Why @Target Needs to Stop Latino Ethnic Marketing: The “BODEGA” Fail

It started innocently for us. We were going into a local Target in Stoughton, Massachusetts (a hotbed of Latino culture, by the way) to grab a cup of coffee, as we walked in, we saw this right in front of the store's entrance:

So we walked a bit more.

Until we came here.

Now, for those who think this is yet another "here we go again moment we're offended moment" (we're actually not, because occurrences like the Target Bodega #FAIL are happening on an almost daily basis), that is not the point. This speaks to a bigger issue: if American advertisers are really serious about winning the hearts and minds of the US Latino consumer, they HAVE to be more authentic, they have to be more savvy, and most importantly, they have to truly understand the cultural nuances of the market.

Take the case of the BODEGA Fail. Here is why it missed the mark:

  • It tries to segregate the Latino consumer by communicating the sales message that the discount section (which is in the way back of the store) is the section with a big and flashy Spanish word on it. You know those Latinos who like to buy cheaper things and buy in bulk!
  • The use of BODEGA gets lost in translation. Sure to a Mexican American consumer, the notion of a warehouse would work, and maybe this concept will find no fault in the Southwest. However, to an urban New York Latino, for example, the BODEGA is more than just a grocery store. It is a community hub, where the neighborhood gathers to get food products, buy their newspapers, get a beer, some smokes, their local gossip. Bodegas in New York City traditionally served an underserved community. They were local and authentic. They were definitely not a discount section that sells diapers in bulk or gallons of dishwasher liquid. And to the Spanish speaker from Spain, a BODEGA means a wine cellar. Now if Target actually HAD a wine section, that would work.
  • To those who say well, BODEGA also means grocery story. Sure, but it is a word with so many connotations that it can confuse people and insult some of them as well. Target should have been safer with its choice. For us, when we saw BODEGA, we were expecting to buy an Old English 40 and an El Diario in the back of Target, not tampons. And we understand that to those who are of Mexican descent, this word is not problematic. But Mexicans aren't the only Latinos in the United States. Sorry, Target, you perplex us.
  • It makes the assumption that Latino consumers are "special", hard to reach, and know nothing about department stores. In a culture where the Sears catalog was required reading in some Latino families and places like Costco and BJ's do very little to pander to Latino consumers but do quite well, Target entered a slippery slope. Why take a chance a poorly worded and executed campaign? Just sell your products, Target. Do you HAVE to make it LATINO with a prominent banner?
  • The message can turn off non-Latino consumers. Wouldn't it confuse those people who have no clue what that section means? Wouldn't you just rather say, CLEARANCE or DISCOUNT?

In the end, Target will still be Target. But advertising to Latinos is a tough job and Target should hire an agency that doesn't just use an English-Spanish dictionary. The agency might also realize that the US Latino market is just not a Mexican American one. What works in Texas won't work in New York.

If you are going to play in that world, you better get it right. There should be no questions and no doubts.

Because in the end, you just become a American company to speaks down to Latino customers, instead of a company that speaks to Latinos and respects their purchasing power.

CBS News Poll Says 91% of Americans Approve of President Obama’s State of the Union Proposals

This week, President Obama gave a State of the Union speech that was praised by many and muted by his opposition. At the same time, CBS News released a poll that asked the following question: Do you approve or disapprove of the proposals the president made in his speech?

Credit: CBS NEWS

According to CBS:

"According to the poll, which was conducted online by Knowledge Networks immediately after the president's address, 91 percent of those who watched the speech approved of the proposals Mr. Obama put forth during his remarks. Only nine percent disapproved. 

Last year, 83 percent of viewers approved of Mr. Obama's State of the Union remarks.

This year, 82 percent of those who watched the speech said they approve of the president's plans for the economy, up from 53 percent who approved before the speech. Eighty percent said they approved of Mr. Obama's plans for the deficit — in contrast to 45 percent before the speech. Eighty-three percent approved of Mr. Obama's proposals regarding Afghanistan, which received only a 57 percent approval rating beforehand. 

The sight of Democrats and Republicans sitting side by side gave speech watchers more confidence about the possibility of bipartisan cooperation: 62 percent said they expect more bipartisanship now than in years past."


Is Senator Marco Rubio Now A DREAMer?

Marco Rubio touched on the immigration topic at the Hispanic Leadership Network conference in Florida, and that led to a hint of his potential to run sometime in the future. Early on in the speech, Senator Rubio was interrupted by supporters of No Somos Rubios, a conjunction of multiple Latino and immigration organizations that are "launching an awareness campaign exposing the positions of the Sunshine State’s junior senator." After the No Somos Rubios members left (and Senator Rubio told security that the should stay), he continued and said the following:

For those children that were brought here at a very young age by their parents, through no fault of their own, who has grown up here their entire lives and now want to serve in the military or are high academic achievers and want to go school and contribute to America's future. I think there is broad bipartisan support for the notion that, we should somehow figure out a way to accommodate them.

Senator Rubio reached out to many migrant Latinos in the struggle as he passionately spoke about his parent's tribulations of coming to America to give him a better life. He also came down on some of the members in his own party for using "rhetoric that is harsh and intolerable, inexcusable"  on immigrants.

But there is something that will definitely come back to haunt him. According to Politico, the Senator was against the DREAM Act. “I’ve said repeatedly I want to help these kids. I think these were kids who were brought to this country by their parents when they were very young; they were high academic achievers and want to go to college and contribute to America’s future or serve in the armed forces,” Rubio said. “And I think helping them would be good for America. I do want to help them; I just don’t think the DREAM Act is the right or best way to do it.”

Why is the Senator speaking so devotedly on this issue and reversing his stance on the DREAM Act? I'll give a couple of reasons and let's break them down. 

  • According to the Pew Hispanic Center "Nine-in-ten (91%) Latinos support the DREAM Act, legislation that would permit young adults who were brought to the U.S. illegally when they were children to become legal residents if they go to college or serve in the military for two years."
  • Latino moms said immigration and the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for children of illegal immigrants, were important to 32% of them and that they were 71% more likely to support a candidate based on his position on the DREAM Act (cnn.com).

How can we trust Marco Rubio, who has flipped his political stance on the DREAM Act a third time? Is Rubio looking to run in 2016 and has now started his campaign by supposedly supporting DREAMers or will he be tapped for the VP spot? I think our jefe said it best: "My take is that unless Rubio leads a DREAM Act legislation BEFORE the election, this is just political noise."

Why Would Arizona Governor Jan Brewer Feel “Threatened” by Obama Visit?

It is an interesting angle when you take the comments of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer that she felt "threatened" by President Barack Obama's visit to Arizona and become to discuss it.

A very interesting take from MSNBC's "The Ed Show." (As for the those who will say we are posting an MSNBC clip, you probably don't want to talk about this and just want to call us commies.) To those who want to discuss this intelligently and respectfully, let us know.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Why would anyone feel "threatened" by The President of the United States? In the meantime, Brewer can sell all the books she wants, we will still laugh at her antics and tell her to chill out, LOL.

Is Senator Marco Rubio The New GOP Messenger?

This week, Florida Senator Marco Rubio has been busy. His immigration speech in Miami on Friday is buzzing around the Latino politicalsphere. Rubio is starting to sound like a VP choice for a Republican presidential nominee and it looks like the message will be: President Obama is not a uniter, he is a divider. 

"I don’t think that ever in modern American history, have we ever seen a national leader so blatantly try to divide Americans against each other- stand up before the country and basically say that the only way that some of us can be better off is to make other people worse off."

See this very quick clip with CBS' Charlie Rose. Too bad Rose cut him off, it was just getting good.

The Marco Rubio Speech (with DREAM Act Interruptions) from the Hispanic Leadership Network

Here is the full video of what Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio had to say about immigration and the GOP at Friday's Hispanic Leadership Network conference in Miami.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio

This first video shows NO SOMOS RUBIOS members interrupting Senator Rubio's speech. The other two clips show his entire speech.