Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute Home

Assembling the Latino Consumer

Millette Núñez

Contents of Curriculum Unit 10.01.09:

To Guide Entry


All students are aware of some form of Latinization in America. The Latino presence in the US is so significant that students are usually able to identify (and often enjoy) a variety of people, foods, programming and music from this widely encompassing ethnic group. Whether they eat tacos, watch Dora the Explorer or sing Jennifer Lopez songs, kids have participated in Latino culture through their own consumerism. However, many of them are unaware as to how and why images, information and products for and about Latinos became so accessible in mainstream American society. What made this particular ethnic group so different from others that it required a plethora of products and marketing designed specifically for them?

As the largest minority group in the country, it would be easy to assume that Latinos are accommodated in the US simply because of their numbers. However, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, Columbians and other groups, did not always fall into a single category. In this unit, students will see how the US census helped in creating a homogeneous label for all people of Latin American/Spanish origin or descent and how Spanish language television networks have assisted in establishing and maintaining those labels. Categorizing Spanish-speakers in this manner also combined their purchasing power, making them a compelling demographic. The comprehensive Latino category, constructed and preserved by both the state and mass media, allowed Anglo politicians and companies to look at and target people from various national, generational and racial backgrounds as a singular demographic.

Learning about Latinos through the context of consumerism will allow students to understand how something like the Hispanic marketing industry emerged and why major companies have come to rely on information from such agencies when trying to reach this powerful and profitable demographic. More importantly, the unit will underscore the cultural differences that are obscured whenever Latinos are profiled by marketers as a homogeneous unit. Looking at advertisements designed to target Latinos as a whole, and focusing on the specific target audience of such ads, will remind students that despite a common language, Latinos are indeed very diverse.

Throughout the school-year, students compare traditions from the various Spanish-speaking countries, becoming aware of some of the different customs of Latinos. This unit will continue to highlight some of these cultural distinctions that are often overlooked by advertisers and mainstream America as a whole. Although labeled and targeted as an unvarying group, the images, language and sounds that evoke both positive and negative emotions among Latinos vary depending on a number of factors. A study on the Latino impact on American consumer culture will not only raise student awareness beyond their typical role as consumers, but it will also remind them of the rich cultural variety that has been simplified, or ignored, with the creation of a Latino market profile.

to top


While America is made up of people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, the expansion of Latinos in the United States has definitely had a profound and tangible impact on the nation. From television and print media to restaurants and schools, things are constantly being done to accommodate Latinos in America. While Spanish students learn about the increasing population of Latinos in America, they would definitely benefit from a more focused study of how this growing number is affecting their own cultures, communities and everyday lives.

In the New Haven World Languages Curriculum (See appendix A) existing theme on shopping, students are presented with vocabulary and grammar that enable them to ask about and describe consumer goods in the target language. Students are then required to display their language skills through the creation of a Spanish-language advertisement for a product of their choice. Since the shopping theme is so popular among my students, I have created this unit for them to explore the significant impact that Latinos have actually had, and continue to have, on American culture; specifically on American consumer culture. This unit is intended to be presented after students learn vocabulary and grammar associated with shopping but before they create their advertisements. Expanding the shopping unit to include discussions on topics such as identity and marketing is not necessarily designed to further Spanish language acquisition, but rather to allow for student advertisements to be more authentic. Getting a more detailed view of Latinos as consumers will not only encourage them to market their products in a manner closer to the way it is done in real life, but it will also allow them to make cultural comparisons and connections with Latinos. Finally, it will encourage them ask important questions such as: Who is my audience? What types of products do they like? What mediums should I use to reach my target audience? What language/images should I use to reach my audience?

Through analysis of the US census questionnaire, advertisements and various forms of media, students will experience first-hand the impact of Latinos as consumers in America and the influence that their growing presence has had on American culture as a whole. Students will examine an assortment of television commercials, internet sites and market research data to see how and why advertisers market to the Latino population and will notice that the cultural variations within the group are often ignored. Focusing on such differences will force students to refine their stereotypical views of Latinidad.

Once students have seen how many aspects of Latino culture have entered the American way of life they will not be able to deny how interconnected we all are. Students will see how the language, celebrations and foods of other people connect to their own lives and how they can, and already do, participate in these cultures through their own consumerism. Exposing students to diverse traditions and celebrating our differences as well as similarities will get students to begin thinking and interacting as citizens of a global and interdependent community, which is ultimately the goal.

to top

School Setting

As a middle school teacher at an inter-district magnet school, I am required to include our school's themes of science, communication and technology in my classroom teaching. As a Spanish teacher in my district, I am expected to involve my students in the five C's: communication, culture, comparisons, communities and connections. Embedding all of these themes into my teaching is crucial, but it is more important to present these themes in a way that is meaningful and relevant to my students. A unit on Latinos and American consumer culture encompasses many, if not all, of these themes while simultaneously being of interest to my middle-school students.

Despite our inner-city setting, our building is a state-of the-art facility equipped with various forms of technology, which makes it easier for me to create opportunities for students to showcase their knowledge of the Spanish language and culture through creative projects. Assessments, such as the product advertisement they will need to create at the end of this unit, always require communication in the target language, knowledge of culture and/or community and the use of various forms of technology. Basically, students get a chance to address school and district themes in fun and creative ways.

