Why Kmart Needs to Hire a Competent, Bilingual Copywriter

Picture this. A two-piece comfy sofa; a soothing image of a lake and a small, deserted beach on the background; a pitcher of delicious ice-tea and then your lovely mom … sucking someone –or being sucked by someone– for some reason.

That is pretty much the takeaway for so many Spanish-speakers out there who could not help but notice the gaffe in Kmart’s latest Mother’s Day campaign. The problem here lies in the choice of the word Mamaste, which –apparently– is supposed to be a play on words between Mom & Namasté, inviting mothers to Find their happy place and relax on Mothers Day. But while Namasté might be a term well-known among the yoga community, Kmart would be well advised to consider what “Mamaste” actually means in Spanish.

OK, I get it. They don’t want to spend money on hiring pesky bilingual copywriters, but they could have just turned to Google Translate instead. I mean. It’s FREE! it’s easy; it’s right… there. How lazy are they?

Excuse-me?

And this is only the tip of the iceberg. As my friend J.C. Maya discovered, there’s even a book (on sale in Target) with the same title: Mamaste: Discover a More Authentic, Balance, and Joyful Motherhood from Within,

Now if y’all excuse me: HA HA HA HA HA HA (or as we say in good Spanish: JA JA JA JA)

Oh and did I mention these t-shirts?

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Not All Latinos Are Created Equal –and Goya Knows it

Fútbol? Nah, this kid wants to play hockey. SHOCKER: He’s a “Latino!”

So much for the bad blood between this blogger (i.e. yours truly) and Hispanic Heritage Month. Goya has launched a new campaign which is actually a fun way to show America what I HAVE BEEN SAYING, like, FOREVER: That not all Latinos are fond of fútbol, abuelas or conservative values.

The following spot, crafted by Dallas-based Dieste, kicks off with a hilarious take on a Latin stereotype that is way too common in this country:

[NARRATOR’S VOICE] They say if you know one Latino, you know all Latinos: We only think of fútbol and nothing but fútbol.

Pan out to a scene where dad & kid are having breakfast (¿huevos rancheros?) and kid blurts out: “Dad, I want to play hockey.”

SHOCKER!

But perhaps my favorite part is around the subject of language, where you can get away by saying, well, they all speak Spanish… REALLY? Think again:

Frijoles > Habichuelas > Porotos > Judías*

*Yes, judías. Go Google it or something…

WATCH

Spectrum Wants you to Believe this Survey is in Spanish

¿Estrimeando? No, gracias

Spectrum Latino –which I believe is like “regular Spectrum,” but Latino– is determined to engage with its Hispanic consumers across social media. Its latest effort comes in the form of a Twitter survey, in which the company wants to hear our opinions in our own language.

Sort of…

In the survey, posted this week on Spectrum Latino’s Twitter account, the company wants to know what we (i.e. The Hispanics) do with our phones, whether we use them mostly to take pictures, make phone calls, send texts or stream content. But the options are written in a bizarre, non-existing language resulting in words like “estrimeando” and “fotografeando” (presumably “streaming” and “taking photographs.”

Anyhow, here’s the original tweet but, more importantly, the replies, which are gold:

Yes. There is a ‘Cinco de Mayo Carne Asada’ Gadget

CarneAsadaGadget

You guys must think I just make stuff up just to keep updating this wonderful blog and all. But no. Thanks to the ever creative minds of marketing professionals, there is always something new under the Latino-Hispanic muy caliente sun.

Señoras y señores: I give you the BBQ Dragon, the portable, hands-free, rechargeable gadget which –according to a presumably serious press release– will help you make “the best carne asada in town.” Why? Because Cinco de Mayo is approaching!

I’m not sure this thing was even conceived with carne asada or Cinco de mayo in mind, but who the hell cares? We are fast approaching this blogger’s favorite faux-Mexican holiday.

¡Ajúa!

Dos Equis’ New ‘Most Interesting Man in the World’ is not really that Interesting

He'll make you a spinach fettuccini, because hispsters
‘The Most Interesting Man in the World’ will make you a spinach fettuccini with shiitake mushroom, because hipsters

After much teasing, Dos Equis finally unveiled its first full-fledged commercial featuring French actor Augustin Legrand, the brand’s new “Most Interesting Man in the World.”

