Marketing to Different Cultures

The Lempert Report
October 06, 2021

It's a lot harder than one thinks

Marketing to different cultures can be a lot harder than one thinks. It was in 1985 that Frank Perdue, the beloved spokesperson and owner of the chicken company led one of the biggest blunders of his career. He had undoubtedly made Perdue the top brand by stating matter of factly that “It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken” then the company and its ad agency decided to target Latin consumers – and when they translated his famous slogan to Spanish it translated to “It takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate”.

And Perdue was not alone. Pepsi spooked its consumers in Taiwan when it didn’t realize its “Come alive with the Pepsi generation” slogan was translated as “Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead.” The list goes on and on with famous successful brands not really understanding the cultures of the consumers they are targeting. I just came across a report from Vevo Music Tracker that is a must read for anyone wanting to market to the Latin and Hispanic Americans. “Music and culture are intrinsically linked for Hispanic Americans” said Rob Velez, senior director of multicultural at Vevo, the video streaming service. He goes on to say that “Our data shows they find music videos even more culturally relevant than sports, and entertainment genre that historically has been heavily utilized by advertisers to get in front of Hispanic American consumers”.

Here’s some stats: the average Hispanic American spends an average of 3 hours a day consuming music. 40% of Hispanic Americans watch music videos every day and 61% say that music helps them connect with friends and family. Supermarket retailers who want to attract Hispanic American shoppers need to do more than just filling their shelves with the foods this culture wants – they need to reach out to them through music and music videos to get them into their stores.