The magnet school comprises students from a wide range of ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. This variation among the students makes it easier for them to grasp the cultural diversity found within the Spanish speaking community. Being part of a heterogeneous school population allows them compare their own cultures to that of their classmates and find any connections they may have through communicating with one another.

While my school setting is helpful, students will only benefit from the resources available to them in our building if learning is meaningful. There is no doubt in my mind that the theme of shopping is of interest to teenagers, so the real challenge is to present the following information in entertaining ways so as to maintain their interest and get the best results!

to top


I have a product to sell...Now what?

Consumerism is so deeply interwoven into the fabric of American culture that many of us rarely question how products get on shelves. Seldom do we stop and think about the amount of thought and research that go into marketing the products we see or how we are being targeted ourselves. My first goal in this unit is to make students aware of the fact that marketers and advertisers take many things into account when attempting to sell a product and that getting to know the potential customer is a priority.

With so many products saturating the market, companies have to come up with crafty ways to differentiate their goods and get people to become loyal customers. Marketers know that consumers are more likely to be triggered to buy something through emotions rather than through logic, so getting to know the desires and fears of the target audience is essential. Research is conducted by various marketing companies to determine who the potential customers are, what their desires and concerns are and how to reach such audiences in order to make a profit. Because the purpose of marketing is to "facilitate [the] exchange between company and consumer,"1 presenting the products to the public in a manner that would solicit a positive (ie. profitable) response is essential. This unit will introduce students to the type of work that marketers and advertisers do and will explain the importance of such work, allowing them to look at advertisements with a more critical eye.

As inhabitants of a consumer society, we are constantly bombarded with images or sounds that attempt to persuade us to purchase something. From television and radio to billboards and the internet, we constantly see and hear advertisements for an assortment of products. Many times we overlook the fact that advertising campaigns are carefully designed to trigger our emotions and entice us to spend our money. The research done by marketing companies is valuable to advertisers who want to make sure they are catering to their target demographic. Since my students will be required to present an advertisement for Latinos, it will be important for them to understand the habits and practices of this particular group of consumers. But first they must identify their market. Exactly who is Latino/Hispanic and how does one access this group?

Identity: The Creation of the Latino Category

One of the first things that students learn as part of the Spanish language curriculum is that there are 21 countries that identify Spanish as the (or as an) official language. Students see the Spanish-speaking world on maps and find that these countries are found in many different geographical locations: North, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Europe and even Africa. Students hear me speak Spanish and when they compare my accent to that of Spanish-speakers from other countries, they notice that we don't all speak the same way and that each country has its own accent and colloquialisms. In class we constantly compare the cultural traditions of these various countries and while there are often many similarities, students also begin to see that in spite of a common language, Spanish-speakers are not at all the same. So how is it that we came to identify all of these very different people as Hispanic or Latino? In order to answer this question we must first look back to the growth and impact of Spanish language television, and secondly to the 1970 US census.

In the 1960's, independent brokers began buying airtime from English TV stations to broadcast to Spanish-speaking audiences during off-peak hours. Although promotions geared specifically toward Hispanics had already been taking place at a local level through radio and advertisements placed in Hispanic owned stores, reaching a larger, nationwide audience would obviously require a more powerful medium: television. Targeting TV stations in cities with high Hispanic/Latino populations seemed perfect, but eventually Mexican entrepreneurs bought out entire TV stations to ensure that they had total control over programming. While the creation of Spanish language television was the first step in showing that the Hispanic/Latino population was worth paying attention to in America, it also provided the "basis for the conceptualization of Hispanics as a nationwide community, linked and imagined by the networks."2

The creation of Spanish TV networks helped to link the Hispanic/Latino community through language. Programming on Spanish television was initially imported from Mexico and Latin America and despite cultural variations, it was geared toward all Spanish-speakers in the US. The networks implied that since all Spanish-speakers shared the most important characteristics (namely language and culture) they could be reached in a "one size fits all" way. Spanish networks helped make people think of Spanish-speakers as a homogenous group, but it was the 1970 US census that was responsible for institutionalizing a category for people of Spanish or Latin American decent and making Hispanic a widely used term for ethnic grouping. A question that had not been on the census prior to 1970 was one that would eventually place many Spanish-speakers together. Whether the person was from Mexico, Cuba or any other number of Spanish-speaking countries, they would all be able to check an answer off in question 13b of the 1970 census which asked: "Is this person's origin or descent (fill in one circle) Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, Other Spanish or No, none of the above."3

By 1980 the US census changed the wording of the question, which appeared even earlier in the questionnaire at number 7. The question now read: "Is this person of Spanish/Hispanic origin or descent? (Fill one circle), No (not Spanish/Hispanic), Yes (Mexican, Mexican Amer, Chicano), Yes (Puerto Rican), Yes (Cuban), Yes, (other Spanish/Hispanic)" and added the following definition:"A person is of Spanish/Hispanic origin or descent if the person identifies his or her ancestry with one of the listed groups, that is, Mexican, Puerto Rican, etc. Origin or descent (ancestry) may be viewed as the nationality group, the lineage, or country in which the person or the person's parents or ancestors were born."4

The change in language created a category that was more inclusive and resulted in "a 53 percent increase in the number of people who categorized themselves as Hispanic".5 Clearly, Spanish-speakers were becoming more comfortable identifying with the Hispanic label. Interestingly, the census itself has changed over the years, almost as if to underscore the importance of people identifying with the Hispanic/Latino/Spanish group first. From the introduction of the (more limited) category in the 1970 census up through the 1990 census, the question of Hispanic origin came after the question of race; however, since 2000, the census has asked the question of Hispanic descent before the question of race. So who exactly is Hispanic?

