Hispanic Marketing Tip: Do Not Insult!

I was on Twitter the other day and I happened to find an article where Burger King created a commercial that evidently insulted Mexico and the Mexican people. I will won’t go into detail, I will post a copy of the article below. I’m sure Burger King didn’t mean to, but it is one example that the marketing failed to thoroughly research the Hispanic culture before spending millions on this commercial. The media has heavily stereotyped Hispanics to the point that we are all the same, which is untrue. Hispanics are full of diversity and rich in differing cultures, traditions and ancestry. There are many Hispanics that are of European, Ameri-Indian and African descent from Mexico to the Caribbean, all the way down to Brazil. Marketing must be careful when promoting to the Hispanic market and not insult our sense of national identity. I remember awhile back that McDonald’s made the mistake of thanking the Mexican people for eating at McDonald’s by putting an image of the Mexican flag on the food tray, a big no no! This is not only poor marketing but it insulted the proud identity of the Mexican flag by putting on it. Research thoroughly or consult with agencies that focus on Hispanic markets, that way you can avoid any international incidents.

Below is the copy of the article posted by Reuters

Burger King ad angers ambassador

(Reporting by Mica Rosenberg)

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A Burger King advertisement for new Tex-Mex style hamburgers, which features a squat Mexican draped in his country’s flag and an American cowboy, has offended Mexican officials who want the spot pulled.

Mexico’s ambassador to Spain said posters for the new “Texican whopper,” a cheeseburger with chile and spicy mayonnaise, inappropriately display the Mexican flag, which is draped over the diminutive wrestler like a poncho.

“This advertisement denigrates the image of our country and uses improperly Mexico’s national flag,” Jorge Zermeno wrote in a letter to Burger King in Spain, the Reforma newspaper reported on Monday.

The ambassador contacted the local offices of Burger King after he saw the posters in Spain, Reforma said. The burger is only available in Europe, according to the paper.

Mexico has strict laws prohibiting the defamation of the flag, Zermeno said. He asked Burger King to cancel the ad campaign that “offends Mexicans and Mexico.”

The Miami-based fast-food chain Burger King was not immediately available to comment.

Last year, Sweden’s Absolut vodka angered many U.S. citizens with a publicity campaign in Mexico that idealized an early 19th century map showing chunks of the United States as part of Mexico. The campaign was later dropped.

Marketers and Adverstisers, please don't do this.

Marketers and Advertisers, please don't do this.

© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

written by

I 'mFrankie De Sotoand I was born on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. I graduated at the top of my class from the University of North Texas with a BA in Art and 2 minors in Marketing and Radio, Television, and Film. I have been doing graphic design for the past couple of years creating graphics for advertising, signs, brochures , and flyers but I decided to return to school to expand my knowledge into more new media applications such as web design, human /computer interaction, Flash animation and marketing communications. I graduated with an MFA in Arts & Technology at the University of Texas at Dallas. My current studies are focusing on social media and marketing communications which in part encouraged me to begin this blog as well as my love for Hispanic culture and online media practices.
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5 Responses to "Hispanic Marketing Tip: Do Not Insult!"

  1. Jose Huitron says:

    Frankie, nice post! Research is key…We are not one homogenous group and smart marketers realize this using cultural insights to hit the mark and create true resonance.

  2. Frankie De Soto says:

    Thanks Jose! You are absolutely correct in doing in depth research in the culture of the Hispanic group one wants to market to. Communication differs somewhat due to the diverse Latino culture. Communicating the wrong way will have a negative impact on the campaign and the business itself.

  3. Breaking the Latino stereotype will lead to Hispanic marketing success | Solpersona says:

    [...] to your target audience. Sending the wrong message could prove very costly. One of my posts, Hispanic marketing tip: Do Not Insult!, illustrates a case study where Burger King made that mistake in [...]

  4. Ron says:

    Who here is actually shocked that the Spaniards would come up with a racist, offensive campaign? They HATE US over there! They’re the same buffoons who thought it was a good idea to pose the national basketball team of Spain holding their eyes in a slanted position during the Beijing Olympics.

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