Brightly colored cartoon neighborhood.

When marketing to Hispanic and LatinX audiences, consider context and language choice

While Spanish is the primary language used to market to Hispanic and LatinX audiences, it’s critical for marketers to understand that it’s extremely nuanced. Spanglish, Portuguese, and indigenous languages all meld together with Spanish to create unique regional dialects that resonate with different audiences. Knowing where and when it’s appropriate to use these is key to creating successful campaigns.

According to the Hispanic Marketing guide, 66% of Hispanic consumers notice bilingual ad campaigns since they “reflect their own experience.” To reach bilingual audiences, consider:

  • Opting for words that have the same base meaning in English and Spanish (known as cognates) such as “Acción” and “Action”
  • Using recognizable or well-known Spanish words such as “mira” (look) and “dale” (go ahead)
  • Tailoring content appropriately by region when deciding between using casual versus formal dialects in Spanish. Some dialects incorporate slang that other Spanish-speaking regions may find overly colloquial and even offensive
  • Choosing which language to use based on the channel and purpose of the communication. Company announcements may work better in English, while more casual social content may be better in Spanish or Spanglish

During our work with Central Falls High School, we helped rename their career and technical education program (CTE). Many of the students in the CTE program are bilingual so finding something that resonated with them was important. We landed on “REAL CTE Program,” a title that translates across Spanish and English to promote authenticity and conveys an element of coolness, as “real” is trending as a part of the extremely popular reggaeton culture.

Real program logos.