Who is Hispanic/Latino?

As an American-born woman of Puerto Rican descent, my immersion in both cultures never left me with questions of identity. I was raised speaking both English and Spanish, and although I grew up in New Haven, CT, I would go to Puerto Rico every summer to visit relatives and see the island. Despite the fact that I am American by nationality, I definitely identify as Puerto Rican. At home my meals consisted of rice and beans, the music most likely to be heard in my house was salsa and when my mother was mad at me, she yelled in Spanish. For me, being a Puerto Rican in America has always been normal, so I checked the box marked 'yes, Puerto Rican' on the US census without even thinking. But as a fair skinned Puerto Rican, am I also white? According to the census, my skin color would require me to identify my race as white, but this to me seemed completely foreign. American, yes, but white? The term was too loaded for me to accept as a part of my identity and so I marked Other and filled in Latino as my race. I am not alone. According to Arlene Dávila, a "great percentage of Latinos...selected 'some other race' in the last US census [which] has been interpreted as a sign that Latino ethnicity has been racialized and that Latinos see themselves as a distinct race beyond black, white and Asian."6

Since the term Hispanic consolidates people from Spanish or Latin American backgrounds, the racial and linguistic make up of such people is irrelevant when forming this grouping. But what about would be Latinos who identify on the basis of race as opposed to ethnicity? In Paraguay, Spanish is one of the national languages along with Guaraní. The Guaraní people are descendants of indigenous peoples of South America and many do not speak Spanish; however, if a Guaraní came to the US he could fall under the category of Hispanic since he would be of Paraguayan decent. A dark-skinned Puerto Rican who speaks no Spanish and was never taught about Puerto Rican culture could avoid labeling himself as Latino and refer solely to his racial grouping when identifying himself. Instances such as these make it difficult to define exactly who fits under the category Hispanic.

Hispanics speak Spanish and they don't, they are black and white and Indian, they are US and foreign born. Choosing one's identity is personal despite the fact we are all labeled by others. There is no doubt that the creation of the Hispanic label has made many of us think about ethnicity before race and even nationality. Today, Hispanics between the ages of 16 and 34 "are more likely to identify themselves first as Mexican or Puerto Rican or Cuban, second as Hispanic, and only third as American."7

The Emergence of the Hispanic/Latino Market

With both Spanish TV networks and the US Census promoting Latinos as a "'nation within a nation,' with a uniquely distinct culture, ethos, and language" Dávila implied that there were "basic differences between Latinos and other consumers that need[ed] to be addressed through culture-- and language-- specific marketing."8 Segmented marketing became the way to access this growing population that was so distinct from mainstream society. With so many quality goods saturating the market, customers could no longer easily differentiate between products, and industry leaders realized that the only way to hook customers, according to sociologist Marilyn Halter, was to make "the sell an emotional one and this means an appeal to the home turf or the cultural background of the consumer."9

The idea of finding comfort within ones ethnic roots was not only taking place in the consumer sector, but even in government. In 1974 Congress passed the Ethnic Heritage Act, and government funding was provided to expose people to the cultures and traditions of various ethnic groups found in the United States. Indeed, it seemed a time to become connected with ancestral ties, providing further impetus to the growth of ethnic marketing.

The formation and acceptance of the all-encompassing subgroup 'Hispanic' had great ramifications in the consumer world. Placing Hispanics together increased their buying power and it also encouraged marketers to think that all varieties of Hispanics/Latinos could be targeted as a homogenous group. With the US census now having people identify themselves as Hispanics, advertisers could easily see that this population was on the rise and could figure out exactly where to spend their money in order to reach these people. The census allowed advertisers to see where Hispanics were concentrated and Spanish TV networks would provide a perfect medium to reach this "untapped" market. Learning how to market to Hispanics/Latinos became a priority to companies who wanted to benefit from this population whose annual purchasing power was estimated at $212 billion in 1990.10 Naturally, Hispanic marketing agencies sprouted up to help assist companies in reaching the Latino market.

The Homogenizing Effect

The Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA) was formed in 1997 to help strengthen the Hispanic marketing industry. The Agency conducts research studies to learn the consumer habits of Spanish-speaking consumers and uses these results to convince companies to invest in this profitable market. For example, one AHAA study revealed that Hispanics spend more on telephone services, information that was surely passed on to companies providing such services. Not surprisingly, AT&T and Verizon Communications were the 3rd and 4th top advertisers respectively in Hispanic media in 2009.11

Prior to the creation of agencies like the AHAA, the first generation of Hispanic advertisers, who were mostly Cuban, did not conduct market studies. Rather, as Arlene Dávila writes, they created characterizations for Hispanics by drawing on "the basis of their own instincts and experiences, and were rarely supported by research."12 The generalizations these early marketers made about Hispanics were not questioned by companies and were seen as authentic, since they themselves spoke Spanish and were Hispanic. These early Cuban marketers began portraying all Hispanics in their own image, as "family-oriented, Catholic, traditional, conservative, immigrant and Spanish-speaking," a profile of Hispanics as consumers that is still intact.13 Such a profile not only overlooks the racial, religious and national differences among Latinos, but also ignores generational differences. For example, as a first-generation American born to two Puerto Rican parents, my preferences and ideas about identity and social values vary greatly from my parents' because of this difference.

