How to Connect with U.S. Hispanics through Online Advertising

How to Connect with U.S. Hispanics through Online Advertising

Advertising

As the U.S. Hispanic population continues to gain spending clout, many brands are responding with multi-cultural advertising, specifically geared to the Hispanic population and including online advertising in Spanish. Reaching out to a Hispanic audience requires an understanding of both language and cultural nuances. Businesses need to do their homework carefully to connect with Hispanics in authentic ways. If you are one of those businesses, here are some tips to consider:

1 Make sure you understand nuances of language, such as idioms or vocabulary that vary by audience

The U.S. Hispanic population is diverse, as discussed in this article from the Pew Research Center. While in cities like Houston, more than two in three Hispanics are of Mexican descent, other origin groups predominate elsewhere. Puerto Ricans are the largest Hispanic group in the Orlando, Florida, metro area, for example. As in English, there are words and phrases that vary by region or country and can signal where a speaker is from. The Spanish spoken in Spain is different from that in Mexico, Puerto Rico, or Venezuela.

For example, “glasses” in Mexico are “lentes”; in Spain they are “gafas.” And while some Mexican Spanish is similar to the English—e.g., “computadora” means “computer”—the Spanish words can be very different in other countries. In Spain, “ordenador” is the Spanish word for “computer.” Brands looking to create video/aural content to reach Hispanic audiences should also be aware of pronunciation differences. When a z or appears before an i or e in a word, the sounds translates to an s in Mexican Spanish. But it’s a th in Spain.

Idioms and slang also differ. “Camión” means “truck” in much of Latin America, but in Mexico it’s also slang for formal and informal route buses. And while “padre” means “father,” in Mexican slang it can also mean “cool.” Perhaps most important, some Spanish words have taken on awkward alternate meanings that could prove embarrassing if used by advertisers. Know the slang.

Bottom line: knowing Spanish is one thing, but knowing how to tailor an ad to accommodate cultural difference is another challenge. To successfully localize your ads and ensure your message is clear, make sure you’re using the same language as the speakers in your target market.

2 Consider the entire journey

Creating a seamless user experience is the key to effective advertising. An ad in Spanish doesn’t help much if the audience clicks through to a landing page that fails to accommodate Spanish, or a customer service rep who does not speak Spanish. Just as imagery needs to remain consistent across all consumer touchpoints, language needs to remain constant in a user experience. If your audience has a positive experience with your brand—one that makes them feel more at ease and able to find clear information—your brand will benefit.

How does a brand create this experience? Look no further than McDonald’s, which provides a good example of how to manage the customer journey in Spanish. People searching for a “McDonald’s near me” in Spanish might get an ad from McDonald’s that shows up in Spanish, as shown below:

If you click on one of the products featured in the ad — say “Ensalada de Pollo & Tocino”—you are taken to a McDonald’s landing page that allows you to change the language to Spanish.

McDonald’s understands that an advertisement is part of a connected experience, and each element of the experience needs to work in lockstep with the other. They also understand this: if the audience has a positive experience with a brand—one that makes them feel more at ease and able to find clear information—the brand will benefit.

3 Be culturally relevant

Find things that connect culturally with your Hispanic audience. According to a 2018 Monitor Study conducted by Kantar Consulting, which analyzed the state of the U.S. consumer marketplace, Hispanic cultural and community identity is at an all-time high. In a Forbes discussion of the study, Isaac Mizrahi notes, “Hispanics lead and over-index all other ethnic segments in cultural connection elements such as family, history, food, language, recipes and music.” That’s huge, as is the revelation that 59 percent of Hispanics think their cultural background strongly influences their buying decisions.

Fifty-nine percent of Hispanics also indicate that they seek brands that recognize and celebrate their culture’s unique traditions. The emphasis here should be on unique: just as language can vary by Hispanic region or country of origin (point 1, above), so can, for example, holidays. Carnival is celebrated in Brazil. Independence Day and Day of the Dead are important to Mexicans. Informed advertisers understand this.

