Tidying Up Insights About Latino Women

We Aren't All the Same

By Published on .

Laura Martinez Laura Martinez
As a journalist, Latina or not, I receive all sorts of marketing pitches every day, mostly in the form of press releases. And as you may imagine, these are not really hard to understand. But a recent release from consumer products giant Procter & Gamble really got me thinking, or at least puzzled me enough to read it twice to understand what it was really all about.

Its headline read: "Tide and Downy Total Care Partner with Celebrity Stylist Irma Martinez to Help Latinas in Finding Their Style that Lasts."

I am sure many women, Latinas or otherwise, are interested in finding a style that lasts ... but Tide and Downy partnering with a celebrity stylist? What do a laundry detergent and softener had to do with our style and looks? And which type of Latinas were we actually talking about? (Boomers? Housewives? Moms? Teens?)

In the end, I sort of figured out what P&G was up to: Citing a study showing Latinas spend "considerably more time (average 135.1 minutes) shopping, compared to their Caucasian and African-American counterparts at 89.4 and 109.27 minutes, respectively," the marketer wanted to highlight the importance of maintaining and enhancing the beauty of our "second skin," (i.e., our clothes.) A bit of a stretch if you ask me. But regardless, nowhere in the 800-plus-word release I was able to understand exactly why this was a broad Hispanic-women specific message.

If, as we've been discussing at length in this blog, marketers and their ad agencies are moving past so-called Latino clich├ęs and the conversation about insights has moved to a higher level, why does this particular pitch seems to put Hispanic women (whatever they might do for a living) into one big basket -- the beauty, style and confidence basket?

"By following some simple, basic guidelines, Latinas can achieve a 'Style That Lasts' that fits their needs, enhances their own beauty and gives them the confidence to shine every day," Irma Martinez (no relation to this blogger) said in the statement, which then goes on to list 10 practical tips for Latinas to consider before going shopping ("pick vibrant colors for trendy pieces," "when shopping, take into consideration your body shape," and so on.)

I have seen some very good Tide ads via Hispanic shop Conill that go way beyond Latino stereotypes, focusing instead on simple, but universal truths (stains suck regardless of your cultural background); the work won several prizes this year. But perhaps I am missing something in P&G's latest "Style That Lasts" campaign, in which case I more than welcome your comments and -- hopefully -- an explanation.

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Read more from Laura daily at Mi Blog Es Tu Blog.
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