Creating an ideal image of all Hispanics that fit within the norms of American culture was important in getting major companies to invest in the emerging Hispanic market. Today, however, with a purchasing power of $489 billion in 2009, it is no surprise that all major companies want a piece of the "Hispanic" market. Companies no longer need to be persuaded to spend money on advertising for this group, but they still need to learn how to reach them despite their internal variety. What is of interest is how marketers have been able to change the Latino identity to satisfy corporate needs while always maintaining a homogenizing effect. Dávila concludes:

"It is…through statistics and market reviews-attesting that Hispanics are highly informed shoppers,
or else gullible and extremely loyal to particular brands, or traditional, or hip and urban, according
to the needs of the corporate client-that this population is continually stereotyped and constituted
into an undifferentiated Hispanic consumer"14

The Latinization of America

The Hispanic/Latino category is obviously here to stay. Spanish TV networks have continuously provided a nationwide media outlet to reach this population and advertisers constantly look at marketing firms to help with the creation of campaigns geared toward this market. With their massive purchasing power, Latinos definitely changed American consumer society, and there is no doubt that American culture in general has also been deeply altered by the growing presence of Hispanics.

The Hispanic presence in the US is one that can be accessed through all of our senses. The Latinization of America can be seen, heard, smelled, tasted and touched! Latinos are seen on TV and magazine covers, their music heard on radio and in music videos. Latino foods can be smelled and tasted in restaurants ranging from fast-food to the most elegant and found in the aisles of even the most anglicized supermarkets. The growing Latino population, coupled with their purchasing power, has resulted in companies finding ways to accommodate and integrate this demographic into mainstream American culture.

Television powerhouses like HBO, Showtime and Nickelodeon have all added Spanish-language programming and/or translations to their networks. People magazine added a Spanish counterpart (People en Español) in 1996 to cater to Latinos and in 2000, the music industry also accommodated Latinos by creating the Latin Grammy's. Even more significant than the creation of an award show specifically geared toward Hispanics is the fact that the Latin Grammy's were not simply aired on Hispanic TV networks like Telemundo and Univision. Instead, the show aired on CBS, making it "the first Anglo network in TV history to air a bilingual program."15

The reach of Latinization can be seen on a smaller scale also. When I called the national passport center, I was prompted to press 2 if I preferred to hear the recording in Spanish. All parental notifications from my school go out in English and in Spanish and the cafeteria menu includes meal choices such as tacos and fajitas. Today, all students have learned some Spanish from Dora, heard of reggaeton artist Daddy Yankee, and they could probably identify Jennifer Lopez and Shakira if they were in a line-up. All around them, their world is illustrating a change that provides evidence for the Latinization of America. Indeed, learning the language and cultural traditions of Latinos and how to relate to them could only be beneficial.

to top

Student Activities

As I have already stated, the final project, which is not listed in the activities below, would be the creation and performance of a Spanish language advertisement. The following sample activities provide methods by which to present the background information included in this unit so that student's final projects can be more authentic. Refer to the appendices for a detailed description of activities and links to the various websites where teaching materials can be accessed.

Many of the lessons require visiting websites and presenting online material via projector and screen. Because the commercial links are from Youtube.com, which is blocked by most school districts, you will most likely need to speak to the technology coordinator at your school to ensure access to these sites.

I have a product to sell, now what?


Students will define basic marketing terms

Students will identify examples of these terms in advertisements

Activity 1: Students will take a pre test on basic marketing terms to determine prior knowledge on the subject. This same test can be re-distributed at the end of the unit as the post test to measure student growth. (Please see Addendum A)

Activity 2: Use Powerade Latino commercial to highlight advertising/marketing terms. (Please see Addendum B)

Activity 3: Read article on Powerade Latino marketing campaign together as a class to discuss marketing. (Please see Addendum C)

Homework: Have students read the article on Fujifilm's first campaign geared toward Latinos and answer questions. (Please see Addendum D)

Identity, Who is Latino? and The Homogenizing Effect


Students will ethnically/racially identify themselves by answering Census questionsStudents will shape an opinion on what it means to be Latino/HispanicStudents will use historical background to develop perspectives about identityActivity 1: Students will answer questions 8 and 9 of the 2010 US Census. (Please see Addendum E)

Activity 2: Write the first ten things that come to mind when you think about Latinos and why. (Please see Addendum F)

Activity 3: Students will view images of various people to determine if they can identify those who are Latino. Students will see how the US census describes racial categories. (Please see Addendum G)

Activity 4: Students complete the "Who is Latino?" worksheet. Discuss responses as a class. (Please see Addendum H)

homework: Write a paragraph describing who can be Latino.

