Marina Cuesta’s advertising career spans 17 years across North America and Europe. She started out as a copywriter at TBWA in Spain, eventually moving into leadership roles at Dallas-based Dieste, and now at The Marketing Arm, where she serves as group creative director. In that time, she has overseen integrated platforms and campaigns for clients including McDonald's, Procter & Gamble, Apple, KFC, Masterfoods, Gillette, Dunkin’, Goya and Chevrolet, among others. Throughout she has remained an advocate for a more diverse and female-inclusive industry. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Ad Age asked Cuesta to share some of her favorite projects that found a smart way to connect with and speak to the Hispanic community.
Smart brand ideas that connect with the Latinx community
Dunkin’: A new meaning for WFH (2020)
After more than a year and a half, the acronym WFH has been a trend everywhere. During and after the quarantine, people changed their way of living to work from home. Latinos, however, were among the hardest hit by COVID, both health-wise and financially. Also, 84% of Latinos could not work from home, as the Hispanic community still occupies many of the positions in the service, restaurant, construction and agricultural industries. For them, working from home is not an option.
Last Hispanic Heritage Month, Dunkin’ noticed this situation and decided to pay a tribute to the community by celebrating all of them who, instead of working from home, were actually going outside working for home, giving the acronym a new and unexpected meaning.
Dunkin' supported them with a 15-second spot featuring the many ways that Latinos drink coffee so they get the energy to work for their families, for the Hispanics, for the community.
Cheetos: Deja tu Huella (2021)
Agency: Dieste; Activation Agency: The Marketing Arm
Latino singers have long been loved in U.S. and their music is a hit on the radio, in discos and on playlists. But Bad Bunny is breaking down the music world and the Hispanic stereotypes, leaving his mark in many ways. The literal translation of this Cheetos campaign says “Leave your fingerprint”—showing a natural connection with the brand and with what the Puerto Rican singer does.
"The campaign is a celebration of the Hispanic culture and its impact on society," said Cuesta. "Hispanics are bold and loud, and we have our way to express ourselves and make a statement. With this message Bad Bunny is fueling that, encouraging all the Latino community to push boundaries and inspiring us to leave our mark in the world."
Also, in a collaboration with the Good Bunny Foundation, Cheetos created the “Deja tu Huella Fund,” giving a scholarship to ten Latino students who embody this spirit and already are making an impact in their community.
Additionally, an exclusive apparel collection with Adidas was added to the mix, so Latino and non-Latino fans could sport an item that represents what the campaign is all about.
Goya Foods: Prodigal son, a nachos story (2017)
While the Hispanic population in the United States constitutes 18.5% of the nation’s total population, many Latino parents face the challenges of keeping their culture alive with their children. This is not just about teaching them the Spanish language, but also about Latino values and experiences. This cultural mix is often hard for children to understand because it’s way easier for them to just go along with their American side.
"Food is a part of our culture. Not only because our recipes are exquisite and capture part of our heritage, but also because Latinos take advantage of eating to gather their families around the table," Cuesta said. "It’s a moment where parents have the chance to teach their children and enjoy family. If we keep that moment alive across generations, we’ll always have that Latin flavor that makes us unique."
With the “Prodigal Son” commercial, popularly known as “Nachos,” Goya Foods encouraged Latin families living in the U.S. to keep teaching their children that life has more than one flavor. Thanks to Goya’s great variety of ingredients, Latino families can cook and explore countless recipes, all so we can preserve Latino culture at home.
Bancolombia, El Colombiano Newspaper and La Alcaldía de Medellín: The Colombian Ambush (2018)
"When it comes to Colombia, many people around the world share the same negative perception of the country and only associate it with drug dealers and cocaine, due to the recent boom in 'Narcos'-related movies and shows," she said.
To combat this stereotype, the campaign used the same cinematographic language used by the entertainment industry to show to an unsuspecting audience the real face of Colombia. In this series of short films, we discovered the literary works of Gabriel García Márquez, the collection found at the Gold Museum of Bogotá, the rich biosphere from the country, and the progress being made for the world, all thanks to female Colombian scientists.
“The Colombian Ambush” sought to unite Colombians to become ambassadors who spread this message, to show the real Colombia, and thus ending the stereotype that has tormented the country for so many years.
Fighting the stereotype with the stereotype was a complete success that generated more than 1.5 million organic video views in the first five days alone. And today, four years later, it’s still being shared and creating engagement with the audience in their social media channels.