Mar 26

Hispanic Millennials: Situational Bilingualism

Hispanic Millennials: Situational Bilingualism

Mar 21

Survival of the Apps: The Fallen

By Ana Fernandez, Copywriting Intern and Aída Reyna, Brand Planning Intern

When apps became a new source of income for many developers, the app industry skyrocketed. However, it requires more than a bright idea to make an app thrive. Below, we discuss what caused certain apps to struggle and, in some cases, even raise a white flag in defeat.

A glitch in the Forecast

Forecast was an app designed to connect Facebook and Foursquare to plan future events and meet in person with your friends. Although it had multiple positive reviews and many quoted it to have potential, it still flopped. To start off, the name itself (Forecast) was often confused with weather apps and, to find it, you had to scroll down past all those weather related apps. Also, many technical glitches (especially in Android devices) frustrated users, making them hesitant to use it again. The app was only useful if your friends were active users as well, making it difficult to create much activity.[i]

It’s not me, it’s you

Meet Gatsby was a dating app that used geo-location to find other Gatsby users near you with “common interests” (based on Facebook likes, Foursquare check-ins, etc.) and allowed you to chat with them before deciding to meet in person. However, even after a lot of hype from the media, it still never quite took off and was eventually shut down soon after. The interests that the app found in common with others were often too generic and, therefore, irrelevant to actually establishing a meaningful connection; if two people said they drink coffee on Facebook then Gatsby would already qualify them as a ‘perfect’ match. This made Gatsby annoyingly intrusive by assuming you were right with too many people.[ii]

Time is money

Mouthee (a movie, restaurant and music rating app) learned this lesson the hard way. Although the app was a good idea and it has managed to stay afloat, it didn’t have the resources necessary to get into the market as fast as it could. By the time it was ‘market-ready,’ other companies with very similar ideas already had their apps established and thriving. Though they did get some success for their app at the beginning, Mr. Pritzker (the founder of Mouthee) feels that his team might have spent too much time developing the app, burying Mouthee at the bottom of the competitive clutter and leaving it struggling for an audience.[iii]

The app battlefield can be merciless. To help your app come out alive, we’ve learned to be aware on how the name affects the perception of the app, strive for full-technological breakthroughs (and no glitches), keep in mind the development time you have available, and be insightful of how the app will actually operate. Depending on what service your app is providing, a new set of possible failures can emerge. Make sure your team takes time to analyze what problems could originate in the future.

[i] ReadWrite, When Hip doesn’t Tip: Users Wonder Why a Good App Failed.

[ii] Huffington Post, Social Discovery: To Meet or Not to Meet.

[iii] The Wall Street Journal, The Dirty Secret of Apps: Many Go Bust.


Mar 18

Survival of the Apps

By Ana Fernandez, Copywriting Intern and Aida Reyna, Brand Planning Intern

There is fierce competition in the app world. According to latest reports, there are more than 1 million apps in Apple’s app store as of October 2013. With so much competition out there, what makes an app rise up above the rest? 

Below we studied the strategy behind the top 5 rated social apps based on ratings and downloads.[1]

1. Facebook

With1 in 3 people in the U.S. visiting Facebook everyday[2], it’s no surprise that the world’s leading social network had to develop equivalent success in an on-the-go platform. Due to its established and loyal users (who would have followed to the mobile app by default) success came fast, but Facebook was also the first social network to translate their site into a mobile platform.

2. Instagram

With the help of influential bloggers and marketing efforts, Instagram gained 25,000 users in the first 24 hours of its release and later grew to 300,000 by the third week. How did they do it? Strategic timing. The app launched right after the iPhone 4 came out with a higher quality camera and, with the help of Instagram’s filters, everyone became a “professional” photographer. People were eager to montage their life in images across platforms and Instagram provided easy sharing and ultra-fast uploads.

3. Twitter

Twitter was created with the mobile user in mind – the 140 character limit is based on the SMS style writing – and it hit the ground running as an app. Its success was secured in part because it provided a fast and right-this-instant way to communicate to the masses, giving way to over 500 million users, and an average of 58 million tweets per day[3]. Later on, it allowed users to share common ideas with a simple hashtag, creating instant and searchable common interests with others. The app remains the primary driver of its business with 75% of the 218.3 million active users per month accessing Twitter from a mobile platform.[4] 

4. Pinterest

Pinterest excelled by understanding its audience. They found a niche market; a third of the users have annual salaries of $100,000+ and almost 70% are female.[5] While many social brands strive to appeal to a broad audience, Pinterest found that the best way to increase interaction is by creating the sense of community through common interests. Thanks to this, among other reasons, Pinterest’s success has also instigated a need for on-the-go accessibility of an app.

5. LinkedIn

The ‘fremium’ model works for LinkedIn. Job hunters searching for a career can use the free model, and recruiters can easily pay the monthly or yearly fees if they wish to do so.[6] While LinkedIn has some competition, it edges out other professional networking apps by providing the same exceptional features as the site itself, such as the Inmail responses, easy job searches and more.

With the exception of Instagram and Twitter, the other top 3 social apps were an immediate success due to their already widely popular social websites. The user friendliness of the apps makes it easy to navigate through the platforms without compromising design, speed, and video/image quality. These apps are designed to easily share and re-share whatever interests you among friends and followers.