The Latino Market


Students will attempt to identify products without seeing their labels

Students will make choices about commercials they most identify with and explain why

Students will use graphic organizers to compare and contrast commercials

Students will shape and express opinions about commercials

Activity 1: Students will participate in a taste test to see if they could determine which product is generic and which is brand name based on taste alone. (Please see Addendum I)

Activity 2: Students will watch and answer questions on three different Tostitos commercials. (Please see Addendum J)

Activity 3: Using a Venn Diagram, students will compare and contrast two commercials for Optimum cable. (Please see Addendum K)

Activity 4: Students will analyze and answer questions on a Diet Coke commercial. (Please see Addendum L)

Homework: Write an essay responding to the following questions: What do you think the Diet Coke ad is implying with this advertisement? Do you think the advertisement is successful? Why or why not?


Students will shape and express opinions about commercials

Students will use cultural background to develop perspectives on advertisements

Students will critique commercials which have empowered and offended Latinos

Students will analyze the point of view of advertisements

Students will compare cultures

Activity 1: As a class, students will see still ad and read article "Latino Community empowered by Coke commercial" and will discuss and write a paragraph where they will have to use inferring skills. (Please see Addendum M)

Activity 2: Students will view and discuss Burger King's Texican Whopper commercial. Students will read an article about the ad and discuss culturally offensive images in advertising. (Please see Addendum N)

Activity 3: View Burger King advertisement and read article on how "Spanish Burger King Ad Denigrates Hindu Goddess Lakshmi". (Please see Addendum O)

Homework: Should advertisements be sensitive to ethnic/cultural differences? Use examples from the advertisements seen in class to explain why or why not?

The Latinization of America and reaching the Latino Market


Students will explain how businesses could benefit from Hispanic market research

Students will identify examples of the Latinization of America

Activity 1: Students will work collaboratively on an internet activity to find websites that cater to Latinos. Students will finish with a writing assignment. (Please see Addendum P)

Homework: Students will complete a worksheet where they will have to write down examples of the Latino presence in their everyday lives. (Please see Addendum Q)


Students will use maps to identify largest US Hispanic markets

Students will use data to determine Latino marketing strategies

Activity 1: Students will look at data from the 2009 Hispanic fact pack and use this information to develop Latino marketing strategies. (Please see Addendum R)

Activity 2: Students will look at a map showing the US Hispanic demographic to determine the best places in the country to launch a campaign geared towards Latinos. (Please see Addendum S)

Writing Activity: You and a partner are designing a marketing campaign geared toward Latinos. Your partner suggests that you run the campaign in North and South Dakota. Would you agree with your partner? Where would you think a Hispanic marketing campaign could be successful? Use information from the data to explain your answer.

Addendum A: Students will take pre-test on basic marketing terms. This can be given in multiple choice format and with simple definitions. Terms/definitions can include:

business/company-- an organization that provides goods and/or services to consumers

product-- the object or service being sold, consumer-- the person buying the product

consumer-- the person buying a product or service

market-- a group of consumers interested in a product or service

marketing-- the process by which companies identify, satisfy and keep the customer

advertising-- a form of communication meant to persuade people to buy a product or service

target audience-- the specific customers a business wants to sell their products/services to

media-- the mediums used to deliver advertisements and information to people

You may also include open ended questions such as:

Give an example of a target audience.
Identify three media that can be used for advertising.
What is ethnic marketing?
Suggestion: give the post test at end of unit, asking students to expand on definitions by giving examples or importance of each.

Addendum B-- Distribute worksheet that includes the same terms from the pre-test with their definitions. Be sure to discuss definitions and ask for/give examples of media. Also explain that a target audience could be based on race, ethnicity, gender, age etc. Underneath the new vocabulary will be an activity for them to complete while watching a commercial. Students will watch the video and attempt to identify the business (Powerade), product (Powerade ion 4), target audience (Latinos) and advertising medium used (television).

Discussion (with these questions also on worksheet): How do you know that Latinos are the target audience for this advertisement? (Spanish is used) Besides the use of Spanish in the commercial, how may the advertisement appeal to Latinos? (Memo Ochoa as spokesperson, Soccer) Where might this commercial air? (Spanish-language TV stations/networks) How might this commercial be different if it were geared towards non Spanish-speaking Americans?

Link to commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eu4icet75Ao&feature=related 2- (Accessed July 2010)

Addendum C: Discussion (with these questions also on worksheet): What media will Powerade use to reach the Latino market in this campaign? Why do you think Powerade decided to choose Memo Ochoa as their spokesperson for this particular campaign? Why do you think they would want to launch these commercials during the FIFA World Cup? Do you think the Powerade Company knows

Link to article: http://www.simplyfutbol.com/2010/05/powerade-begins-world-cup-campaign-for.html (Accessed July 2010)

Addendum D: Students will read the article on Fujifilm's new campaign to reinforce new vocabulary by identifying the company, product, target audience (ask them to be specific), and advertising mediums used. Besides identifying these things, ask students why they think that Fujifilm decided to run this campaign during the FIFA World Cup.

Link to article: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=131190

(Accessed July 2010)

Addendum E: Questions 8 and 9 ask people to identify based on ethnicity and race. Discussion: How might different people respond to these questions? What factors could affect how people respond to these questions?

Link to census questions: http://2010.census.gov/2010census/how/interactive-form.php(Accessed July 2010)

Addendum F: Students will receive a worksheet where they will have to write down the first ten things that come to mind when they think of Latinos and why. Discussion: Ask students to volunteer answers and explain why they felt that way. Students may include foods or Hispanic people in this list, but I have found that the activity also allows for the discussion of stereotypes. For example, one student wrote that he thinks of long hair and big smiles when he thinks of Latinas. We were able to discuss where he has seen these images and whether or not it is typical or stereotypical of Latinos.

