|Comic Carlos Mencia teaches immigrants how to get Bud Light.|
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With a trio of award-winning clients, the Long Beach, Calif.-based agency also won Gold and Silver awards for a TV campaign for the California Milk Processor Board, and a TV Gold that has become almost an annual event for the long-running Energizer campaign.
For various Comcast products, Grupo Gallegos used humor to illustrate a range of insights, from frustration with slow speeds on the internet to what it's like to miss half the action when you can't watch TV in your native language. The judges were most struck by how Grupo Gallegos conjured a mundane price promotion for a voice-wireless-cable package into a Best of Show-winning heroic act by a little billfold that attacks ketchup out of gratitude to its price-conscious owner. The unlikely slogan: "Your wallet will thank you."
This year, a new category for bicultural, English-speaking Hispanics was introduced, reflecting marketers' interest in targeting more ads at this fastest-growing segment of the Latino market. Among the best work was Conill's creation of a whole virtual world for Toyota's Yaris car at mundoyaris.com and NBC Universal-owned Telemundo's rebranding of its youth cable channel Mun2. An edgy branding campaign by La Comunidad taunted viewers with becoming too gringo and urged them to discover their Latino side. And Mun2 did the creative for the fictitious (or not?) hotline of really weird callers from the network's audience.
Several agencies shot both Spanish- and English-language versions of ads. Creative on Demand devised one concept -- a young man is caught "cheating" on his Volkswagen with a new, more alluring VW model -- and filmed it with different actors and nuances in English and Spanish. And Vidal Partnership built two Home Depot spots around real-life bilingual customer Mike, who adds a colorful Mexican corner to his home. The English-language spot highlights his acculturated teenage daughter, interested in learning more about her father's heritage. The Spanish-language spot has a bigger role for Mike's Spanish-dominant wife.
Another new category, called Beyond Hispanic, was created to recognize the growing trend of marketers giving talented Hispanic agencies assignments that go beyond the Latino market. In the past, it wasn't unusual for a very successful Spanish-language commercial to be picked up and translated into English. But now clients are asking their Hispanic agencies to create for a wider audience. In a year when a tough jury gave out fewer awards than usual despite a record 718 entries, this new category picked up six prizes.
The clear Gold winner for Beyond Hispanic was the Anheuser-Busch spot that broke on the Super Bowl and continues to run frequently on English-language TV. In the commercial, titled "Class," by LatinWorks, popular comedian Carlos Mencia teaches a classroom of immigrants how to order a Bud Light in English. His closing lesson: If someone asks for your Bud Light, pretend not to speak English.
Other big winners this year included Conill's stain-busting Tide print ads for Procter & Gamble Co., Bromley Communications' Continental Airlines spots, Alma DDB's Gold-winning website for McDonald's Corp. and La Comunidad's work for the Katrina Foundation.
The best work covers as wide a range as the Hispanic market itself, from the sophisticated Sprint Center designed in Second Life by Vidal to showcase the Sprint-sponsored "Concierto Clandestino" performances to Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.'s kitschy chewing gum campaign. Bravo Group's ads for Wrigley's Eclipse gum feature 1970s singer and novela star José Luis Rodríguez, whose nickname is The Puma. In the silly spots he appeared, singing, in bizarre settings like a funeral and a picnic, to delighted shouts of "El Puma!" from the judges. In the end, he wasn't a winner, but remains the sentimental favorite of a couple judges. Creative consultant and judge Paco Olavarrieta says: "It's the first time a campaign makes me feel [both] embarrassed and considering it for Best of Show at the same time."
Ad Age conducts the Hispanic Creative Advertising Awards in cooperation with the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies. The winners were announced at a gala awards show Nov. 2 in New York and organized by Hispanic agency Dieste Harmel & Partners.