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1 post from October 5, 2014 - October 11, 2014

Should there always be a Latino insight in Hispanic Advertising?

October 8, 2014
By Juan Tornoe

I read this headline on an industry publication: “KFC targets Hispanic audience with family-focused campaign”. Have to admit, it kind of ruffled my feathers. I mean, really?? On every opportunity I have, I am the first one to recognize that the importance of family within the Latino community is the one stereotype that is absolutely true. Still, do national advertisers need to shove it in our faces on every opportunity they have? 

In my opinion, it is an insight that needs to be seriously taken into consideration while developing your marketing strategy, but it should not take center stage during a campaign's execution. Call me crazy. 

Both the article’s writer as well as the QSR company spokesperson were quick to jump into the “Family is important to Hispanics” bandwagon. Not only that, but then went on and addressed the diversity within the Latino community – not that there’s anything wrong with that! – claiming that within the family portrayed in a single spot of this new campaign we could find it all:

“The ad begins with a shot of what appears to be a modern nuclear family, then pans to reveal the diverse, multigenerational group sharing the meal, including a young teen in an outfit reminiscent of a Quinceañera, a female mariachi singer, and an older man in a guayabera shirt, among others.”

Here’s the ad for your enjoyment:


At this point, I was screaming to myself, “For real???” As much as I admire the mind-blowing differences that genetics bring to the table – pun intended, it was kind of a stretch to get the results of mixing and matching all those folks.

Then it struck me; the Spanish ad was part of a larger “KFC Favorites Bucket” campaign. So I Googled it and found this general market spot:


Radically different folks, with over-the-top exaggerations of some, nonetheless, all of them in harmony enjoying the crunchy deliciousness of good ol’ KFC standards. Within the Favorites Bucket, there was something for everyone.

Then, and only then, I saw the strategy behind it all and begin appreciating what the agency was trying to accomplish with the Spanish ad. 

Yes, there was a reason why the ad started with what seemed to be a nuclear family, and then went crazy diverse on the different folks around the table. Family was part of the story, but it wasn’t the punch line. That quintessential Latino insight was considered, but it was not the be-all and end-all of the message being conveyed. 

For what it’s worth, they could have sprinkled each one of the ads with characters from the other one: Say the mariachi girl in the English ad and the Asian lady in the Spanish ad.

Bottom line, in my humble opinion, for this specific ad campaign there was no Hispanic insight. The insight was that “in our Favorites Bucket there’s something for everyone”. They did deliver this message in-culture and in-language with both executions showed above. 

By trying to over-explain it, and pretend it is about Latino culture & diversity, they turned a decent ad into what I first perceived – given the explanations on the article - as a contrived and stereotypical ad.