MySpace.

One sign that the industry is waking up to a need for better creative work is the recent announcement by the U.S. Hispanic Advertising Industry and Circulo Creativo about the launch of the  USH Idea Awards which will honor creative excellence in Hispanic advertising.

While South American and Spanish brands can boast of numerous creative awards in the general market, it’s rare that a Hispanic agency in the United States can say the same. This often isn’t the fault of the agency, but the brand managers who fear risk-taking when speaking to what has historically been viewed as a “conservative” consumer group.

To reach bicultural Latinos, it’s important to first and foremost present creative that entertains and captivates, not ideas that lump them into a stereotype. Latinos are happy to be part of the American landscape. They just want to know that you see them, too. Want to make a lasting impression? Show them you recognize their influence in creating the American landscape.

One brand that utilized creativity in just this way is Universal Theme Parks. Marrying the growing trend of Americans to spend money on Halloween (the holiday is now second behind Christmas) with studies that say Latinos are twice as likely to visit theme parks as other groups, the company decided to collaborate with Mexican actor/director Diego Luna to create an exhibit featuring classic Latino ghost story character La Llorona at their annual Halloween Horror Nights. The La Llorona experience is only one of a group of other horror exhibits based on other Universal movie characters creating an event that anyone can appreciate while still being inclusive of the Latino consumer.

Thanks to Slightlynorth on Flickr for the La Llorona photo.