No, It’s True, Clorox Really Is Clueless and Ignorant About Marketing to Latinos

After we stopped chuckling and shaking our heads about the Clorox Latino "refranes de mi abuela" campaign, we asked ourselves: does Clorox really not have a clue about marketing to Latino customers?

We guess so, as the following article from The Los Angeles Times reveals:

Latino buying power this year is estimated at $1.2 trillion – and Clorox Co. wants a piece, launching a new line of products “designed to appeal to Hispanic scent preferences and to specifically meet their needs based on the unique way they approach cleaning.” 

The company surveyed more than 600 Latino consumers and concluded that most tidy up in a three-step process: first cleaning, then disinfecting and finally scenting. 

The bleach and disposable wipes maker decided to create a suite of items focused on the third step. The Clorox Fraganzia products – a dilutable cleaner, a toilet bowl rim hanger and an aerosol air freshener – come in scents that Clorox deemed “most appealing to Hispanics,” including lavender with eucalyptus and mint as well as forest dew.

We don't know where to start. Could it be the "unique way" we approach cleaning? The fact the most of us follow a three-step cleaning process? Could it be that with all this talk about appealing to Latinos, the flipping word "Fraganzia" isn't even spelled correctly in Spanish ("frangancia")? Or what about the "scents" that are "most appealing to Hispanics?" (Psst, our adopted Hermana Rebelde Laura also weighs in on the same topic here.)

Now don't get us wrong: we are all for real and authentic advertising that actually tries to connect with consumers, but when we learn to discover that actual professional people who work for a living hire marketing firms to conduct studies about what scents are most appealing to Latinos and ask us questions about our unique ways to clean, you are just left to wonder. What if Clorox Co. has also commissioned market research studies about other groups in the US? How would you think that would have played out if you had read this instead:

“designed to appeal to [insert any other ethnic group] scent preferences and to specifically meet their needs based on the unique way they approach cleaning.” 

We don't know who is really at fault here: Clorox Co. for its narrow-minded "let's sell to Latinos" mentality or the agencies that convince these major brands to spend money on research and ad campaigns that reek with cultural ignorance and insensitivity.

Guess what? Most products in the United States don't need the special "ethnic Latino" touch. In the end, just sell good product and stop the pandering. That is always the smarter play.

Does This World Really Need to Have Clorox Latino?

Yes, we get it.

American brands in the United States know that the Latino consumer market is the NEXT BIG THING, and there is a frantic rush for these brands to authentically connect with these consumers. That is not the issue here.

The issue is this: when you think of Clorox Bleach, do you really think of dichos and refranes that your abuela said when you were a kid? Seriously? Do you as a consumer connect Clorox to a time gone by when people spoke in riddles and wise archaic phrases? Apparently the Facebook page of Clorox Latino (yes, there is a Clorox Latino page on Facebook) thinks that this is the way to go.

Or this one (because nothing is more attractive than a fly next to a Spanish dicho and above a major cleaning brand):

To the brands that sit around board rooms and say, "Let's have more Latinos to buy our product," here's some marketing advice: just sell your product with ads that are more authentic and better conceptualized. There is no need to Latinize everything, unless it is a brand that would truly connect with people. 

For example, let's focus on Clorox. It's a lot like Vicks Vapor Rub (the greatest non-Latino Latino product in this history of the universe and actually a product where using refranes de abuela would actually work). When the Rebeldes were little Rebeldes. Clorox was a REQUIRED product in our childhood homes. But we didn't think of dichos and refranes, we actually thought of (wait for it)…. laundry, and how Clorox would pretty much make anything white if you weren't careful enough. You know what would have worked instead? How the "x" would just magically disappear and everyone would just say, "Cloro." You should have played around with that. This is bleach we are talking about, but yes, even bleach can be nostalgic. You just had to do a little more cultural homework.

Your campaign is silly not only because you missed the opportunity to think a bit more creatively, but also because, really, you actually think that older Spanish-speaking abuelas just went around the house speaking in dichos and refranes? So while you think you are culturally connecting with consumers, you are in fact just making us laugh. You did get our attention, though, but maybe this was not the kind of attention you had intended.

Like our abuelas REALLY used to say: No sean tan pendejos. Sorry, Clorox Latino, we have to give you a #NoMames for this one.

PS Maybe more brands like Clorox need to read posts like this one from Sratching Your Head.

Romney’s “Latino” Joke Fail: Another #NoMames Moment

And here we go again. It's probably best to check if no one brings a hidden camera to a fundraiser.

Here it is, from the mouth of the Republican candidate for president. (H/T to The Daily Kos on this one.)