And he’s actually not that interesting.

Unlike Jonathan Goldsmith, Dos Equis’ original — and devastatingly handsome — Most Interesting Man in the World, the new guy comes across more like a hipster than a seductive “real man” á la Goldsmith. Unlike his predecessor, who enjoyed sharing a good meal surrounded by several gorgeous women, the new will make you a “spinach fettuccini with a shiitake mushroom glaze.”

Per Dos Equis, the action in the new ads take place entirely in the present era, unlike the old ones that included footage of a younger version of the man, suggesting a bygone era. The new spots — and spokesperson —  are also an attempt to attract more so-called millennials to the brand, proving once again that millennials just ruin everything.

Via: Dos Equis

Tecate Capitalizes on Trump’s Stupid Idea with Stupider Idea

At least we know who will pay for 'The Wall'
At least we know who will pay for ‘The Wall’

Making fun of Mr. Trump’s idiotic idea for a U.S.-Mexico border wall has become a national sport –and the subject of some questionable marketing tactics.

The latest example is this ad for Tecate Light, which aired Monday night during the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald [the crazy] Trump. In a nutshell, Tecate proposes building its own wall — but it’s not yuuuge, but small enough to rest a beer on for a neighborly chat between gringos and Mexicans.

The tagline: This wall is going to be small but it’s going to be huge. Watch and decide for yourself: Which is the worst idea: Trump’s or Tecate’s?

MillerCoors to Launch a Ridiculously-named Beverage Inspired by a non-existent Mexican Tradition

Zumbida_6Pack20160817I have no idea what kind of Mexicans the people of MillerCoors hang out with, but apparently they are the inspiration behind Zumbida, an alcoholic drink with a make-believe Mexican name, which is supposed to be inspired by the “Mexican tradition of Aguas Frescas.”

Wait. Whaaaaat?

Per its very colorful package, Zumbida (LOL) is described as “Aguas Frescas con un toque de piquete,” which makes absolutely no sense, because in Mexico, when you say “con piquete” you don’t really need to say “con un toque de…” but I guess that’s too much for the people of MillerCoors and their imaginary Mexican friends.

Anyway, as I was saying, while “un toque de piquete” makes absolutely no sense, what really gets me here is the word Zumbida, which I guess they think is something like a zumbidozumbada, zumba or zabe Dios qué … (God help them, please!)

As a company spokesperson told AdAge (apparently with a straight face):

“Zumbida is a traditional drink done in a distinctly American way — a fusion.”

So let me get this straight: Zumbida (LOL) is a based on a “Mexican traditional drink” done in a “distinctly American way,” which basically means it’s some sort of disgusting sugary drink spiked with a heavy dosage of marketing bullshit.”

¡Guácala!

The Hispanic CVS Pharmacy is Like a Regular CVS but Hispanic

YmasCVS

Corporate America is indefatigable.

Despite high-profile, unsuccessful efforts to give my people (i.e. The Hispanics) dedicated “Hispanic stores” with “Hispanic stuff” presumably preferred by “Hispanic people,” big corporations continue to make strides — and waste invest their money —  in giving my people their very own Hispanic tiendas.

Take CVS Pharmacy, which says it has converted 11 existing locations and added a brand-new store to launch its “Hispanic-centric store concept.”

And what exactly makes this CVS a Hispanic CVS? Well, I’m glad you asked. According to this WLRN story: “Cafecito, bilingual staff, money transfer services, and an expanded discount fragrance counter,” because unlike regular, non-Hiapanic people, we love to drink coffee and send money abroad while smelling real nice. 

Per a CVS press release, the the new stores will carry “more than 1,500 trusted Hispanic products including favorite brands such as Café La Llave, Agustin Reyes, Fabuloso, Suavitel, Creolina and Formula 88.”

