Writer: Issac Morales
In my 20 years of advertising I've seen the pendulum swing from side to side when it came to brands understanding the true power of multicultural. I've seen what I believe are three stages over the course of my experience in Hispanic marketing. The first, I dub: "The Beginning" and while multicultural marketing had been going on much longer than before I started my career in 2000, the idea of dedicated efforts to address multicultural was still in its infancy for most brands. It was during this era when many agencies had to roll up their sleeves and showcase just how important it was for brands and marketers to cater to the multicultural segments. The best tool to tell that story came with the Census data that reviled a Hispanic boom that most marketers couldn’t ignore any longer. The first efforts were often based on translating or trans-adapting the general market campaigns in-language. Yet even then, most of us knew that there was an opportunity to do more than just scratch the surface to make a connection with these ever-evolving consumers.
This gave way to the “Golden Age”, which I consider to be the hay day of Hispanic advertising. Many brands had ethnic brand managers and multicultural departments that you didn’t have to convince or sell on the idea that ethnic marketing was a necessity. This was when agencies were allowed to do some of their best work. Work that was different from the General Market campaigns for all the right reasons while staying true to the overarching brand message. Work that was based on insight with unique selling propositions that catered to the target. It was a move in the positive direction where brands started talking “to” ethnic consumers not “at” them.
Those were the days.
Yet, those days were unfortunately numbered. Enter the latest phase, which I call “The Post-Apocalyptic: ‘Total Market’ World of Advertising.” This phase is driven by the Great Recession and the idea that total market meant reaching everyone with the same brand’s message. While in theory I believe that there’s merit to this approach in its purest form, that belief is held by the fact that it works best when multicultural can influence the general market. When you really look at it most of American culture is driven by ethnic culture in some shape or form. Think food, music, and art.
"A total market approach may save production dollars, but hurts brands when connecting with our Hispanic audience - as well as lose media investments since these won't work as they should due to lack of relevance. Our strong buying power consumer deserves the be spoken to in-language and in-culture." - Silvana Massolo, Partner and Managing Director
It quickly became apparent to most of us in the business, however, that total market didn’t mean that, so much as it meant showcasing faces of color all smiling and enjoying the product the brand was selling. Sacrificed in this approach were connection, insight and relevance. Some brands even tread dangerous waters as cultural appreciation gave way to cultural appropriation. Budgets became harder to come by as they were often part of a larger initiative and multicultural became a box that was simply checked.
"Enlightenment. In this phase, we can take the best of what made the “Golden Age” great and adapt it to the changing times, while meeting the needs of today’s modern consumers." - Issac Morales, President of Inspire
Considering all that’s transpired with the pandemic and protests, now more than ever, brands need to move to a new phase. Let’s just call it: “Enlightenment.” In this phase, we can take the best of what made the “Golden Age” great and adapt it to the changing times, while meeting the needs of today’s modern consumers. Some brands are already on this road and fortunately at Inspire we have the pleasure of working with some of them. Yet as an industry, there’s still a great deal of change needed and there are plenty of good multicultural partners that are out there wanting to see change come.
It's been a little over 3 months since the national emergency was declared due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the U.S. alone the virus has claimed the lives of over 100,000 victims, with more than 1.9 million having been infected. As this virus knows no boundaries of ethnicity, age, or wealth, no one has been immune to at least some level of impact. Yet one population disproportionately impacted, is our Hispanic community. 1 in 4 Latinos know someone infected by the coronavirus and from an economic standpoint 60% of Latinos have experienced a job loss or pay cut due to the pandemic.
Despite facing these harsh realities, Hispanics represent 19 million of the essential workers that continue to keep this country running. Beyond these everyday contributions, we’ve seen countless instances in which individuals are going above and beyond to support others in this age of uncertainty.
Another name in the culinary world, Chef José Andrés, is channeling his culinary craft into feeding those in need. This certainly isn’t the first time he’s stepped up in a time of crisis – coming to the aid of others in a handful of previous global disasters through his charity, World Central Kitchen. In the most recent months Andrés fed quarantined cruise ship passengers at ports in Japan and California, transformed the Washington Nationals’ stadium into a kitchen and free meal distribution center, and turned his NYC food hall into a community kitchen. Additionally he’s made his services available to another hard hit group, the Navajo nation; America’s largest American Indian population at roughly 356k. The Navajo nation has one of the highest infection rates in the world and has been virtually abandoned in terms of government support. Through providing boxes of foods as well as cooked meals for families with COVID-positive members Andrés is once again serving both hope and sustenance to folks being impacted.
