Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rethinking Hispanic Advertising

Hola - it's 102° in Seattle today. Why am I sharing this? Because no one can believe it. This is an all-time high temp in the history of my city. And I have no A/C in the office or at home. Pobrecita.

There's a fun TV spot I'd like to share with you. I'm sharing it because frankly it's a great ad. It happens to be an award-winning Hispanic ad from Latinworks--but you'll notice that there's not a lot of Spanish language in it.

This may surprise some of you who might think that advertising that reaches Latinos has to have certain stereotypical elements in it, or even language. And note that just because it's a "Hispanic ad" doesn't mean us gringos can't enjoy it.

It's about reaching the demographic, and it can be done any number of ways. But simply translating your general market ad is probably not be one of them.

Take a look...feel free to share your thoughts.

Allstate has launched an unprecedented Hispanic campaign

In yesterday's Marketing Daily, Tanya Irwin shares what Allstate's been up to nationally in the Hispanic space:
  • a TV campaign including four new spots (three already launched)
  • radio advertising
  • online activations
  • premier sponsorships: Mexican National Soccer Team (for the third consecutive year) and television and radio programs including "Premio lo Nuestro" and the Latin Grammy Awards
  • a unique Spanish-language website.
These are big steps for Allstate, and they help show the company's commitment to the Latino community. When you read the article, you'll learn that the campaign is not a simple translation of the general market campaign (YAY) but its own culturally relevant campaign.

This is key in reaching consumers, because it doesn't matter what language it's in, if the message doesn't resonate, it will fall flat. Latinos can see right through a translated campaign that wasn't created with them in mind and this result will not help your company earn the $1 trillion in Latino buying power.

I'm excited about the sponsorships that Allstate is committed to, because this is a way to meet Latino consumers *where they are.* It's the most natural connection, and more personal than a TV spot.

I'm a little concerned about the development of a unique site--because although I've seen it done successfully, and it *is* ideal--the unfortunate truth is that in big corporations the Spanish site can end up smaller, inaccurate, incomplete--which can send a very bad message to Latino consumers. For example, if there's a "first month free" offer on the English site even for three days while the Spanish site has yet to be updated, those three days Latinos will see that discrepancy and realize that English speakers get the good deals.

Check out the article. What do you think?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pride in Making a Living, Working with Their Hands

There's a neat article in yesterday's Pacific Northwest magazine that details the work of a few local craftspeople entitled Honest Work: Mastering a Trade, Making a Good Living by Tyrone Beason.

The article shares the vocations of Louie Raffloer and Mary Gioia, blacksmith owners at Black Dog Forge, Javier Heras and Jose Rodriguez, upholsterers at A.W. Hoss and Son, Inc., and Chef Paul Fung who tirelessly hand-forms rice noodles at Hing Loon Chinese Restaurant.

The article reminds me not only of President Obama's reference to "the doers, the makers of things" in his inauguration speech, but also of a visit by Governor Gregoire to a local Hispanic Chamber breakfast about a year ago.

She said, in essence, that these vocations are a necessary and important part of what makes this society work, and that our push to get everyone into a four-year university just isn't every person's path. She encouraged us to re-think that idealogy and realize the significance of having tradespeople skilled and ready to work.

There's a special pride to working with one's hands, and it's not something all of us are cut out to do. But for those of us who are, trade school is a respectable path that produces skilled workers our economy needs.

If you're interested in reading more, check out the article online.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Save the Date! 12 de agosto

Did you know that Latinas in the U.S. are starting small businesses at SIX TIMES the national average?
WHEN: Wednesday, August 12
WHERE: The Rainier Club, Seattle
WHAT: King County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting
I'm encouraging everyone to attend this King County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting! Meet the successful women representing the National Hispana Leadership Institute in Seattle and hear about what they're doing to create leaders.
See more about this event or register here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

50,000 Latinos?

Posted by Intern Tim Hemphill, a student at the UW with a double-major in Spanish/Economics.

Fiestas Patrias is taking place at The Puyallup Fair again this year, an event for the Hispanic community filled with excitement and entertainment, from live music and dancing to great Latin American foods. It's a full day of festivities on September 20 at the fairgrounds.

In recent years, over 50,000 people from the community have participated, and this year will be no different.

So for companies in the Northwest: If you are interested in having a booth at this event, just contact us to learn more! Email or call 206.621.2185.

For the rest of you, join us at Fiestas Patrias for a great time to experience Latino culture and have fun.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cinco de Julio

The other day I was chatting with colleagues over at Sección Amarilla (the print & online yellow pages for Latinos here and in Mexico), who had participated in the Bustos Media Cinco de Mayo rescheduled event, which coincidentally happened on the 5th of July instead.