Addendum G: Teacher will compile images (without names) of Latinos, and Latinos of mixed heritage, whose physical features greatly vary. Students will have to see if they can identify who is Latino. Since all people shown would be able to identify as Latino based on census standards, the activity is meant to illustrate how physically diverse Latinos are and that anyone can be Latino! Use discussion to address why Latinos look so different and how we can never tell someone's racial/ethnic identity just by looking at them!

Possible people to feature in this activity:
Shakira (Columbia)
Rafael Nadal (Spain)
Tego Calderon (Puerto Rico)
Carolina Herrera (Venezuela)
Valeria Mazza (Spain)
David Ortiz (Dominican Republic)
Esther Canadas (Spain)
Celia Cruz (Cuba)
Penelope Cruz (Spain)
Sofia Mulanovich (Peru)
Raquel Welch (Bolivia)
Latinos of mixed heritage:
Christy Turlington (El Salvador)
Christina Aguilera (Ecuador)
Tatyana Ali (Panama)
David Blaine (Puerto Rico)
Lynda Carter (Mexico)
Frankie Muniz (Puerto Rico)

After this activity, show students the way in which race categories are defined as per the US census. Discuss findings. Do you agree with these labels? Discuss the write in entries that people provided (last paragraph). Why would some people choose Morrocan or South African as their race? Why did some people write in Puerto Rican or Cuban for race? Use this to discuss how people identify themselves based on different things (i.e., some people identify by race, others by nationality, others by ethnicity or religion, etc.) What would cause for such differences?

Link to article (categories defined on page 2):

http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/c2kbr01-1.pdf (Accessed July 2010)

Addendum H: Students will get a sheet with various categories on it and will need to circle the ones who could be Hispanic. Categories can include:

Non-Spanish speaking
US born
Foreign born
One parent is Hispanic
Both parents are Hispanic
Of mixed race
Roman Catholic

Again, the point of this activity is to highlight the fact that Latinos, although considered a homogeneous group, are in fact comprised of a variety of groups.

Addendum I: Without seeing the product packaging, students will try to distinguish generic products from brand name products based on taste or sight alone. (i.e., Rice Krispies vs. a generic brand, Powerade vs. another sports drink). The teacher should make this as difficult to differentiate as possible. The point is to illustrate how similar products are.

Discussion: What do businesses do to make sure you can tell their product apart from others? (packaging, advertising, spokespersons etc) How do businesses get us to buy their products over other similar ones? (advertising, by triggering our emotions)

Addendum J: Have students view the three listed Tostitos commercials and write/share their opinions on each commercial.

Discussion: What commercial most appealed to you and why? Which commercial did you least relate to and why? Who are the target audiences in each of the commercials? What makes you think this?

Links to commercials:


(Features 3 mothers eating chips and salsa while their babies sleep)


(Features four adults on a beach in Mexico eating chips and salsa)


(Features an animated character creating salsa)

(Accessed July 2010)

Addendum K: Students will complete a Venn Diagram as they compare and contrast two commercials (one in English and one in Spanish) for Optimum Cable.

Links to commercials: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptlJYFWDfig&feature=related (In English)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQe-o8hmL7c&NR=1 (In Spanish)

(Accessed July 2010)

Discussion: Who do you think the target audience is in the first commercial? Why?Why do you think that Optimum also made a commercial in Spanish? What is the target audience? (specify age group, language preference of group) What makes you think this? How/why do you think these commercials appeal to the target audience? (discuss music)

Addendum L: Have students watch the following Diet Coke commercial and complete worksheet as they view the ad and during class discussion.

Link to commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAHJ6KnTS2o (Accessed July 2010)

Discussion/possible questions: Pause video after 5 seconds and ask students: Who do you think the target audience is? Why? Pause video at 29 seconds and ask: Why do you think she pauses and looks frightened when guy comes up? Who is the target audience? How do you know? Was the Spanish language used to reach the target audience? How did the wedding party change after the woman started to dance?

Addendum M: Read the article together as a class to discuss Latino community empowerment. Although I was unable to find the commercial talked about in this article, students can still get a visual through a still shot on the website.

Link to Article: http://www.theonion.com/articles/latino-community-empowered-by-coke-commercial,1235/ (Accessed July 2010)

Discussion: Why do you think that Latinos felt proud about this advertisement?

Writing Activity: What do you think Núñez meant when he said: "I hope someday other minorities will receive the kind of gift Coca-Cola has given Latinos".

Addendum N: Let students view the commercial and ask their opinions about it. How do you think Latinos felt about it? Does this commercial give the same sense of pride as some of the Coca Cola commercials? Why or why not? How do you think Mexicans, specifically, felt about the commercial? Why?

Link to article and commercial: http://www.eatmedaily.com/2009/04/burger-kings-texican-whopper-ad-offends/ (Accessed July 2010)

Read the article together as a class and ask the same questions. Discuss what could be changed in the commercial to make it less offensive. Ask students whether they think Burger King needed to apologize and to explain why or why not.

