Special Report Multicultural Agencies in ANA 2021 Multicultural Excellence Awards by PRODU: The influence of pop culture on multicultural advertising

12 de noviembre de 2021

Heroic advertising messages during the pandemic helped establish very close bonds between brands and consumers in times of uncertainty. Agencies that broke out of the box with inspiring new ads indicating “we’re all in this together,” influenced by pop culture and providing a new attraction for clients, not only benefited their own businesses but won them honors within the industry.

At the 2021 ANA Multicultural Excellence Awards, three agencies stood out in the Hispanic category for works of such authentic cultural content that they very efficiently connected brands with multicultural consumers.

The alma DDB agency won the event’s top honor - the Grand Prize - for the Dorado campaign it created for McDonald’s, and which celebrates the invincible optimism of the Latino community.

“The stars aligned for us on this one. McDonald’s famous orders campaign from Wieden & Kennedy was a huge hit, starting with the Travis Scott meal and then followed quickly by the J Balvin meal. With the Latin Grammys happening towards the end of the campaign, we recommended to extend the partnership with J Balvin in the form of a music video to air during the Latin Grammys that would speak directly to our audience about the pride of being Latino,” said Jorge Murillo, VP/Executive Creative Director of alma.

Another ANA went to Conill for its campaign The Journey for Toyota Motor North America. The campaign was launched during the 2020 Christmas season and was aimed at sending a lasting, moving message of love and togetherness to multicultural audiences. “The Journey was literally a journey. Automotive industry sales had plummeted in 2020 due to Covid. December was the last opportunity we had to close the gap. While other brands pushed sales messaging, we took a different path,” said Chief Creative Officer Gustavo Sarkis. “We landed on an inspiring story of togetherness with Toyota as the catalyst, stemming from the insight that, through these rough times, small distances with those who matter most can create miles of magical memories. We were able to successfully deliver a message that not only related with the moment Hispanics were experiencing, but transcended audiences and touched everyone.”

For the Frito-Lay Cheetos campaign Deja Tu Huella (Leave Your Mark), the Dallas-based agency Dieste was honored in the Hispanic category. “We needed to ladder our work back up to the brand’s overall creative platform ‘It’s A Cheeto’s Thing.’ Cheetos are a fun, playful snack that bring out the youthful spirit in its fans, creating unexpected moments of fun - if you get Cheetos, you get it. We noticed that Latino Superfans were pushing the boundaries and rewriting the rules of what it means to be Latino. There was a fun parallel between how they were leaving their mark figuratively on the mainstream of American society and how one literally leaves Cheeto-dusted fingerprints on everything they touch. This became the rallying cry…” said Dieste Executive Creative Director Abe Garcia.

Impact on business

The benefits with which these prizewinning campaigns enriched their brands went well beyond the measurable. So said alma’s Murillo about McDonald’s Dorado campaign, which, he said, “was a huge hit with Latinos everywhere, helping drive brand love. It also increased the amount of McDonald’s app downloads, since the only way to see the video after the Latin Grammys was by going to the app.”

For Conill, Sarkis noted that The Journey did exactly as planned: it boosted the company’s business as it inspired hope and Latino togetherness. “Toyota had the best December sales results in its history, with a huge leap in conversion rates. The Journey was also named among the top-10 holiday ads by AdAge, as measured by Ace Metrix.”

For Garcia of Dieste, DejaTu Huella succeeded in restoring the cultural relevance of the brand with Hispanics. “It was important that Cheetos show up and engage in an authentic way. First and foremost, we wanted to acknowledge and celebrate the impact that Hispanics are having on the U.S. cultural landscape and empower more people to go and leave their mark through initiatives like the Estudiante (Student) Fund, which rewarded 10 deserving recipients with $50,000 scholarships each. By embedding the brand into the Hispanic cultural conversation, the Cheetos brand re-ignited its relationship and effectively reversed penetration erosion.”

Honoring a decades-long career

The ANA Awards continue to raise the profile of Hispanic and multicultural advertising, impacting not only the prizewinning agencies but also the brands they represent, and as a result helps these brands win the respect of their respective target groups by enabling them to connect with their culture.

“This work took that dedication to the next level by partnering with a much-beloved artist to share a love letter to all Latinos. To be recognized by the ANAs with the Grand Prize in Hispanic sends a message to everyone that alma and McDonald’s are committed to creative effectiveness and excellence in everything we do,” said Murillo.

Toyota has been the number-one auto brand among Hispanic consumers for the past 17 years. “It is an enormously important audience for the brand, and year by year it remains committed to their needs and the community at large. As for Conill, building connections with this market is at the core of what we do. So it’s obviously gratifying for us to be seen as exemplifying that purpose by the ANA’s client community.”

Garcia maintains that the success and recognition of the Deja Tu Huella campaign is a tremendous landmark and an important step forward for the brand, though he admits there is still a long way to go. “While many brands have begun to realize that cultural relevance can have a positive impact on short-term sales results, the Cheetos brand realizes it is even more critical for building long-term brand sustainability. Of course, as an agency, Dieste is proud to be their partner and continue to evolve the campaign and deepen the meaning and engagement even further with the Latino Cheetos Superfans.”

Though advertisers’ investment in the Hispanic market is far from proportional to the amount of consumer spending there, the pandemic revealed the importance of cultural relevance and the honesty of brands towards their target groups. In this 2021 edition of the ANA Multicultural Excellence Awards, the Hispanic category clearly honored multicultural talent, which has been writing its own history for decades.

Liz Unamo
Editor, Hispanic & Media Advertising