Mishaps from English to Spanish

In a previous blog, we explained why it’s not enough to simply translate an English campaign directed to the general marketing into Spanish while growing Hispanic-marketing efforts. It’s good to see that brands are starting to reach out this market segment, but the following campaigns (like many currently running) weren’t as effective as planned.

Under Fire

An American favorite, Chipotle Mexican Grill has recently found itself under fire for its new branding campaign called “Cultivating Thought.” Quotes by famous authors worldwide have been plastered across the restaurant’s bags and cups. The problem? Authors of Mexican or Latino descent were not chosen to be featured. The restaurant says it reached out to Latino authors, but they declined the offer to be quoted. Using a variety of authors from around the world and of different ethnicities could have ensured the Mexican restaurant connected with many more people.

Got Milk?

Brands have been translating English campaigns to other languages for years, and for years it hasn’t worked as planned. The Got Milk? campaign was wildly popular for English speakers the U.S. However, the same marketing strategy didn’t do so well with Hispanics in 2011. By directly translating the headline, the California Milk Processor Board was left asking Spanish-speaking women if they were lactating. Furthermore, some found the campaign to be flat out offensive by failing to acknowledge that mothers and grandmothers do most of the grocery shopping in Hispanic homes—where a lack of milk on hand is no laughing matter.

Covered California

Food brands aren’t the only ones that have made mistakes in Hispanic marketing. California’s state health insurance exchange, Covered California, decided to reach Hispanics through marketing the Affordable Care Act. Covered California highlighted one main selling point: nobody will be denied for pre-existing health conditions. This may sound good to you, however, many Hispanics have never even had or considered buying health insurance. Additionally, many published ads did not include phone numbers and addresses—which many Hispanics rely on when shopping. Just a few small tweak could have ensured the messaging strategy was effective.

Even more importantly than understanding the language, brands must know the ins and outs of Hispanic culture. An effective marketing campaign takes thorough research and a strategic plan that will resonate with this audience. Allow us to help you with all aspects of your Hispanic campaign. Call us at 816-283-8300 or contact us online for more information.