Addendum O: Show students the image of the Burger King ad which offended Hindus worldwide. Discuss the importance of cultural sensitivity. Why were Hindus upset? What images/language might offend you if they were used in an advertisement? Ask students whether they think Burger King needed to apologize and to explain their answers. Ask whether they think advertisements such as these hurt their business.

Link to Article: (Accessed July 2010)

Addendum P: Students will get a list of companies and in pairs will visit each company's website. Students will record the companies that have websites which cater specifically to Latinos.

Some businesses with Spanish language/bilingual websites:movietickets.com

Barnes and Noble
People Magazine
The Anti Drug
(Please see Internet Resources for complete web addresses)

Discussion: Did you see websites for other languages? Why not? Why would businesses bother creating Spanish language websites? How can this help their business?

Writing Activity: Do you think that creating Spanish language websites increase sales? Why or why not?

Addendum Q: Students will complete a worksheet where they will have to write down examples of the Latinization of America. To ensure a variety of answers, have students name examples from categories such as:

tv shows
supermarket: food and drinks
fast food
other food

Discuss answers the following day.

Addendum R: Using information from the 2009 Hispanic Fact Pack and AHAA's fast facts about Latino consumers, have students see how data could be used to develop marketing strategies.

Link to Fact Pack: http://adage.com/images/random/datacenter/2009/hispfactpack09.pdf

Link to AHAA fast facts: http://ahaa.org/default.asp?contentID=29 (Accessed July 2010)

Some data to look at and the pages they are found in the fact pack: Hispanic Social Network Site Usage- p. 29

Top web properties amongst Hispanic users- p. 29

Hispanic Electronic media usage- p. 31

Hispanic TV Network viewership- p. 33

Discussion and sample questions: What websites might you use to reach a Latino audience? Why? What TV networks do you think would be the most successful for a Hispanic ad campaign? Why?

Addendum S: Have students look at maps which show the US Hispanic demographic. They will also be able to view a pie chart which breaks down the Latino market by country of origin. Use this to show how such information is helpful when developing marketing strategies.

Link to map/pie chart: http://www.allied-media.com/Hispanic%20Market/hispanic%20demographics.html

(Accessed July 2010)

Discussion: What states show a high concentration of Hispanics? Which show a low percentage? How could this information help when creating a marketing campaign? What is the largest Hispanic group in the US? Is this surprising? How could knowing the country of origin of Latinos be helpful when creating a marketing campaign?

Appendix A: The New Haven World Languages curriculum includes a unit for 8th grade students titled "Shop Til' you Drop." The introduction for the unit describes what students are meant to accomplish:

Students will use accumulated knowledge about numbers (Unit 2), colors (Unit 5) and specialty stores and directions (Unit 6) to shop for clothing, electronics and other items of interest to teenagers. They will use the appropriate vocabulary for different kinds of consumer goods. Students will ask for what they want in their size, according to the country's system. They will make a chart of international sizes (pant, dress, shirt, shoe, hat) matched with the standard United States sizes, for themselves or someone they know. Students will ask the price and review (from Unit 4) how to pay and receive change using the local currency. They will practice converting money from one monetary system to another. They will interpret radio and TV commercials and printed advertisements.

to top

Implementing National Standards

The American Council on the Teachers of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) require teachers to teach subject matter with the five goals of foreign language learning always in mind. The five C's, as they are commonly referred to, can all be addressed through this unit.

Communicating in a Language other than English: Students will be required to write, memorize and perform a Spanish language advertisement for a product of their choice as the final project of this unit.

Gain Knowledge & Understanding of Other Cultures: Students will undoubtedly gain a deeper understanding of Latino culture(s) and will also gain new insight into other cultures.

Connect with Other Disciplines & Acquire New Information: The unit will allow for students to learn about marketing and advertising by analyzing things they are used to seeing everyday: actual television commercials. They will further their knowledge about consumption beyond that of a consumer to become aware of the processes that take place to sell products.

Develop Insight into the Nature of Language and Culture: The unit calls for students to view Latinos culturally as consumers. Thinking about how to reach this target audience will require students to develop awareness about, and make comparisons to, the culture and traditions of Latinos.

Participate in Multilingual Communities at Home and Around the World: Although the unit does not require students to participate in such communities orally, it will underscore the way in which students participate in the Latino culture through consumerism.

to top

Reading Sources for Teachers

Albarran, Alan B., ed. The Handbook of Spanish Language Media. New York: Routledge, 2009 A country-by-country examination of Spanish language media.

Dávila , Arlene. Latino Spin: Public Image and the Whitewashing of Race. NY: New York University Press, 2008. Critical studies perspective on the representations of Latino in American culture.

Dávila , Arlene. Latinos, Inc.: The Marketing and Making of a People. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001. Thorough explanation of how advertising and commercial culture helped shape the Latino/a identity.

Delgado , Richard and Jean Stefancic , eds. The Latino/a Condition: A Critical Reader. New York ; London : New York University Press, c1998. Explores the struggles of the varied Latino peoples for identity, recognition, and legitimacy in the United States.

Habell-Pallan, Michelle and Mary Romero, eds. Latino/a Popular Culture. New York: New York University Press, 2002. A collection of critical essays on Latino popular culture.

Halter, Marilyn. Shopping for Identity: The Marketing of Ethnicity. New York:

Schocken Books, 2000. Discusses how people connect to their ethnic heritages through consumer culture.

