Grafik Blog Should Brands Be Bilingual Photo

Should brands be bilingual?

Marketers, knowing Millennials will shape the economy for decades as they enter their prime spending years, are trying each day to better understand them—how they think, where they spend their money, which social media platform they use most, which gadget they just purchased. But what some marketers have yet to realize is that within this exceedingly diverse group lives another discrete audience: Hispanic Millennials.

As a Hispanic millennial, I find myself going through an identity crisis on a daily basis. I am 100% Costa Rican, born and raised. However, living in the United States for the past decade has changed who I am, making me bicultural. Twenty percent of millennials today are Hispanic and should not be ignored. By 2050, 30% of the U.S. population will be Hispanic. That’s huge. Most Hispanic millennials consider themselves bicultural, but what does that mean? It’s being fluent in English and Spanish. It’s celebrating Thanksgiving and el “Día de la Independencia”. It’s getting into passionate debates about who will win the election in November, in Spanglish of course. It’s eating rice and beans for breakfast, and buffalo wings while watching Sunday night football. It’s having massive group chats on Whatsapp with our enormous families back home, where the constant messaging will make you want to toss your phone out the window. Sí, es muy confusing.

Luckily, brands are slowly shifting their messaging in order to appeal to this growing group. Although Hispanic advertising has been around for a while on channels like Telemundo and Univision, it’s definitely targeted towards an older generation with which I personally do not identify. Hispanic Millennials are more than just “telenovelas.” We grew up in a digital age with Facebook, Instagram, Netflix and more, just like everyone else.

In the past few years, several great campaigns have resonated with Hispanic Millennials. During the 2014 World Cup, Hyundai launched its #BecauseFutbol campaign with a series of videos in English and Spanish portraying the shared passion for futbol. Sorry, I mean soccer.

Coca-Cola also launched a very powerful campaign honoring Spanish last names during Hispanic Heritage Month.

But, what’s next? How should brands make the most of this growing population? It’s not as easy as just translating everything to Español. There’s much more to becoming a bilingual brand; it’s finding a middle-ground. It will be exciting to see how brands face this challenge.

Diana Revelo, Former designer at Grafik
Diana Revelo

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