Oprah en Espanol? The Oprah Winfrey Show is now available in Spanish, thanks to close-captioning and SAP (Secondary Audio Programming). This means that Oprah (and her team of brand marketers) are finally taking steps to tap into one of the largest and fastest growing segment of the US population. Muy bien. However, is this enough? Maybe this is just their way of dipping their toes into the Hispanic waters, but having something translated into Spanish is definitely not what I would consider Hispanic marketing. In fact there is some backlash already, such as how the Huffington Post writes that this strategy seems to ignore a big chunk of Hispanics who could be Oprah’s actual target market: the young, female, affluent, English-speaking, US-born Latinas.
Hispanic marketing offers a big new world of opportunities – and it will be good to keep in mind that, according to the Annual Hispanic Summit, “Hispanic consumers are more sophisticated – and less constrained by cultural and economic factors – than marketers often assume.” Thus marketing efforts should not just be about literal Spanish-language translations; instead it should be composed of richer, more creative, and culturally-sensitive components. For instance, AdWeek’s Marketing y Medios showcased this article entitled “Not Lost in Translation” which gives some examples of good Hispanic marketing efforts, such as:
– H&R block positioning itself as a “brand on your side” with its “estamos contigo” (we’re with you) and “you got people” ads
– Walmart’s use of consumer insights to tweak its tag line from “Save Money. Live Better” to “Save More. Live Better” (“Ahorra Mas, Vive Mejor”)
– State Farm leveraging its MLB sponsorship with bilingual versions of the “State Farm Is There” ads
The article makes a good point of how Hispanic marketing entails collaboration between the actual brand marketers and their agencies, and how “you have to figure out which of your brand drivers will work with Hispanic consumers”.
Oprah is already considered a worldwide icon (she’s not called the Big O for nothing) and her name itself could be enough to drive successful marketing campaigns. So despite the early criticisms, I’m sure that this move will still be well-received by A LOT of people. But this doesn’t stop me from wondering: what’s really the special sauce on Hispanic marketing and other multicultural media campaigns? A mix of strategic marketing, bilingual creatives, and targeted ads? As more and more marketers expand and test markets, I’m sure there will be a lot more to learn.