A blog dedicated to the world of broadcast and public relations
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Pitching Report: Tailoring Your Message & the Bilingual Brain
With today’s consumer population shift toward younger, more diverse audiences and the technology evolution, the media market is running rampant in an effort to keep up. The average person watches about five hours of television daily and consumes 75 minutes of commercials, according to the Nielsen report, Advertising and Audiences: State of the Media. No wonder so many companies work tirelessly and spend frivolously to stay abreast of advertising trends.
The Nielsen report found that the average 30-second primetime TV ad cost $7,800 in 2013. Because securing the perfect airtime is so expensive, brands need to maximize their messaging with quality content. With more advertisements being pushed in consumers’ faces, there is great opportunity to target the right people and find creative ways to make your valuable content stand out.
While advertisers work to perfect content delivery, the receipt of those messages is where they hope it successfully hits home and resonates with viewers. Since culture heavily impacts the way consumers receive media messages, marketers, advertisers and public relations professionals should always be conscious of the culture of those they hope to attract. Perhaps the most important aspect of culture is language – the fundamental component of communication. In our primarily American-English society, it is easy to forget about the significance and effectiveness of communicating in other languages when you’re pitching or preparing an ad, but the Bilingual Brain report reminds us that it matters.
The Nielsen report says Hispanics make up 17 percent of the U.S. population, and are the fastest growing subgroup in the American marketplace. Of the growing number of Hispanics, Latino Millennials (age 21-34) comprise 20 percent of U.S. youth. Since 2003, the number of Hispanic bilinguals, speaking Spanish and English, has increased 73 percent.
Figuring out how to appeal to a consumer as specific as Latino Millennials may be a challenge, but newly released data can help. General media advertising data shows that first drawing viewers with an entertaining ad, and then educating them about your product or service second boosts memorability of your brand.
Nielsen’s Bilingual Brain report finds that generally, Spanish and Spanglish ads trend higher than English ads, for bilinguals. Communicating in Spanish to millennial bilinguals has proven most effective for emotional moments, social interactions, branding and memory, as evidenced in the graph below. This new data may mean that ads like Sarah McLachlan’s ever-so-emotional ASPCA commercial or the thought-provoking Above the Influence campaign may resonate better with bilingual Latino Millennials if they were in Spanish.
According to the report’s findings, brand communication is most effective when the language and context are consistent. When they differ, the brain works harder to process inconsistencies so it isn’t paying attention to the valuable content of the ad. Nielsen also warns against switching languages too close to presenting your key messaging because of the brain work and transition involved with comprehending a language change. Leveraging your use of different languages and knowing when and where to introduce them will make your message so much more effective. But wait! Translating your English ad to Spanish and plopping it on Univision is not the way to see the results you want. Word translation is just a small part of cross-cultural translation. Sounds, images and historical context also play in to the effectiveness of your messaging and how it will resonate with viewers.
Hopefully this analysis gives you some direction for how to target your messages to a variety of different cultures and gets you thinking about new ways to specialize and publicize your content, making it relatable and resonate with diverse audiences.
You can garner great coverage for you or your client’s message by utilizing earned media outreach in addition to all of your other public relations and advertising efforts. Our team of media representatives specialize in getting your issue-driven message out via earned media. We’ve built relationships with reporters and radio hosts all across the country. While we don’t pay for publicity like advertisers do, the insight that the Bilingual Brain report provides is helpful for all media industry professionals, especially when pitching and targeting audiences.