The New York Times Magazine observes how a Hispanic-focused ad agency creates marketing messages that are more culturally appropriate to that audience. Business prefers a direct route to Juan's wallet, unencumbered by waiting for him to learn English or assimilate to mainstream America.
In comparison with some of his colleagues in Hispanic advertising, in fact, John Gallegos runs a moderate-size shop. There are more than a hundred United States ad agencies, not including the publicistas in Puerto Rico, that now work almost exclusively in Spanish. The bigger Hispanic agencies have accounts like McDonald's (Me encanta, which roughly translates to "I'm lovin' it"), and Chevrolet (Subete, "Get in"). Bounty's slogan in English, "The quicker picker-upper," appears in Spanish as Con Bounty si puedes - "With Bounty, yes you can." T-Mobile does Estamos juntos, "We're all together." Toyota does Avanza confiado, "Advance confidently." Wal-Mart reportedly spends more than $60 million a year on reaching Hispanics, and for some years the Wal-Mart Spanish tag line, composed by a Houston agency called Lopez Negrete Communications, was Para su familia, de todo corazon. Siempre. Which lofted the blunt English "Low prices, always," into a line enduring enough for a tombstone: "For your family, from the heart. Always."
From this vantage, the grim admonitions of anti-immigration groups are hard to hear distinctly; they're drowned out by the sound of cash registers. [How Do You Say"Got Milk" en Espanol? New York Times Magazine 9/23/07]
An industry magazine reveals an interesting nugget from the marketing world: Hispanic consumers are seen by companies as being more brand-loyal than us independent Americans.
SOME OF THE MOST APPEALING characteristics of Hispanic consumers may be more transitory than marketers think. Take the notion of brand loyalty, where Hispanics supposedly show more long-term affinity for brands than their mainstream "Anglo" counterparts. New data from Nielsen Homescan's Hispanic market research suggests that brand loyalty among Hispanics drops, depending on their degree of acculturation, as measured by language of preference.
For example, only 33% of English-preference Hispanic households purchased a particular cola to the exclusion of others, versus 70% for Spanish-preference households. And this trend is broadly reflected across a variety of categories in food and packaged-goods, including laundry detergent, cereal, toothpaste and beer. [Media Daily News Adios: Nielsen Finds Hispanic Brand Loyalty Declining 8/23/07]
Language assimilation decreases brand loyalty among immigrants — fascinating. One can assume companies that have a big market share among Hispanics will want to maintain their edge by pandering even more and will support policies that keep immigrants in linguistic ghettos.