And as Maria Amor, VP of Havas Formulatin, points out in PRWeek, family is a key aspect of Hispanic culture. Hispanic millennials have stronger family ties than many of their non-Hispanic peers, for example, and brands that want to connect in a meaningful way with a Hispanic audience need to understand this.

In short, know your audience and reach out in a way that is relevant to them.

4 Don’t set it and forget it

You might be tempted to use tools such as Google Ads to create campaigns that automatically translate English to Spanish. These tools can help you, but they should not replace people. The flaw in many auto-translate programs is that they use a direct word translation, without considering the context or regional variations of the translated words. There’s no nuance. This can lead to confusion at best, and be seriously off-putting at worst, ultimately preventing an audience from connecting with your brand. Human judgment is key to navigating nuances in culture and regional idioms.

Contact True Interactive

Eager to learn more about digitally connecting with a Hispanic audience? Contact us. We can help.

Photo by Ana Rojas on Unsplash

Why Advertisers Embrace Nostalgia Marketing

Why Advertisers Embrace Nostalgia Marketing

Advertising

In Rob Sheffield’s autobiographical memoir, Love Is a Mix Tape, Sheffield observes, “I get sentimental over the music of the ‘90s. Deplorable, really. But I love it all. As far as I’m concerned the ‘90s was the best era for music ever, even the stuff that I loathed at the time, even the stuff that gave me stomach cramps.” Sheffield is talking about nostalgia. Smart marketers know how to tap that vein. Research shows us that nostalgia gives our lives, whether we are 20 or 80, a sensation of comfort, continuity, and meaning. What businesses wouldn’t want to evoke those feelings in a customer? Hence the rise of nostalgia marketing, which uses past themes or products to evoke a specific, positive emotion in customers. Nostalgia marketing isn’t new, exactly — when you see the word “throwback” in relation to a brand, that’s nostalgia marketing at work — but in recent weeks, shows such as Netflix’s Stranger Things have underlined just how powerful nostalgia marketing can be.

Why Nostalgia Works

The irony of nostalgia marketing is, of course, that the past helps make a business more relevant to current interests. Look a little deeper, though, and it’s not hard to see the allure. Research shows that nostalgia can act as an antidote to boredom, loneliness, and anxiety. It can literally make people feel warmer on cold days. And from the perspective of the advertiser, it’s a gold mine in that it can reach multiple generations equally effectively. Nostalgia marketing appeals to the college student stressed by exams who finds refuge in references to beloved cartoons from their childhood. It also attracts the overworked middle-aged manager, who gets a boost from that can of New Coke. And therein lies the power of nostalgia marketing: it’s not limited to a certain age bracket.

In The Upside Down . . . and Beyond

Stranger Things, the Netflix series that is equal parts sci fi exploration of the parallel universe of The Upside Down and‘80s homage, provides a great example of nostalgia marketing. Look no further than the copious New Coke references in the show’s Season 3, which takes place in 1985, the same year New Coke made its short-lived (79-day!) debut. Sure, New Coke may have been a debacle at the time, but fast-forward to 2019, when the beverage giant has the opportunity to turn an embarrassment into a win. By making New Coke (briefly) available again — Coke spent six months poring over records to make sure the New Coke design and recipe were properly recreated — and generating advertising tie-ins to the show, Coke is hoping it can play on nostalgia to court older consumers who remember the advent of New Coke in the first place (whether they liked it or not). But it’s not just an older generation that’s being targeted: younger Netflix viewers from the millennial and Gen Z generations love the show, and because they don’t have any strong negative associations with New Coke, they represent a rich new demographic.

Pepsi has also been known to rewind the clock. In 2013, PepsiCo took advantage of the social phenomenon #ThrowbackThursday to generate some buzz about product, posting images of its “throwback” Pepsi sodas, which were made with “real sugar” as opposed to the high-fructose corn syrup soda manufacturers switched to back in the 1980s in response to tariffs.

Other brands, such as Wendy’s, have used classic photos for Throwback Thursday posts; Wendy’s underlined the nostalgia by pointing out how the fast-food chain debuted the first modern-day pick-up window.

