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Jul 26

LISTA Guest Blogger: Charlie Neugebauer Same But Different Engage Hispanics

So we ask ourselves should the creative be aligned with the general market or should it be unique and culturally relevant? Of course, it should be both. All brand communication at its core needs a consistent voice whatever the audience, otherwise the brand becomes diluted and schizophrenic. And, certainly, it needs to be relevant to whatever target it’s speaking to, and more so when appealing on a cultural level.

The broader question is to what extent and in what way it should be aligned. The answer is different for every brand and depends on many factors. There’s no hard and fast rule. So it’s interesting and helpful to look at how some brands have chosen taglines that differ beyond simple translations.

“Chevy Runs Deep” speaks to the brand’s rich heritage and how Chevy is deeply rooted in American’s lives, experiences, and ambitions. But Chevy chose a different tagline for Hispanics, “Deja que Te Sigan,” literally “Let the Rest Follow.” Similarly, the line is deeply rooted in lives, experiences, and ambitions, but less about heritage. It appeals more to the spirit of Hispanics in the US who are pioneering and like to be the first to try new things. They want to set a good example for others and see Chevy an innovative, trailblazing brand.

CoverGirl’s tagline is “Easy, Breezy, Beautiful” reflecting a lively and cheerful attitude. That’s how you feel when you look beautiful. For Hispanics, it’s also about attitude. “Bella, nada te detiene” or “Beautiful, nothing stops you,” but it’s also about the confidence and invincibility of feeling beautiful with CoverGirl. This appeals well to Latinas, who are ambitious and forward thinking. For them, feeling beautiful is feeling unstoppable.

Toyota also conveys confidence. Their Hispanic tagline is “Avanza Confiado” or “Advance with Confidence or Trust.” For most Hispanics, a new vehicle is an important accomplishment. Trust and confidence are important as they progress in life. Toyota’s general market tagline “Moving Forward” is similar but not so overt on this insight.

Brands from Latin America often differ in their message to Hispanics, as they can take advantage of their established affinity with people from the same country of origin. They’re already seen as “Latino” brands. For example, most people in the U.S. associate Corona with a beach “Miles Away from Ordinary,” but the brand reminds Latinos that “tenemos algo extra’’; “we have something extra.” With its tagline “Refresca Como Somos” or “Refreshes how we are,” Corona embodies and celebrates a unique Latino mindset.

Verizon’s Hispanic tagline is similar to the general market but has notable distinctions in their overall communication strategy. “Rule the Air” asserts that Verizon’s strong signal makes you the most “powerful transmitter.” “Tu Mandas” also conveys power saying “You’re in Charge.” But Verizon brings the idea closer to home with brand initiatives that encourage Hispanics to “take charge” such as the Tu Mandas Scholarship Fund and the Tu Mandas Small Business Empowerment series.

These are all examples of where brands have decided to deviate from the general market message apparently for strategic reasons but there is also the fact that some messages simply do not translate well in another language. There are many notable examples. “Got Milk?” has become an American idiom, but when directly translated to Spanish “Tiene Leche” would be culturally unacceptable and understood as “Are you lactating?” So the California Milk Board went with “Toma Leche” or “Drink Milk.”

There are many factors that a brand should consider when addressing the question of how far the multicultural message might stray from the general market such as the brand’s unique insights, equities, history, origins, etc. and simply because sometimes a direct translation might not be an option. But it’s important to always make an honest assessment as to how the message is aligned with the general market. Consumers should always recognize it as coming from the same brand. Ideally, the brand will find a Hispanic tagline that expresses the brand’s core message but also appeals on a higher level though meaningful, cultural insights.

Charlie Neugebauer is the VP/Client service director at Wing.

He has 20 years of experience within the industry and has worked in various product segments

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