Kanellos, NicolaÌs. Thirty Million Strong: Reclaiming the Hispanic Image in American Culture. Golden, Colo.: Fulcrum Publishing, 1998. A chronological analysis of the changing images of Hispanics in the United States.

Negrón$-Muntaner, Frances. Boricua Pop: Puerto Ricans and the Latinization of American Culture. New York: New York University Press, 2004. Puerto Rican responses to the Latinization of America.

Tiegel, Elliot. The Latinization of America. Beverly Hills: Phoenix Books, 2007. A chronological account of how Latinos have been changing America from 1977 to 2007.

Ethnic Images in Advertising: An Exhibition co-sponsored by the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies and the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith. Philadelphia: The Institute, 1984.

Hispanic Fact Pack 2009 Edition: Annual Guide to Hispanic Marketing and Media. Detroit: Crain Communications Inc., 2009. Statistics on the Hispanic Market.

Selig Center for Economic Growth, Terry College of Business, The University of Georgia, July 2009. Statistics on the Hispanic Market.

to top

Web Resources

http://www.simplyfutbol.com/2010/05/powerade-begins-world-cup-campaign-for.html Article on Powerade campaign featuring Memo Ochoa geared towards Latinos

(Accessed July 2010)

http://ahaa.org/default.asp?contentID=29 AHAA fast facts on the power of the Hispanic Market

(Accessed July 2010)

http://www.allied-media.com/Hispanic%20Market/hispanic%20demographics.html Map of Hispanic American Demographics as well as a pie chart which breaks down Hispanics by origin (Accessed July 2010)

http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/c2kbr01-1.pdf Census 2000 brief discussing the overview of race and Hispanic origin (Accessed July 2010)

http://2010.census.gov/2010census/how/interactive-form.php Questions from the 2010 census (Accessed July 2010)

http://www.censusscope.org/us/chart_race.html Bar graph and chart showing Hispanic population growth from 1980-2000 (Accessed July 2010)

to top

Spanish Language Web Sites

http://www.movietickets.com/default.asp?language=0&movie_id=0&SearchZip=&ShowDate=0&house_id=0&SearchCity=&SearchRadius=15&language=6 Spanish site where people can purchase movie tickets online (Accessed July 2010)

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/Libros-en-espanol-Spanish-Books-Learn-Spanish/379001126/ A section of the Barnes and Noble site in Spanish (Accessed July 2010)http://www.peopleenespanol.com/pespanol/ People magazine in Spanish (Accessed July 2010)http://espndeportes.espn.go.com/?cc=3888 ESPN Sports (Accessed July 2010)

www.migente.com A social networking website which pre-dates Facebook (Accessed July 2010)http://www.mtvtr3s.com/ Website for the MTV channel geared towards Latinos. In English with Spanish words (Accessed July 2010)

http://espanol.att.com/ATT website in Spanish (Accessed July 2010)

http://espanol.vzw.com/enes/b2c/index.html?mpactionid=56 Verizon website in Spanish (Accessed July 2010)

http://www.sears.com/?lang=es Sears site in Spanish (Accessed July 2010)

http://www.laantidroga.com/ Anti-drug website in Spanish (Accessed July 2010)

to top

Commercials in Spanish

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrxkopD__nA&NR=1 Taco bell commercial with cild as spokesperson and focus on bargain prices (Accessed July 2010)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYWTCfLuVWE&feature=related KFC commercial with teens in it and focus on bargain prices

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWaoWzmCnL0 McDonald's commercial with no speaking parts (Accessed July 2010)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hx0Ecrmns0k McDonald's commercial for Shrek Happy meal (Accessed July 2010)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6dzVORtVQg Pepsi commercial featuring singer Shakira (Accessed July 2010)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHx45ySBcts&feature=related Nokia commercial featuring singer Shakira (Accessed July 2010)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eu4icet75Ao&feature=related Powerade commercial featuring soccer player Memo Ochoa (Accessed July 2010)

to top


1 http://marketing.about.com/cs/advertising/a/marketvsad.htm (Accessed July 2010)
2 Arlene Dávila, Latinos, Inc.: The Marketing and Making of a People. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001) p. 25
3 http://usa.ipums.org/usa/voliii/items1970.shtml (Accessed July 2010)
4 http://usa.ipums.org/usa/voliii/items1980.shtml (Accessed July 2010)
5 Dávila, p. 40
6 Arlene Dávila, Latino Spin: Public Image and the Whitewashing of Race. (NY: New York University Press, 2008) p. 11
7 Marilyn Halter. Shopping for Identity: The Marketing of Ethnicity. (New York: Schocken Books, 2000) p. 33
8 Dávila, Latinos, Inc., p. 4
9 . Halter, p. 43.
10 Selig Center for Economic Growth, Terry College of Business, The University of Georgia, July 2009
11 Hispanic Fact Pack 2009 Edition: Annual Guide to Hispanic Marketing and Media, p. 10
12 Dávila, Ibid, p. 58
13 Dávila, Ibid, p. 60
14 Dávila, Ibid, p. 56
15 Elliot Tiegel, The Latinization of America. (Beverly Hills: Phoenix Books, 2007) p. 165

to top

Contents of 2010 Volume I | Directory of Volumes | Index | Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute

© 2016 by the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
Terms of Use Contact YNHTI