Malcolm Beith reports on the July 26 issue of Newsweek that the ad fight is on for more than 20 million potential Hispanic votes. There are several interesting points brought up, but the one that caught my eye today, and applies not only to this year's elections but to every business marketing to Latinos, is the fact that both camps utilize the neutral-dialect "universal Spanish," which, while speaking to everyone, speaks to no one in particular.
You want to speak to the customer, in the language (more specifically, regional dialect) of the customer, about what's important to the customer; you should be aiming at delivering your message with a familiar accent, word selection, resonance to the listener/viewer/reader's state of mind, belief system, culture, and frame of reference. Either if your message is in Spanish, completely in English, or somewhere in between, by aknowledging those cultural nuances you will score big with your customers.
I strongly believe that due to the numerous backgrounds and levels of acculturation that exist among the Hispanic community, one has to research the market in which the advertising will be aired or published. According to that information, be it a single market or a nationwide effort, one should tailor the message according to the different characteristics of each identified market. It then becomes a matter of level of commitment and budget availability & allocation.
Eventhough it is perfect when delivering straightfoward facts, like it should be on the news, and to some extent on a phone answering system, "universal Spanish" is not a wise choice when trying to speak to the public's emotions and feelings; when trying to have them create a mental image of themselves doing what you want them to do.
Source: MSNBC News