As marketers continue to seek ways to connect with the Latino community, it’s important to understand the various dialects and slang used within this diverse group. In this blog post, we’ll explore some common examples of slang and language mixes within the Latino community and discuss how marketers can navigate these linguistic nuances to better reach their audience.
One example of a language mix used in Latino communities is Spanglish, a hybrid of Spanish and English. According to a report by the Pew Research Center, 78% of U.S. Latinos speak English at home, and many mix the two languages in their daily conversation. Brands that understand this language mix can create campaigns that resonate with Latinos on a personal level.
Another example of slang used in the Latino community is Caló, a unique dialect of Spanish commonly used among Chicanos and Mexican Americans. Words and phrases like “wassup” (¿qué onda?), “chill” (relax), and “homie” (amigo) are commonly used in Caló, and can add a level of authenticity to marketing campaigns that target these groups.
However, it’s important to note that not all Latinos use the same slang or language mix. For example, Puerto Ricans may use different slang than Mexicans, and Cuban Spanish may differ from that spoken in other Spanish-speaking countries. Marketers should do their research and tailor their language and messaging accordingly.
One company that missed the mark in this area was Budweiser, with their “Up for Whatever” campaign. The campaign featured a phrase in Spanish that used the incorrect verb form, resulting in a phrase that made no sense in Spanish. This misstep not only offended Spanish-speaking consumers, but also highlighted Budweiser’s lack of understanding of Latino culture and language.
Another example of a company getting it wrong was McDonald’s, with their “McDonald’s Hispanic Platform.” The campaign featured a Spanish-language website with a Google Translate button, which produced inaccurate translations of the website content. This mistake demonstrated a lack of respect for the Hispanic community and their language.
In conclusion, marketers must be aware of the language mixes and slang used within the Latino community to effectively reach their audience. By understanding the various dialects and nuances, marketers can create campaigns that resonate with Latinos on a personal level and avoid the pitfalls of cultural insensitivity.
“U.S. Latino Population Growth and Dispersion Has Slowed Since Onset of the Great Recession.” Pew Research Center. 2018.
“Budweiser Apologizes for ‘Up for Whatever’ Campaign.” NBC News. 2015.
“The 5 Worst Hispanic Marketing Fails.” Hispanic Marketing & Public Relations. 2018.
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