Client POV: AT&T and the Latino Market

This past summer, AT&T launched an advertising and social media marketing campaign that addresses the multi-cultural lives of young Latinos. The campaign, which began July 21 is called #BetweenTwoWorlds and is a part of AT&T’s larger millennial outreach strategy called The Mobile Movement. This campaign includes YouTube video ads along with a Tumblr page. The first ad for AT&T’s new Latino movement campaign and the one I focus on is a video commercial that explores the lives of young Latinos and their unique backgrounds. This ad focuses on the idea of “Spanglish” – a mix between Spanish and English languages that young Latinos speak. They are fluent in both languages and often use both languages in the same sentence.

The ad and social media campaign is clever and effective. I think that it is smart that AT&T does not focus on price promotions or attractive new products to get interest from young Latinos, but rather, concentrates on the culture and lives of young Latinos in the modern digital world. This ad also does a very good job at displaying the ways in which young Latinos behave and the lifestyles they live and how they incorporate American culture and language with the language of their heritage or home country. I also admire this strategy from AT&T because they do not use music stars or popular Latino celebrities to market the brand. Instead, they position the #BetweenTwoWorlds campaign by going straight to the consumer. I think this particular ad resonates with the Latino consumer because it pays attention to their cultural background and lets the young Latino market share its own story about what it is like to live in a bi-cultural world.

While AT&T’s #BetweenTwoWorlds ad is effective and ties in to the entire social media marketing campaign, it may seem staged and a bit repetitive. I enjoyed the commercial, but I did think it dragged on too long and caused me to lose a little bit of interest towards the very end. Ad critics also might question some of the authenticity from some of the actors in the ad and inquire how much of what was said was scripted or staged by AT&T. I still believe that compared to the many other mobile advertisements today, this ad stands out and feels authentic and real.

Overall, I think the ad and AT&T successfully channels the behavior and culture of many young Latinos in a multi-cultural and connected environment. I think the ad enables AT&T to connect with a huge demographic and provides its customers with the power to share what it is like to be a young Latino in an inter-connected and bilingual world. Many studies have indicated that young Latinos are more likely than other millennials to consume digital content through mobile devices, so it is clear that AT&T did their research and was able to develop a strategy to promote the brand. 



Client POV: Ford General Motors

A successful brand is one that understands its consumer and creates advertisements that engage people and entice them to purchase the product or service the brand is selling. An effective advertisement should minimize a brand’s targeting assumptions and maximize its targeting assurances. Unfortunately, many ads today fail to successfully represent African Americans without including some stereotype or insensitive connotation. The best way for Amazon to create an effective ad geared toward the African American market is to understand the viewpoint from which the consumer is in and how their culture fits into it. Amazon must recognize the importance of context and must make sure the racial implications of the ad are sensitive and meaningful.

An ad campaign that was successful at reaching out to African Americans was Ford Motor Company’s “ALL IN” campaign in 2011. This campaign effectively reached the African American market through digital, print, and radio executions. The ultimate goal of this campaign was for Ford to demonstrate its leadership as it relates to quality, technology, the environment, and the community in a way that speaks to the African American consumer. According to Ford’s multicultural marketing manager, “We wanted to share Ford's turnaround story in a way where we could highlight the ALL IN approach that had to come into play as it relates to individuals from all areas of the business coming together to reach common goals. Through this campaign, we get the chance to tell some of those stories while also shining a spotlight on key African American executives inside Ford who helped to create the Ford of today”. The digital portion of the campaign includes CBS Sports announcer James Brown. These videos are one-on-one conversations with Brown as the moderator while five African American Ford executives share their personal stories and about the Ford company. Ford advertised a behind the scenes look at the company through the different people that make the company successful while specifically targeting African Americans. Ford’s strategy was simple, yet effective.

This campaign launched in a crucial time for Ford. During the middle of the motor crisis in the United States, like many other motor companies, Ford was struggling. Ford needed to do something that would turn their sales around and it needed to find a way to reach more people. Ford’s “ALL IN” strategy showcases Ford’s African American executives that no one really knows about and in doing so speaks directly to the African American consumer while informing them about the brand. Ford avoids any racist stereotypes in the campaign and while remaining unflashy, Ford clearly gets its point across.

Amazon should take not of Ford's strategy and look into how its brand can connect with the African American consumer in a way that is original, unique, and true to the brand.



The Importance of Storytelling

          When I think of a brand, I want that brand to mean something to me; I want that specific brand to affect me in a personal way. One might ask, what is the point?  As a consumer, isn’t all that you want out of a company or brand a product that you have use for and enjoy? Who cares about how they communicate and the story they tell? For me it is true that I will not buy a product from a brand that I do not have use for, but I will be more loyal and willing to support a brand that does tell a story and does communicate with its consumers the brand’s experience, message, and story.

            The difference between unsuccessful and successful brands is that successful ones will convey a story through the experience they share with the customer and not by the sneakers it makes, or by the chocolate bars it sells. Scott Bedbury writes, “Over time, products and services will come and go, but the brand that provides them will remain a constant. And brands will be defined by the sum total of those experiences, rather than the products or services themselves”(16). Bedbury’s point is that the products that brands make do not define brands. In this day in age, communication is just as important as the product a brand makes and that people care about a brand and will be invested in a brand that is reliable and trustworthy. Target audiences desire a brand that has a sense of identity, and inspires people. One article notes that Psychology Today says that, “our emotions have a lot more to do with what we buy than we might like to think”(Cowlin). Brands have a way of making consumers feel emotionally tied to them. The article goes on to say, “While most of us would like to believe that we make our purchase decisions based on our needs and carefully evaluated analysis of product benefits, more often than not, we buy because we want to, because of how the purchase makes us feel.” If a brand can successfully create an emotional relationship through storytelling with its customers then that brand has the ability to flourish. A brand’s ability to story tell enables a company to build an emotional connection with a customer, which will then lead to trust and loyalty that the customer feels for the brand. This customer will then likely share his or her experience with the brand to friends, which will over time increase the popularity and attraction of the brand.

            In class we have discussed some specific brands that do an excellent job of storytelling and therefore, have loyal customers and are successful brands. Some of these brands that come to mind right away are Nike, Southwest, Subaru, and Coca-Cola. These brands encapsulate the storytelling idea and they advertise and market their brand in a way that people will want to be a part of. Another article writes, “The purpose of storytelling is to let people know what your business can offer them in a memorable way that will not only connect with them but also make them think and act”(Komor). The article also points out that Beats By Dre headphones is a great example of a company that uses storytelling to improve its business and brand. Beats By Dre does not stand out from other high-end headphone companies because of their value or price, it instead presented a story that people were drawn to. Commercials like the Richard Sherman ad and the commercial that played during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil evoked emotion through storytelling and made a real-life connection with the audience that anyone could relate to.