Wimbledon, the oldest tennis tournament in the world, and arguably the most prestigious, has also embraced nostalgia in a bid to generate more revenue. As reported in Digiday, the tournament, as part of a six-week campaign, “created an immersive, theatrical recreation of the 1980 final between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. Billed as a virtual time capsule of sorts, the recreation of the match was backed by archive footage from the real one on the tournament’s social media channels.”

Doing Nostalgia Marketing the Right Way

Like any marketing strategy, nostalgia marketing comes with a few ground rules. To achieve the best results, you want to do it right, namely:

  • Know your audience. Are they going to understand or appreciate the throwback?
  • Leverage all the tools you can, ranging from social to online advertising.
  • Know the nostalgia “hot spots.” Create content that targets your audience’s elementary and high school years, generally ages six to 16. And don’t forget “parental nostalgia,” the nostalgia many parents feel for their children’s childhoods.
  • Try to draw on content creators who actually lived in the time or place your brand is recalling. Someone who participated in the experience in the first place is much more likely to invest the marketing with emotion and meaning.
  • Take advantage of brand history if your company has been around awhile. Nostalgia strategies can be built around reminding customers of the positive experiences they’ve had with a product over the years.
  • Pay attention to the details and get the callback right.

Bottom line: authenticity is key.

Contact True Interactive

True Interactive knows how to plan and implement digital advertising of all kinds, including throwback themes. Contact us to build your business with online advertising.

Three Big Trends Shaping How Businesses Use Social Media

Three Big Trends Shaping How Businesses Use Social Media

Social media

Paid social on the rise. Facebook is king. And Instagram is the crown prince. Those are some of the take-aways from a recent Social Media Examiner survey of marketers’ social media spending priorities in coming months. The survey offers a useful snapshot of social media trends that cut across industries. Here are some of the principal findings:

Paid Social Is on the Rise

According to the Social Media Examiner report, social media ads are fast becoming indispensible to social media marketing strategy. This development is due to the fact that social media platforms like Instagram are offering more sophisticated tools that help businesses create content that targets specific audiences. One example: Instagram’s new feature, Branded Content Ads. As we recently discussed, the Branded Content Ads feature makes it possible for businesses to use Ads Manager to promote branded content as an ad in their Instagram feeds, and to target a specific audience when they do so.

Facebook Has Fans—A Lot of Them

According to the Social Media Examiner survey, Facebook is the most popular platform for advertisers, with 94 percent of marketers polled choosing it as their first option. On the surface of things, this might be surprising, given the knocks Facebook took in the wake of the high-profile privacy scandals that plagued the social media giant in 2018. And yet, Facebook membership keeps rising: according to the company’s Q4 2018 earnings report, approximately 1.52 billion people used Facebook every day in December 2018. That’s a nine percent year-over-year increase. Also noteworthy is the fact that Facebook tends to be popular among Baby Boomers and older millennials: that’s significant to advertisers who want to use a social platform to reach this audience, which tends to have more discretionary income.

Another reason Facebook remains popular with advertisers is that the company has always provided strong targeting tools, and continues to do so. As this WordStream article discusses, the company makes it easy to launch ad campaigns that target specific audiences with different ad formats and literally thousands of ad targeting parameters. Finally, Facebook is popular for all kinds of content, including video, which expands its usefulness to advertisers. According to the Social Media Examiner report, Facebook is right up there with YouTube as the most well liked video channel for marketers.

Instagram Is the Crown Prince

Though perhaps not as popular as Facebook, Instagram is still a valuable resource for advertisers. And advertisers are intrigued by it: the Social Media Examiner report indicates that when marketers were asked about the social media platform that they’d like to learn more about, a whopping 72 percent chose Instagram. Maybe that’s because the app’s strengths in visual storytelling present a golden opportunity to capitalize on the fact that increasingly, people are using images as a means of communicating. We take trillions of photos each year. And not surprisingly, we’re sharing those photos on platforms such as Instagram, which is also showing a marked increase in membership.

These takeaways paint a compelling picture. Interested in learning more about how social can serve your business needs? Contact us.

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