NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The best Hispanic advertising this year cleverly mined cultural insights into Latinos in the U.S. without resorting to stereotypes.
In one of the judges' favorite campaigns entered in Advertising Age's Hispanic Creative Advertising Awards, Comcast's CableLatino and Grupo Gallegos entertainingly demonstrated that if you don't watch TV in your own language, you lose too much of the story. To drive that point home, English-language newscasts were devised with crucial information, like the photograph of an escaped killer or product shots of poisoned food brands, hidden by subtitles.
Other insights were crafted into the two Best of Show winners. From LatinWorks for Cine Las Americas: Latin American reality is so surreal, imagine how good the movies must be. And from Lapiz for Procter & Gamble's Pepto-Bismol: Don't let the food you love hurt you.
This year's winners understand the value of marketing to Hispanics, whether it's the NFL working with Vidal Partnership to court 28 million Hispanic football fans, or the California Milk Processor Board, a dairy supplier in a state where "10 out of 10 new households created will be Hispanic," said John Gallegos, principal at Grupo Gallegos. New advertisers are still entering the market, including Starbucks, with its first Spanish-language print and radio ads from Lopez Negrete Communications.
Hispanic agencies are also taking a leadership role in marketing to the fast-growing bilingual and English-speaking Hispanic market, a desirable demographic that general market agencies are eager to poach.
CreativeOnDemand, for instance, does English as well as Spanish-language versions of its Volkswagen of America campaigns, and some of the work, such as this year's Routan launch, a Silver and Bronze prize winner, enters the general market rotation.
But the bicultural Hispanic isn't easy to reach.
"The consumer is living two lives," said Carlos Boughton, brand director of Tecate Equity. "It's more like American culture viewed through Mexican glasses."
With Tecate Light, a Gold and Silver winner, the Mexican beer is targeting U.S.-born Mexican-Americans and immigrants.
But the U.S.-born Hispanic exists across a very broad spectrum, from someone who speaks Spanish every day, spends time in Mexico and marries a Latina, to a guy who didn't grow up exposed to Mexican culture at all, Mr. Boughton said.
More with less
Media targeted at bilingual and English-speaking Hispanics tries to bridge that spectrum. MTV Networks' U.S. Hispanic channel MTV Tr3s, for instance, won a Gold with a crash course on how to "Speak Tr3s."
The most-awarded shopsThe two Best of Show winners, LatinWorks and Lapiz, were also the two most-awarded agencies at Ad Age's Hispanic Creative Advertising Awards. Besides the Best of Show trophies, LatinWorks picked up five Silver and two Bronze prizes, and Lapiz won two Gold, two Silver and one Bronze prizes. LatinWorks.
Based on Best of Show (10 points), Gold (7), Silver (5), Bronze (3)
One of this year's most innovative efforts was the way Conill linked T-Mobile USA with soccer in "Dirige su Equipo" ("Direct Your Team"). The agency started with the premise that soccer fans think they know best, and invited fans to text advice to a player during a game. The message appears to the TV viewer to be shouted at the player on the field in real time.
Hispanic agencies are moving into branded entertainment, a new category at this year's awards. Both winners delve deeply into Mexican culture. Conill produced a mini-documentary that aired on Discovery en Español about the rodeo-like charro, where the standard equipment includes horses, cowboys and a Toyota Tundra. And Alma DDB and Fire Advertainment created a State Farm-backed band, Los Felinos, that has taken on new life in a reality show that made its debut on Telemundo this month.
Ad Age conducted the 11th annual Hispanic Creative Advertising Awards in partnership with the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies.