Culture

Hispanic Heritage Month: Many Brands Have Missed The Mark But A Few Have Done It Right

Hispanic Heritage Month is here again: it runs from September 15 to October 15 this year. The celebration of Latinidad in the US was made official when in 1968 president Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law “National Hispanic Heritage Week.” Set to begin on September 15, the week celebrated the independence of a few Latin American countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Chile. The celebration is great and perhaps originally con las mejores intenciones, but it errs in grouping a whole continent’s diversity into a single group. But well, peor es nada. 

So let’s be positive and see the glass half full. These four weeks are a great opportunity to celebrate our Latino roots. Many brands also see this month as a chance to connect with the Latino market, which is a profitable and expanding demographic in the United States. However, and this is a huge “but”, sometimes marketing people try a bit too hard to connect and end up with messy campaigns that end up just perpetuating damaging stereotypes. For every good idea there seem to be three or four that just miss the mark. 

Hey, here’s a job idea: cultural adviser! Let’s change the ratio and have most brands understand the values and issues we really care about

Credit: gabbyzapata / Instagram

Being aware of what Latinos think and want is key in the highly competitive US market, as Claudia Romo Edelman wrote in AdAge: “Hispanics by more than two to one (68 percent) feel their values are shared by other Americans. And those values are vital: family, work, education, and security for themselves and particularly for their children. They still believe in the American dream (69 percent), saying overwhelmingly that if you work hard you will get ahead (80 percent or greater across generations). Yet, barely half (54 percent) say they see their values reflected by major brands, similar to the number for media and pop culture (55 percent)”. Ouch! This speaks volumes about the lack of a true understanding of how fundamental the Latino market is for any business. 

Because some gringos just don’t get it, like Coffee-Mate branding something as Latino by adding flavors that no one associates with un rico cafecito

Credit: Digital image. Nestle marketing campaign

First of all, it is not a tradition to add Chocolate Abuelita or Lechera to your coffee. We mean, some people might do it, but it is not widespread. Second of all, what on Earth is your “inner Latino”? This campaign is just plain terrible. As Sue writesin the blog Phglesbian.com: “What the hell are you going to do to honor Black History Month? ‘Inner sassy black woman?’ What about Pride Month? ‘Inner queen? Touch your inner lesbian?’ This is a fail, Nestle, and Americans of Hispanic descent deserve better. Maybe you need to cough up some donations from a campaign that’s already on the shelves to help undo the damage”. Yes, queen!

Coffee-Mate, you are just digging a deeper grave for yourself! Yes, all Latinos are salsa-dancing sex-crazed hombres y mujeres…

Credit: Digital image. Nestle marketing campaign

Seriously, WTAF. They did just went there: sexualizing Latino culture is one of the cardinal sins of cultural appropriation and harmful stereotyping. 

And of course, Twitter got up on arms.

Credit: @artistmarclax / @cafenowhere / Twitter

We had never put the famous abuelita and the notion of a Latin lover together…. nothing against older adult intimacy… but just don’t, OK, just don’t. 

But… but… margaritas must contain tequila, right?

Credit: @Sobieski_Vodka / Twitter

Even a very inexperienced bartender or any tío organizing a carne asada knows that a margarita is made with lime juice, crushed ice, salt, and tequila, right? Well, apparently not, at least according to Sobieski vodka. Yes, according to this brand you can replace the very Mexican tequila, which has a denomination of origin, with vodka. First of all, vodka and tequila taste nothing alike. Second… why?

Bringing together family and war.

Credit: US Marines. Promotional campaign

Yes, there are many Latinos who proudly serve in the US military. However, it is a bit tricky to try to appeal to a certain particular demographic by appealing to the emotional connection that most Latinos feel to the notion of family. This is a sort of positive pat on the back that, however, is very complex given the huge life decision that enrolling in the military entails for soldiers and families. This is a borderline case of marketing that does speak to Latino values but simplifies a very intricate issue. 

Dear Macy’s, you could at least get the grammar right, perhaps?

Credit: 1567029508_HHM-Type (1). Digital image. Macy’s

Macy’s understands the importance of the Latino market not only because of local customers but also due to the huge amounts of tourists from Latin America that shop in their stores. It is all good… but they could do better with their campaign copy. “Unidos en cultura” makes no sense at all! Perhaps they meant “Unidos por la cultura”? The English slogan is “United by Culture”, so the translation feels like a half-hearted effort to appeal to “ethnic customers” (really, that is how gringo marketing lingo describes us!). Really, it is not that hard, we are sure that you have at least 50 bilingual, Spanish-speaking staff in your offices, so please do better next time. 

So to do it right why not get… I don’t know… actual Latinos to be part of the creative team? That’s what Nike did with the Los Primeros collection!

Credit: f6zulwr0fvmehebpfdb7. Digital image. Nike.

What a great way to create collection kicks while really digging deep into the Latin American soul. Nike describes this collection as follows “Honoring Latino Heritage Month, Los Primeros showcases distinct cultural expressions from four Latin American artists’ ancestry atop four iconic Nike silhouettes”. We don’t want to be puritans and say that international brands cannot celebrate Latino identity, but it is better if they do it right. Exactly what Nike did. This is the One Heart version of the classic Cortez sneaker, and it was created by Chilean artist Inti following patterns from indigenous textile art. That is how things are done, acknowledging that half of our Latino heritage derives from the proud original owners of the land that is now the American Continent. 

And look at this amazingly weird but very Latino fashion statement.

Credit: wvndm0ug4y1oehwiza71. Digital image. Nike

Few sneakers are as iconic as Air Jordans, and these beauties are decorated by Brazilian artist Pomb, a sensation in the street art world of Sao Paolo. Can we just get a pair already? We could totally rock this with a cool Mitú t-shirt!

Coca-Cola is a marketing genius… but have they done more harm than good to Latino communities?

Credit: hispanic-heritage-month-28-07PM-copy-604-337-dfbf7803.rendition.584.326. Digital image. Coca-Cola.

There is no denying that Coca-Cola has created one of the smartest and most memorable marketing campaigns in history. For Hispanic Heritage Month, they have created promotions that include creating personalized cans and bottles with Latino last names, as well as cans with temporary tattoos celebrating Latino identity. However, Coca-Cola has been linked to high rates of obesity, particularly child obesity, in countries like Mexico. We mean, celebrating a culture involves the general well being of society at large, right? 

READ: Vandals Destroyed A Hispanic Heritage Month Mural At Duke University And Here’s How Students Fought Back

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President Trump Attempted To Register His Trademark In Cuba In 2008 To Open Hotels And More

Things That Matter

President Trump Attempted To Register His Trademark In Cuba In 2008 To Open Hotels And More

New reports show that President Donald Trump tried to register his trademark in Cuba in 2008. The revelation shows another contradiction from President Trump who promised not to do business in Cuba until the island was a free democracy. The news comes just one week into Hispanic Heritage Month and has left some on social media questioning President Trump’s commitment to Cuban-Americans.

A new Miami Herald story is shining a light on Trump’s attempted business dealings in Cuba.

The story highlights President Trump’s hypocrisy and frequent contradictions throughout his life. The president’s attempted business dealings in Cuba came after he told the Cuban American National Foundation that he would not. During a 1999 speech, President Trump promised that he would not do business in Cuba until the island and the people were free.

For some, the revelation comes as a reminder of President Trump’s record with the Latino community. Latinos have been a constant target for Trump’s attacks since he called Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals when announcing his candidacy in 2015.

The news has angered Latinos who see the gesture as a sign of betrayal.

“I’ve had a lot of offers and, sadly, it’s all be very recently, to go into Cuba on deals. Business deals, real estate, and other deals,” Trump said at the 1999 speech in front of the Cuban American National Foundation. “I’ve rejected them on the basis that I will go when Cuba is free.”

Ana Navarro-Cárdenas, Republican political pundit and outspoken Trump critic, did not hold back.

Navarro-Cárdenas is one Republican who has long stood up against President Trump. Her tweets highlighted the fact that President Trump didn’t try to do business in Cuba just once. There are several instances that show that the president tried to make business happen in Cuba.

“Putting money and investing money in Cuba right now doesn’t go to the people of Cuba,” Trump told the audience in 1999. “It goes into the pockets of Fidel Castro.”

People are not completely shocked by the news.

The Trump administration has also been tied to the Cuban government. Earlier this year, news surfaced that Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager, met with “Castro’s son” in Cuba. The meeting happened in 2017 just days before the inauguration. Emails show Manafort trying to relay information from “Castro’s son” to Kathleen T. McFarland, who would go on to be the Deputy National Security Advisor for the Trump administration.

The 2020 election is going to be one of the most important elections in our lifetime. Make sure you and your friends are registered to vote and commit them to voting. You can go to IWillVote.com or VoyaVotar.com and text TODOS to 30330 today to learn what choices you have to vote in your community and get information on where and when to vote.

You vote is your voice. Make sure you use it this election. So many have fought for your right to vote.

READ: Latinos For Trump Posted A Collage Of Flag For Hispanic Heritage Month And Got Some Wrong

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These Virtual Events Will Let You Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month From The Comfort Of Home

Culture

These Virtual Events Will Let You Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month From The Comfort Of Home

This year’s celebrations of Hispanic Heritage Month come at an increasingly troublesome time. And for many of us, it’s hard to find the strength or energy to find something to celebrate.

At this time last year, a slew of federal immigration policies that brought fear and confusion to the Hispanic community had been announced. It seemed vital at the time to spotlight many of the positive contributions of the nation’s Hispanic community.

Today, we’re in a pandemic and a national reckoning on racial injustice is afoot. We must now dig even deeper to find the way forward. Local traditions, especially those that bolster cultural understanding and embrace our city’s diversity, can play larger, more meaningful roles this year if we all take time to honor the people and history behind them.

Don’t miss the chance to look beyond the festive atmosphere to truly connect with others in the community who might also be feeling a bit more introspective these days.

Though you may not be able to partake in person, you don’t have to miss out on the celebration. You can read books by Latino Authors, stream Latino movies and shows, and listen to music by Latino artists for starters. You can also donate to organizations dedicated to causes within the community. Organizations like RAICES, the Latino Equality Alliance, and the Latino Community Foundation are all great places to support. Then, mark your calendar for some of these online events being hosted in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Latin Fashion Week

From Sept. 16 until Sep 22., Latin Fashion Week Colorado is hosting a digital event every night. Each night will feature one of 35 designers and artists from around the world. See the full line-up here.

Cooking Class With Eva Longoria

In partnership with Airbnb, Eva Longoria is hosting a Zoom cooking class in honor of Latinx Heritage Month. To try and snag a spot, you’ll want to register on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 9 a.m. PT. The event costs $103 per person and all proceeds will benefit the Eva Longoria Foundation.

Listen To Latin American Classical Music Performed Live

Florida’s Palm Beach County Library is holding series of online events from dance performances to cooking classes to story hours for kids. On Wednesday, Sept. 23, Violist David Pedraza will be performing classical music by Latin American composers. Register for the event here.

Salsa & Latin Dance Classes

Sure the salsa class might be for those over 50 (since it’s being hosted by AARP) but what a great way to get your parents or abuelos in on the celebrations. But for those of us under 50, Dallas College also has a series of Latin dance classes being held online throughout Latinx Heritage Month. For more information, check out Dallas College’s calendar of events

Take Part In An AfroLatinidad Panel

As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, it’s important to make sure that all of us are included. That’s why this panel is so exciting!

On Thursday, Oct. 1, Illinois’ College of Lake County is hosting an Afro-Latino Panel via Zoom Meeting. Panelist will share their experience being Afro-Latinos, an often-overlooked demographic within the Latinx community. See more about the event here.

From Mi Cocina to Your Cocina: A Cooking Class

Arizona State University is hosting all sorts of interesting virtual events this year to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month. One of those events is a cooking class being held online on Friday, Sept. 18. You can register here.

Attend An Event With The Congressional Hispanic Caucus

From September 14-18, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus is hosting an online conference: the CHCI 2020 Leadership Conference, meant to help develop the next generation of Latino leaders.

Shortly after the Conference comes the The 43rd Annual Awards Gala, coming Sept. 21, 2020. Click here for more details about this event. 

Get Set And Get Ready To Vote

Voting may look different this year, but that doesn’t change the power of your voice. To provide some clarity, UnidosUS is hosting the town hall “Vote 2020: Get Ready, Get Set” to educate and prepare voters with what they need to know to cast their ballot in November. Voting experts will talk through your voting options and help you make a voting plan that best suits your needs.

Join us virtually on Monday, September 21 at 6 p.m. EST. 

Join The US Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce National Conference

At the end of September (Sept 27-29), the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce invites you to attend their 2020 National Conference.

They’re calling it the virtual business event of the year and it’s sure to have lots of interesting networking and learning opportunities.

Click here for more information

Attend Prospanica – The Leading Hispanic Networking Event

From October 12-16, you can join in on the Prospanica Conference and Career Expo – completely virtual.

The 2020 Prospanica Virtual Conference and Career Expo, “Generacion Lider,” will bring together a powerful cohort of diversity-minded corporations, government agencies, non-profit organizations and universities looking to attract top Hispanic talent. 

Designed to educate, inspire, and connect, Prospanica’s one-of-a-kind conference allows attendees to plug into a national leadership community invested in their long-term success.

Click here for more information. 

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