Thursday, January 18, 2007

Advertising to US Hispanics with Creative from Latin America

I come from a behavioral perspective when it comes to advertising. For me if an ad does not sell, it is not a good ad, regardless of how many awards it gets.

It is interesting that by claiming that there is not enough talent in the United States, Hispanic Advertising agencies are starting companies or subcontracting creative work in Latin America.

That is interesting because the principle of understanding the audience of the message gets distorted with this logic. How can a creative in Buenos Aires know how Hispanic teens in Los Angeles live and feel about themselves? How can a creative in Caracas know how Puerto Ricans in New York enjoy products and services?

Not that these creatives are not good at what they do, but how can they communicate effectively without knowing their audience. Just because they speak Spanish they are not necessarily adept at understanding the specific psycho-socio-cultural characteristics of Hispanics in the US.

I am not trying to say that Latin American creatives cannot get to do good advertising for US Hispanics, but the probability of that being so is not very high. They may get awards and distinctions with their creativity but will they help sell products to an audience they do not know well?

That is why having more Hispanics/Latinos in the US educated in Marketing and Advertising is of great importance. These individuals are more likely to have an intuition for the markets they will serve. Still, the general rule is that being Hispanic/Latino or Latin American does not make someone an expert on US Hispanic consumers. It is the study of the culture and lifestyles of US Hispanic consumers that can contribute to good advertising. Good US Hispanic account planning and creative work requires prior knowledge of the culture and also requires research and understanding of the intersection of the product/brand with the culture.

The moral of the story: Going far away for your messages can get you far away from your consumers

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