Now when we think about the millions of workers who have still been showing up daily throughout the pandemic, our nation’s farmworkers are among that group deemed essential. Though farmers received “essential work letters” from the government to continue traveling to work in the fields, these letters don’t provide immunity from deportation that most immigrant farmworkers fear. Compound that ongoing anxiety with the fact that many of these foreign-born workers didn’t receive stimulus checks, don’t receive health insurance benefits and must show up regardless of being sick to not risk losing their jobs. It’s sadly ironic that a person categorized as illegal is now essential in this time of crisis.
Outside of Houston in Richards, Texas, Salvador Guadarrama and his mom, found another way to dedicate their time and resources to supporting the farmworkers community. They purchased a sewing machine, made 500 face masks, and traveled to the Rio Grande Valley by bus to distribute them in partnership with La Unión Del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) a community-based nonprofit. Salvador was able to achieve his goal to help out these workers who are a pillar of our Hispanic culture.
While we can’t be sure of when things will return to a sense of normalcy or what exactly “normal” will look like, we can continue to find inspiration in these instances of humanity and resiliency in the face of adversity that as Hispanics we carry in our DNA.
Writer: Ashley Vigil
We had an incredible time attending the Circulo Creativo event on February 13, 2020 at The Wild Detectives in Bishop Arts, Dallas TX. Besides being a great place to see advertising friends and network, the event's panel shared their POV on Super Bowl LIV's TV ads, as well as some of their favorites.
The panel was composed of one of our own, Jon Jaimes (Partner, Executive Creative Director), as well as Veronica Elizondo from Conill and Bill Cochran from The Richards Group. Apart from bringing their unique personalities, they shared interesting points of view about the ads.
Shout out to Flor Leibaschoff, Aldo Quevedo, and Miguel Moreno for a fun and enriching event - as well as to Victor Macias of Deaf Mule for sponsoring the refreshments of the night.
If you're interested in learning more about the panel and get a taste for what went on at the event, visit our "Panel" story on Instagram, here.
For information on the Circulo Creativo Dallas Chapter, please contact Flor Leibaschoff, here.
To check out our Kia Seltos Stunt Person Super Bowl TV spot, click here.
Hope you can join us next time!
DALLAS, TX., February 7, 2020 – Inspire Agency (Kia Motors America’s Hispanic AOR) in partnership with Kia, is celebrating Latinos that give it everything outside the spotlight – this time, during Super Bowl LIV on Fox Deportes. The spot features the all-new 2021 Kia Seltos in various terrains, highlighting its style and capability. The idea was rooted in the insight that while Latinos are vastly underrepresented in Hollywood, they are constantly giving it everything without the recognition as stunt people- just like Latinos do every day.
“Can’t help but feel super proud of our agency as we crossed the threshold of a new first for our small but powerful shop. We’re more than grateful to Kia for having the confidence to give us the opportunity and for bucking the norm and dedicating an original spot to highlight Hispanics giving it everything.” – Issac Morales, President of Inspire.
For more info on the 2021 Kia Seltos Stunt Person Campaign visit: https://www.inspireagency.com/kia-seltos-stuntperson-campaign.html
The #GiveItEverything campaign for the Hispanic Market was launched at the end of 2019, when Kia and Inspire developed a campaign featuring the 2020 Kia Telluride, with Chef and Restauranteur Esdras Ochoa of Netflix’s Final Table. In this spot, he pays homage to the people who help make his dishes possible, but rarely get the credit. Get to know Esdras’ give it everything spirit, along with the stories of those who work behind the scenes.
For more info on the 2020 Kia Telluride Behind the Chef Campaign visit: https://www.inspireagency.com/kia-telluride-behind-the-chef-campaign.html
About Inspire Agency
Inspire is an award-winning independent advertising agency that specializes in connecting with the Hispanic consumer through culturally relevant storytelling that drives change in consumer actions. Established in 2007, Inspire is based in Dallas, Texas. Get to know us at @inspire_agency. For more information, visit www.inspireagency.com.
For media questions/inquiries, please reach out to Silvana Massolo at firstname.lastname@example.org or via cell phone at 786-346-7755.
You may download a PDF version of our press release below: