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

Sep 10, 2012
10:49 PM

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.