Painful Advertising Mistakes – #6

We continue our blog on Painful Advertising Mistakes when launching a campaign to a multicultural market. Rule: Realize transculturation is an obstacle worldwide and must be considered in your marketing campaigns. Breast Milk Baby These cultural nuances are not simply a one way street, and cultural misunderstandings in marketing are pretty much universal. We do see cases of Spanish ads gone wrong when transculturating from Spanish to English, i.e. from Spain to the United States. Last year Berjuan, a Spanish Toy Company, released their marketing campaign “Bebé Glotón” or “Breast Milk Baby,” a breast feeding baby doll for little girls. Although the toy proved popular in Europe, American consumers were, to put it lightly, less enthused. While the doll is on toy store shelves in the United States today, a lot of parents and critics feel this toy is not suited for young children. “Cultural misunderstandings in marketing can be universal when companies ignore the culture of their consumer market no matter the language.  Companies must be aware of who their target audience is and the social norms of that audience,” according to George L. San Jose, president and chief creative officer of The San Jose Group. Moral of the Story: Advertisers need to be aware of the target market and the social norms of that audience’s society and/or acceptable practices.  This will ensure if a product/ad is going to resonate with that audience and be culturally relevant, i.e. in the USA breast feeding is not considered a subject to talk about with children,...

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What Can We Learn From This Year’s Cannes Lions?

This year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity results are in the history books forever. All of the awards have been handed out and trophy cases around the world are being prepped and cleared for the fresh new hardware. But instead of batting our eyes at the glistening statues and burying ourselves in news recaps from this year’s 59th annual event, we’ve opted to take a step back for a second. From this new distance, we see the awards, we see the media, and we even take note that Selena Gomez made a guest appearance. Even further though, we are able to fully understand the implications of this tremendous ceremony. We can survey the past seven days in their entirety and start making sense of what it all means. What has this year’s Cannes Lion’s done to the industry, and more importantly, how can we grow from all this? 1. Connect- No matter where we are or what we’re doing, it seems like we are constantly hearing about the importance of building connections. We need to build network connections to get a job. We need to build social connections to keep up with current events, and when all else fails, we just need to keep connecting. This industry is no different — the company-consumer connection it absolutely vital. 2. Content comes first- Content came before technology, and it has been proven the two should stay in that order. Across all categories, this year’s top winners reinforced the importance of constructing quality, original ideas. We have infinite technological tools at our immediate disposal, most of which can be accessed by anyone who seeks them (and can afford them). The 3D images and fancy graphics draw eyes initially, sure, but time and history continue to prove that in order to keep those eyes, the message has to be worth holding on to. 3. Simplicity works- There’s a time and a place for hidden meanings and reading between the lines. Whether it was a tiny tweak to grocery...

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Now is the Time to Invest in Latin America

Jun 19, 12 Now is the Time to Invest in Latin America

Posted by in Latin America

Gone is the Latin American economy of the eighties. For the first time in history, almost every Latin American country has elected its government and since the nineties, the economies of Latin America have been on the rise. The time to invest is now. Why? According to Lorena Isla’s article, “Mega Trends Underlying Latin America’s Future Growth- Marcro- Micro Implications,” “the future consumer market of Latin America is projected to be 665 million people and combined GDP of almost $6.8 trillion in 2020.”1 The growth is highly concentrated in the middle class leading to a thriving economy. This middle class is projected to increase its purchasing power which in turn means they could purchase more goods from multinational corporations. Not only are there eager consumers, but many Latin American countries will have the workforce to support this investment because “emerging economies such as Brazil and Mexico with a large estimated young and working age population represent a prime location for companies looking for a high quality labor force particularly in the services and manufacturing sectors.”1 This is important because other countries such as Japan and Germany will be facing worker shortages in the future.1 With a low labor supply in these countries, wages will be forced up, thus increasing the operating costs of businesses. Latin America can offer a cost effective alternative to this scenario. Some concerned critics point to the fact that stocks in Latin America took a hit in recent years, but most stocks globally have declined, not just Latin America.2 The Eurozone crisis and Recession in the United States have not only affected these regions, but the world. According to, “Brazil and Chile have already drawn up anti-crisis plans, and others should follow suit.”2 This fiscal responsibility demonstrates that Latin American countries want to be prepared for any potential storm that the recessions in the United States and Europe might bring and makes Latin America a solid investment. The same article states, “its [Latin American] financial systems are strong, banks well capitalized.”2 While...

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Painful Advertising Mistakes – #5

We continue our blog on Painful Advertising Mistakes when launching a campaign to a multicultural market. Rule: Show your Hispanic consumers your company is fully committed to satisfying their needs. When reaching out to the Hispanic community, advertisers cannot fake it. ¿Do you really habla Español? Nothing says “we do not care about you,” quite like when advertisers put absolutely no effort into accommodating or even trying to understand someone while acting like they are putting forth the effort. Tom Hanks said it best in A League of Their Own: “anything worth doing is worth doing right.” Converting a website into Spanish is certainly worth doing right. Countless websites are viewable in Spanish; yet, almost as many of these Spanish websites are subpar compared to their English counterparts, containing less information or lacking cultural relevance. For instance, the New York Red Bulls Major League Soccer team offers their website in Spanish, or so they say. In actuality, it takes web viewers to a page with news articles about the Red Bulls written in Spanish. The Red Bulls did not even translate the header of their “Spanish page” into Spanish as it reads, “Latest News,” in plain English. When viewers decide to move to another page, they have no option but to view it in English, leaving anyone who clicks the “Español” option feeling cheated. “Simply translating a website into Spanish is not the best solution to engage your audience. Companies need to research and consider the best means to effectively communicate to their consumers,” said George L. San Jose, President and Chief Operating Officer of The San Jose Group. Moral of the Story: For advertisers to dodge sending the message that they do not care about their Hispanic consumers, they must take the time to target the Hispanic market and design websites that appeal to consumers with culturally relevant messages. What speaks to one culture might not speak to another; the same holds true for websites. Simply translating a website into Spanish is most...

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Five Tips for Writing a Successful Blog Post

The art of blogging isn’t easily accomplished and while there may not be an exact pathway to the world of successful blogging, there are several helpful tips that can serve as guidance. Here are our top tips for bloggers to keep in mind while creating their posts: 1.    Use links! Adding links to other web pages is a great way to support your post and give readers the option to dig deeper into a topic. 2.    Keep writing to a minimum Assume your reader has the attention span of a fish so save the details for your diary and get to the point. Give readers the maximum amount of information that is needed with the minimum amount of words. 3.    Write captivating headlines The last thing any blogger wants is for a reader to skim past their post. To avoid this write a captivating headline that stands out. After reading it your audience should know what your blog post will be about and want to read it. 4.    Include bullet points Readers love bullet points! They make posts look structured, to the point and easy to read. 5.    Keywords! If you want people to read your post then it’s important to make it easy to find. Use key words that people may search for while looking for a post to read. Try using these tips and comment below with your...

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