Apparently the event was packed - tens of thousands of Latinos in attendance! This is a reminder to sponsors - don't miss out on Bustos' Puyallup Fair event this year! Call me for details: 206-621-2185.

To learn more about Sección Amarilla, see their site.

To contact Sección Amarilla for rates in the Seattle-area book, call Constance Heinrich at 206-621-1874 or email

Diabetes, Latinos and the Supreme Court… who knew?

Readers: This post is contributed by Melissa Duque, Hispanic marketing intern at Conexión Marketing.

Opponents of Sonia Sotomayor have found another reason to not want her as the first Latina Supreme Court Judge: She has diabetes. In a world where we are constantly improving treatments for health problems, it’s interesting that people can find this as a deterrent.
If appointed Sonia Sotomayor wouldn’t just be the first Latina Supreme Court Judge, she would also be the first Diabetic Supreme Court Judge. The controversy between diabetes and Sotomayor and her ability to be a Supreme Court Justice has brought awareness to all those living with diabetes.

“Type 1 Diabetes is a disorder in which the immune system destroys the body’s insulin-producing beta cells,” according to the Seattle Times editorial Diabetes no reason to reject Sotomayor by Irl B. Hirsch and James S. Hirsch. “Improvements in care have sharply reduced the risk of complications.”
All this talk has to be more than just about the First Diabetic or Latina Supreme Court Judge. It needs to be about how diabetes affects Americans and how those with Type 1 diabetes are living with it.
According to Dr. Sonia Hernandez from Community Health Center of Snohomish County, anyone not of Anglo-American descent has a much higher propensity for diabetes. We need to look then at why Latinos and other ethnic groups have a higher susceptibility to the disease and what to do about it.
The silver lining to all this debate about Sotomayor and her diabetes is that diabetes is now on the forefront of people’s mind. Hopefully this increase in attention will help those who may not have had access or knowledge to be able to find the right tools in better understanding the disorder and how to treat it.

Ke Buena (1210 AM) radio will feature a show this Sunday discussing Latinos and Diabetes, the causes of the disorder, and how to take back control. The show is called Información es salud con Community Health Plan, and it airs 6:30 – 7 on Sunday evenings.
Join this Sunday as Dr. Hernandez discusses diabetes with Host Gigi Basaure.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Plaza Bank Achieves Milestone



SEATTLE (July 9, 2009) - Plaza Bank, based in Seattle, Washington, announces that it surpassed $100 million in assets one month before its third anniversary. The Bank was founded on the principles of serving business and individual customers with a focus on the Latino community.

"This is quite an achievement for any bank during these troubled times," President and CEO Carlos Guangorena admits. "I'm proud of the team we've assembled and appreciative of the businesses and individuals who have put their trust in Plaza Bank. We are doing everything we can to continue to earn their trust and provide a world-class banking experience."

Significantly, this accomplishment was reached while operating from two locations, unusual for a de novo bank. As Plaza Bank enters its fourth year of business, Guangorena cautions that there is still work to do. “The Bank achieved this milestone in a challenging environment. We have to stay focused on credit quality and service during these tough times."

Meanwhile, Plaza Bank continues to reach out to minorities:

  • Its total loans to women and minorities were over 40 percent of total loan balances outstanding at the close of 2008.

  • Approximately 70 percent of its consumer loans are to Hispanics.

  • About 23 percent of its commercial loans are to Latinos.

Plaza Bank is a locally-owned community commercial bank serving the Seattle Metropolitan area and offering quality services and products to businesses, non-profit organizations and consumers with a focus on Hispanic businesses and consumers. The Bank is one of only three which have been designated as FDIC Minority Depository Institutions in the Pacific Northwest. The Kent Station branch in Kent is open Monday through Thursday, 9:30 am - 5 pm; Fridays 9:30 am - 6 pm. The Downtown Seattle office is open 9 am - 5pm weekdays. For more information about Plaza Bank, call 206-436-7600 or visit


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tukwila School District Considered Most Diverse in U.S.!

If you have kids, and you live in Seattle, you probably already know this:

Whites are the minorities in many Seattle schools.

But this article in the (Tacoma) News Tribune really tells the story about our schools, their diversity, and some cool things some of the schools are doing to keep kids motivated to plan for higher ed.

Take a read!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Eduardo Mendonça Earns 2009 Spirit of Liberty Award

An Independence Day Celebration

Last Saturday, July 4th, the Ethnic Heritage Council honored naturalized citizen Eduardo Mendonça for making outstanding contributions to his adopted country of the U.S. while maintaining his ethnic heritage.

Congressman Jim McDermott presented the 2009 Spirit of Liberty Award to Eduardo Mendonça of the Brazilian community.

