Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! Depending on your preference it might also be Latinx, Latino, Latina, or (my personal favorite) Latine Heritage Month.
Everyone has their reasons to self-identify using one term over the other, but the main point of this holiday is to celebrate the Latino community's culture and diversity. For those of us in the advertising industry, it's important to stay mindful of how we communicate with and represent the community in campaigns or other creative content.
Advertisers are often critiqued for being disingenuous, using outdated stereotypes, lacking representation, or simply not putting in any effort when it comes to highlighting people of color, non-cisgender folk, and queer communities.
Here are a few tips on how advertisers can celebrate the Latino community:
- Don't be afraid to get specific in your campaigns and highlight lesser-known aspects of Latino heritage and sub-cultures. Hispanic and Latino heritage is made up of distinctive cultures, history, and traditions that form this larger community. Most of the media we see today barely scratches the surface of what the culture has to offer— there's much more than just tacos and sombreros.
- Make room for Black and Indigenous Latinos by representing them in both general messages and Hispanic-targeted ads. Despite all their contributions, Black and Indigenous Latinos are often left out of the Hispanic mainstream. When that happens, we perpetuate the harmful narrative that they don’t belong or that their voices don't matter.
- Cut back on using neutral Spanish accents and embrace the diversity of regional accents to better capture the listener's attention. Languages can vary depending on which country or specific area someone's from, which means there are many dialects that can be represented. Using authentic voices is a great way to engage people, but be aware of slang that may alienate other audiences.
- Incorporate Latin music or partner with Latin artists in your campaigns— it helps with representation and engages the community. Okay, I admit— I'm a fan of Suavemente and Despacito as much as everyone else. But Latin music has many other genres, styles, and rhythms to choose from. Incorporating this music presents the perfect footprint for representation and could be a great way to make your Latino audience lean in.
- Don't forget that the Latino and Hispanic community want advertisers to connect with them year-round, not just during this month of celebration. You've probably seen brands switch to rainbow-colored social media logos during Pride Month to follow along with the trend, but they fall short of actually engaging with the LGBTQ+ community in meaningful ways. Well, similar situations happen during Hispanic Heritage Month too. If you want to connect with any of these communities, try to establish consistent communication throughout the year.
We hope these tips were helpful! And if you're ever worried about making a mistake in this area as an advertiser, just remember that simply putting in the effort to improve and self-educate will always be appreciated.
Our team is looking forward to seeing creative campaigns that feature thoughtful depictions of Latine culture. If you're interested in launching a campaign that speaks to your audience during Hispanic Heritage Month, or any time throughout the year, check out our in-store advertising network!Reach out today