Wait. WHAT? What about Hispanic cheese? Hispanic lettuceMexican Coke? None of that? Buuuu… 😦

I think I’d stick to my neighborhood’s real Latin Pharmacy, that looks just like this:

Farmacia Latina [Harlem]
Farmacia Latina [Harlem]

Sometimes I Think Marketers are Just Screwing with My Head

Wait. What?!
Wait. What?!

So, there I was, minding my own business; walking the streets of Manhattan; thinking about a God whose naughtiness might have escaped me when, suddenly, out of the blue, boom! I bump into a 3-meter-high advertisement for Pito Rico, a seemingly real product hailing from Puerto Rico, promising a night-long fiesta.

At first I thought someone was just screwing with my head, putting things out there for the pure enjoyment of this blog’s readers.

But no. Not only this “Pito Rico” exists; this thing has its own Website and is coming to a liquor store near us!

Photo: Laura Martínez, Harlem, NY 2015

Coffee Mate Preps Telenovela, Because Why the Hell Not?

CremaNot content with bringing my people (the Hispanics) a line of Latin-inspired creamers, Nestle’s Coffee Mate tonight is premiering a telenovela: Crema con aroma de café, presumably because only a good, steamy drama will compel us to put chemically-processed stuff into our café sin leche.

Coffee Mate’s webnovela premieres tonight at 9PM EST/6 PM PST somewhere on Facebook.

This blogger might be busy doing other, equally important, things (i.e. looking for a date  on Walter Mercado’s new dating site.) But, heck, don’t let me stop you.

Here’s a preview. Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: I kind of love the name of this thing, though. There, I said it.

Coffee Mate’s ‘Latin-Inspired Products’ Include Hot, Steamy ‘Abuelita’ -Of Course

SpicySteamyAbuela

Not to be outdone by the likes of Mattel and Oscar Mayer with their Latin-inspired dolls and Hispanic-targeted cold cuts, Nestlé’s Cofee Mate is launching a series of “Latin-inspired products” and promoting them on Twitter with a super inventive Latin handle: #LatinTouch.

Here’s one of Coffee Mate’s pitches on Twitter.

Coffee Mate’s Latin Touch thing includes Nestlé’s popular Mexican Chocolate Abuelita, featuring the great Sara García, who is having, posthumously, a second life as a “hot, steamy” Latina.

Because, aren’t we all?

Hat tip: @latinorebels

Oscar Mayer Courts Latinos With -What Else?- an Abuela

LolaEmbarazada

From Oscar Mayer, the company that brought us the disgusting sausage flasher, now comes Lola: The Abuela Who Tells it Like it is, a Facebook fan page featuring a bilingual, annoying abuela that has managed to amass almost 18,000 likes.

When she is not peddling recipes based on Oscar Mayer products, Lola spends her time sharing advice on family gatherings, laundry, married life and other mundane things while speaking her mind and saying things as they are “wether we like them or not.” She even takes the time to give us Spanish lessons -in English- and at least as far as I could see, she has better grammar than the Procter & Gamble abuela.

I don’t know you, but I can only imagine the meeting behind Lola’s creation:

Creative # 1: Let’s create an abuela to share recipes and stuff online, ’cause Latinos are online and love their abuelas and food and stuff…  

Creative # 2: Yeah, but you know, Latinos are going to go up in arms because of the tired, abuela cliché, etc. You know how they are (I’m looking at you, @miblogestublog)

Creative # 1: Oh, I get it! Let’s make her fun and irreverent. That’ll do it.

Done. Budget approved.

Honestly, between these two, I kind of prefer the flasher (At least he did not try to be funny, nor show his face, only his cold cuts.)

Hat tip: Julio Varela

I Want to be Friends with Whoever Translated this Thing

20140529-211146-76306111.jpg

After almost eight years of blogging about the wonderful world of Spanish-language media, marketing and pop culture, I’ve come across all kinds of weird, poor, lazy, bad and terrible translations from English to Spanish and viceversa.

Some are plain silly, others are just hilarious. But this one above (whose origin is still shady) takes the cake -or should I say ‘se lleva el pastel?’

NOTE: In all honesty, I think the above might just be a case of very witty Photoshop. But… oh, how I wish it were true!

Hat tip: @tropicarlitos