He is the first Brazilian and South American representative to receive this award. If you haven't yet seen multiple-award-winning Eduardo Mendonça perform, it's really a must-do. He's the ultimate entertainer and a terrific musician, even having performed for the 14th Dalai Lama and the Pope John Paul II!

Upcoming performances include two this week:

WHEN: Friday, July 10, 7:30 – 9:45pm
WHERE: Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park, WA 98155
WHAT: Eduardo Mendonça will be perfroming original tunes, Bossa-Nova, MPB (Brazilian Popular Music), and many other Brazilian music styles. David Pascal on Bass, and Kohen Burrill on drums.

WHEN: Tuesday, August 18, 5:30-6:30pm
WHERE: Renton Farmers Market, Renton, WA
WHAT: Drumming and Dance at Renton Farmers Market! Eduardo Mendonça and Show Brazil! will be conducting a public drumming and dance rehearsal. The audience is invited to participate by learning basic Samba dance steps, and Brazilian rhythms played on provided drums, plastic buckets and “tennis ball mallets.” This event is sponsored by Renton Municipal Arts Commission and 4 Culture.

Congratulations to Eduardo for this amazing and much-deserved achievement! For more information on Eduardo's award, his bio, and contact information, please visit his site.

Our Melting Pot - think of it as cheese!

I'm copying and pasting this article from Multicultural Marketing News which I think really tells the story about cultural identities in today's United States. Please feel free to comment.

Direct Marketing: Multicultural Name Identification

by Candace Kennedy, Director, Sales and Marketing, Ethnic Technologies, LLC

Conventional wisdom says that America is a melting pot of many different cultures. Try mixing up six different cheeses in a pot then try to find the different taste values of each. It is very difficult to do. The same idea applies to identifying the different cultures that make up our nation. The segmentation system that we habitually use simply divides the population into color or racial categories: White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian. Using this type of approach or methodology has its downfalls and in most cases antiquated census information is used, as it's sole input for development. A better approach is to see the diversity in America as a mixed salad, where each ethnicity is a different ingredient and can be identified. This method, if used properly applies to the many ethnicities and different cultures in our nation and each can be identified.

Marketers, researchers, advertising agencies and the media often market to Hispanics as a separate group from Whites, Blacks and Asians. When you take an in-depth look at the Hispanic population in the Untied States they often associate with one or more of the aforementioned racial groups and those racial groups can be correlated to their country of origin or cultural identity. An individual or family from Puerto Rico does not exhibit the same cultural identity or buying habits as those of a family that has immigrated to the US from Mexico. If that is the case then why do marketers, researchers, advertising agencies and the media often approach Hispanics as a whole with the same exact offers, disregard their country of origin and then complain that their campaigns were not successful. Even the dialect of the Spanish language they speak differs.

The same issues arise and in greater depth when attempting to target the Asian community, the "One Size Fits All" mentality is often the method used and low response rates and product interests are the norm. With so many different Asian countries of origin and Asian languages of preference currently residing in the US, it is the smart marketer that embraces technology that allows them to identify all ethnicities, countries of origin and languages that are available. An offer tailored to a Chinese American living in San Francisco CA should differentiate from one being tailored to a Korean American living in Fort Lee NJ or a Vietnamese American living in Houston TX. Now if you add into the mix the different levels of assimilation and acculturation, the buying habits and traditional cultural customs the individual embraces are all over the chart.

An individual's ethnicity is not in all circumstances related to one's "Country of Origin." A Deepak Banerjee may have been born in England and then came to our country, but his ethnicity and cultural identity is Indian and in most cases his religion would be Hindu.

Many ethnic and religious groups in the United States maintain a strong cultural identity. They are often attracted to communities with their same ethnicity, communities in which many traditional cultural customs are maintained. Given that the ethnic diversity in the US is far more reflective of a global landscape, it is even more important for marketers to fully understand cultural differences, language preference, purchasing habits and other socioeconomic information and integrate those variations into their everyday marketing strategies and tactics. The time for the "One Size Fits All" methodology is gone that way of the dinosaur.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tonight on Ke Buena 6:30-7pm

Ke Buena (1210 AM) is airing a show this evening that will help Seattle-area Latinos better understand how to discuss their headaches with their doctors.

Considering that some people suffer headaches regularly--and most of us don't know how to express that pain to our doctors--this is an enlightening show that shares how different headaches can be, where the pain is coming from, and some tips on avoiding and alleviating them.

Tune in this evening, 6:30-7 to hear Host Gigi Basaure talk with Erica Eickoff, LMP and trained physical therapist.

This is a service brought by Community Health Plan in the interest of helping our Latino community better understand issues around health and safety, and helping improve the overall health of our community.

For more information about Community Health Plan, visit the organization's multilingual site.