Monday, July 2, 2012

Rmoney Botches Spanish-Language Ads

If I were Hispanic, I would find this insulting:

Republican candidate Romney trails Obama badly among Latinos, according to polls released last week, and isn't counting on them to propel him to victory. Even so, his Spanish-language advertising has been minimal and clumsy, the experts said. Some of his ads are simply translated versions of his English-language commercials — a particular no-no when trying to reach Latino consumers.

Obama has spent more heavily, and created more effective ads than his rival, but some experts said that so far he has failed to craft a campaign that keeps pace with the rapidly increasing size and sophistication of the Latino population, which climbed to 50.5 million in the 2010 census, from 35.3 million a decade earlier.

Neither campaign has adopted the approach honed over the years by businesses targeting Spanish speakers — one that not only depicts Latinos in positive settings, but also reflects attention to cultural nuance. ...

Rmoney has also spent only pocket change ($33k to date) "between mid-April and mid-June in the battleground states of North Carolina and Ohio, while Obama spent $1.7 million" on Spanish-language ads in the same time frame and area.

If you're going to run an ad in a language other than your own... advisable in the Southwest part of the US, where many Latinos speak Spanish almost exclusively among themselves, even if they speak English at work... at an absolute minimum your Spanish usage should be idiomatic and grammatical. It isn't that hard to do in Texas... I have Hispanic friends and colleagues, people whose English is often more polished than my own, who surely do a comparable job in their native language. But a badly translated ad, or an ad lacking sensitivity to basic cultural differences, is an ad asking to be ignored... and probably resented as well.

Houston is already (I cringe as I type the atrocious term) "majority-minority" because of its Hispanic‑American, African‑American and Asian‑American populations (listed in approximate order largest to smallest, if memory serves me [update: this is correct]). A campaign here that doesn't cut it with Hispanics is a campaign guaranteed to lose elections. Shame on Mr. Rmoney for not attending to this basic fact, and it seems to me that Mr. Obama, who overwhelmingly has the Hispanic vote at the moment, would be wise to pay more attention to the ways in which his campaign to Hispanics is faulty. In this election, more than any past presidential elections, Americans other than Caucasians and African-Americans carry incredible clout, and may not be neglected by any candidate who would win.

(H/T TPM for the LA Times link.)

No comments:

Post a Comment


• Click here to view existing comments.
• Or enter your new rhyme or reason
in the new comment box here.
• Or click the first Reply link below an existing
comment or reply and type in the
new reply box provided.
• Scrolling manually up and down the page
is also OK.

Static Pages (About, Quotes, etc.)

No Police Like H•lmes