As Time reported yesterday, Mattel is counting on Latina moms during the upcoming Holiday season to help further drive sales for their most popular brands. Shifting from their general marketing strategies of translating their English campaigns when marketing to US Hispanics, they are launching “Toy Feliz,” a Spanish centric campaign (with a Spanglish twist as Toy Feliz is a play on Estoy Feliz) to help improve their Hispanic campaigns by communicating with their targeted demographic in their preferred language.*
While many companies have tried to reach Latino consumers in the past, many have faltered by not necessarily integrating the Spanish language correctly. In many cases, the Spanish content provided either on websites, in print, or on TV has been fed through a digital translator, which can be unreliable to say the least as the translator may recognize the word to be translated as working in one Hispanic country, but not for another.
In most cases as well, the translator may just provide straight word to word translated text that comes across as unintelligible or uneducated among the US Latino market.
As more data continues to come out regarding US Hispanics, in many cases, this information will also support the need to for Latino targeted advertising campaigns to be executed in Spanish. While the Pew Hispanic center has shown that Latino internet users are either English dominant or bilingual,** there are also studies which have shown that acculturated Hispanics feel more respected by companies that advertise in Spanish and also exhibit stronger brand loyalty for the same companies.*** However, as in the case of the digital translator, one also needs to have an understanding of the culture and language in order to determine how to best drive interest to each campaign.
For example, in many countries “tu, ” or “your,” can be considered insulting as opposed to “su,” which also means “your,” but carries a higher level of respect as opposed to “tu.” In this case, “tu” is generally considered to be a more personal expressions shared between two individuals who are well acquainted with each other. While this may be held as generally true, for websites, using “tu” generally performs at higher levels for driving traffic and greater SEO results.
In order to be able to decide what best suits “your” campaign, amongst other potential translation complications, companies should seek out others with unique content marketing experience regarding Hispanic communities across the United States on a local and national level. Their understanding can help further drive marketing campaigns to greater financial success for companies that are struggling with, or just starting, their own Hispanic marketing initiatives, and in the process can also ensure that each companies comprehensive Spanish campaign doesn’t get lost in translation.