While the reasons may vary, in reality these are just excuses to mask an underlying concern: the fear of screwing up.
As a first-generation Hispanic, and like most of my comadres and compadres, I mostly speak English at work. But if mom calls, it’s all Spanish.
The power of language, culture and the nuances that comes with advertising to Hispanics requires more than just some lines put together based on polls or focus groups. It requires an understanding of how Hispanics live and the life for which they strive. It’s hard to blame consultants for being risk averse. But ignoring Spanish language amounts to a profound disservice to clients and our profession.
Hispanics are football and futbol, burgers and tacos. Similarly, we Hispanics also demand a choice of options when it comes to how we consume media and receive messages.
As a first-generation Hispanic, and like most of my comadres and compadres, I mostly speak English at work. But if mom calls, it’s all Spanish. To my Hispanic colleagues, if they don’t speak Spanish, it’s English only, but for the others, they can expect a mixture of both Spanish and English.
At home, we speak Spanish and English. We primarily watch English-language TV. But we also tune into Spanish programming without a need for subtitles. While my wife and I work, my mother-in-law babysits our six-year-old daughter in our home and the channel toggles between the two Spanish networks: Univision and Telemundo.
Understanding the importance of reaching Hispanic voters is easy: An historic number are expected to go to the polls in 2016.
What’s our primary language? It depends.
We’re open to receiving messages in both languages, but there’s an advantage to advertising in Spanish. That’s because we can’t DVR what we watch in Spanish. Now, I can easily tape my favorite English-language series. And my remote control allows me to fast forward so my shows become commercial free. In Spanish, the telenovelas are daily, not weekly. If I DVR a show and decide to watch it three days later, I am four hours behind. Plus, news and sports you just have to watch live.