Painful Advertising Mistakes – #5

Jun 12, 12 Painful Advertising Mistakes – #5

We continue our blog on Painful Advertising Mistakes when launching a campaign to a multicultural market.

Rule: Show your Hispanic consumers your company is fully committed to satisfying their needs. When reaching out to the Hispanic community, advertisers cannot fake it.

¿Do you really habla Español?

Nothing says “we do not care about you,” quite like when advertisers put absolutely no effort into accommodating or even trying to understand someone while acting like they are putting forth the effort. Tom Hanks said it best in A League of Their Own: “anything worth doing is worth doing right.” Converting a website into Spanish is certainly worth doing right.

Countless websites are viewable in Spanish; yet, almost as many of these Spanish websites are subpar compared to their English counterparts, containing less information or lacking cultural relevance. For instance, the New York Red Bulls Major League Soccer team offers their website in Spanish, or so they say. In actuality, it takes web viewers to a page with news articles about the Red Bulls written in Spanish. The Red Bulls did not even translate the header of their “Spanish page” into Spanish as it reads, “Latest News,” in plain English. When viewers decide to move to another page, they have no option but to view it in English, leaving anyone who clicks the “Español” option feeling cheated.

“Simply translating a website into Spanish is not the best solution to engage your audience. Companies need to research and consider the best means to effectively communicate to their consumers,” said George L. San Jose, President and Chief Operating Officer of The San Jose Group.

Moral of the Story: For advertisers to dodge sending the message that they do not care about their Hispanic consumers, they must take the time to target the Hispanic market and design websites that appeal to consumers with culturally relevant messages. What speaks to one culture might not speak to another; the same holds true for websites. Simply translating a website into Spanish is most likely a waste of time. Making a minimalist effort while designing a website in Spanish will more likely cause irritation rather than engagement.

Stay tuned for Painful Mistake #6 in a future blog.


Leave a Comment