An image campaign breaking this week prescribes a daily dose of NBC Universal's Hispanic cable channel Mun2 to prevent bilingual, bicultural young Latinos from becoming too much like gringos.
Like a lot of the irreverent work from highly creative U.S. Hispanic shop La Comunidad, Miami, the ads may offend some. Three humorous commercials ask the question, "Are you becoming too gringo?" and recommend Mun2's music videos and TV shows as a cure. But they also touch on Latin stereotypes. In one spot, two young Latino men operating an ice-cream truck pursue girls who run off with their oversize decorative ice-cream cones, but the guys are blocked by a fence.
The voice-over asks: "Is your gringo diet killing your Latin skills? Jump fences like you know we can." One of the men sails over the fence like a superhero, then says, "Now I feel like an hombre again."
In another spot, a Latino youth is president of the U.S., facing a crisis over weapons of mass destruction. But it's just a daydream, as he sits in a classroom at school. "Is your American dream becoming too gringo?" the voice-over asks. "Instead of dreaming about war, dream about nicer things." In the last shot, he has gone from president to gardener and is clipping a hedge.
"[The campaign] plays with the idea of 'check your balance' for our second-generation, bilingual demo of young people who live within two cultures," said Alex Pels, general manager of Mun2 (pronounced "moondos"). "How can you assimilate into [American] culture and retain the identity from your Latin roots? These are all images that reflect part of a certain reality of Latin culture in this country."
The image campaign comes a year after Spanish-language network Telemundo relaunched the largely English-language channel Mun2 targeting the Hispanic youth market. The channel's headquarters and production facilities moved from Miami to Los Angeles, a center for the Latin entertainment industry, and a new website, holamun2.com, was created. Mun2 is targeting an audience similar to that of MTV, which recently relaunched its almost-nonexistent U.S. Hispanic channel, MTV en Espa¤ol, under the name MTV Tr3s. (In the past, La Comunidad did edgy, award-winning work for MTV Latin America and VH1).
Mr. Pels said the spots will run on Mun2 and other NBC Universal cable channels such as USA Network and the Sci-Fi Channel, and will be posted on holamun2.com, where the site's creatives will develop more ideas exploring the "check your balance" concept. The campaign also includes radio and out-of-home ads.