[1] Nielsen TopTen App, Social Apps, [2] Reuters[3] ektron[4] TechCrunch[5] Huffington Post[6] TI

Mar 11

The Power of Music

By Ana Fernandez, Brand Planning Intern

My passion for music has always made it easy for a song to influence my mood or to provoke an emotion in me. Music can affect the mood, perception and even the memory of almost any person. For example, when I hear the song I’ll be There for You by the Rembrandts, it takes me back to my high school graduation and all the good memories. Knowing that music can have an affect on your emotions, brands have found ways to harness the power of music to positively influence their perceptions.

If you can influence how someone feels, and influence how they perceive a message or image, then why not use that to your advantage? I’m talking about using this knowledge of music to influence the consumer’s engagement towards an advertisement.

A Millward Brown study (1) testing the same ad, but with two different music variations, wanted to showcase how music could positively influence consumer’s perception. The first ad used the well-known hit song Teenage Kicks and the second used a less popular song. The differences in consumer responses were drastic.

While we know music can create positive engagement with consumers, it’s also important to keep in mind the pairing of music and messaging. Music should go well with the overall message and general feel of the ad. Think about it: have you ever seen an ad where the message and music fit perfectly together? I know I have, take the John Lewis Christmas ad.

Click here to watch. 

Why it works:

When a song is used correctly and strategically, it can provide enjoyment, connectivity and emotion to the viewing audience. When music is used properly in a campaign, it can positively affect the brand identity and even make it iconic. Here are some examples:

So, all in all, we’ve learned how music can affect a person and a brand. Keeping in mind the relationship between the music and the key message of an advertisement will help the brand further impact the consumer’s perception of the ad. That’s why it’s critical to have an understanding of the communications and select the music that is most ‘in tune’ with the core message and mood. The John Lewis ad and the Kit Kat campaign are very different from each other in terms of the style and imagery, but both brands found their ‘forte’ and matched a message to a sound. Always remember, when it comes to music in advertising, you have to think ‘sharp’ or your ad will be ‘flat’.

Mar 07

Five Clichés Hispanics are Tired of Seeing in Ads

By: Aída Reyna, Brand Planner Intern 

Abuelitas Everywhere!

Yes, Hispanics have strong family bonds.  Yes, they love their dear abuelitas. They like to spend time together and enjoy abuelita’s famous cooking. That simple idea has fueled an overuse of the ‘abuelita’ character in Hispanic ads. Family is great and should be celebrated. I’m sure non-Hispanics love their families (I hope); but as a Mexican, I would like to see advertising that goes beyond the image of a lovely family centered around a cute grandma. 


Salsa, Tequila, & Fiesta Latina  

Non-Hispanics that watch television must think that Hispanics party and eat salsa every day. Hispanic food products are always the center of some festive get-together where the whole family is dancing to carnaval music. And oddly, it’s only a Hispanic family at these parties, as if they don’t have friends of other races they want to invite. According to Hispanic advertising logic, any time a simple life event occurs a party automatically ensues. And for the love of God, not every Hispanic party has a piñata or merengue. 


Cleaning and Cooking Makes a Good Latina

I can’t argue that keeping a sparkling home and/or knowing how to cook are great attributes to have. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be overplayed. It’s tiring to see a nostalgic Latina cleaning and thinking of how proud her mom would feel seeing her daughter scrub bathrooms with the same products she used. I feel like Latinas in ads are often seeking their mother’s approval in cooking and cleaning products. 


Can the Real Spanish Speakers Please Stand Up?

Sometimes the pronunciation in celebrity endorsements is so bad it can be offensive for Spanish speakers. The case of the gringo accent comes out in poorly devised ads where the dialogue sounds forced like translated from a search engine. There are plenty of Spanish speakers for these roles to enhance the realism. Leave out the frauds. Your Spanish speaking audience can tell the difference.


Passions Running High

Let’s calm down using the word “pasión”. The word is riddled everywhere, especially in fútbol. It’s a positive word, but it’s almost a default descriptor in ads. Let’s diversify our vocabulary and not rely on “pasión” just because Hispanics are involved. For the sake of creativity, we should think a little deeper. And creativity is something to be passionate about. 


Feb 02

Source: Advertising Age, Short Form Video - January 2014

Source: Advertising Age, Short Form Video - January 2014

Jan 22

Facebook Seeking Greener Pastures?


By: Natalie Gover, Brand Planner

Today, 80% of Hispanics use social media and, according to Nielsen, Hispanic adults are 25% more likely to follow a brand on Facebook than the general online population.  Facebook serves as a powerful avenue through which brands can alleviate Hispanic consumers’ tension points - e.g. in-language content, access to resources, social connectivity with others of their ethnic background - and build meaningful relationships.

With these statistics in mind, executives at Facebook have made the commitment to serve as the go-to platform for brands to reach Hispanic consumers.  To support their aggressive U.S. Hispanic strategy, Facebook has opened an office in Miami with the express purpose of serving agencies and advertisers seeking to target this demographic.   

While Facebook’s renewed interest in its Hispanic users is great news for marketers, it begs the question, “Is Facebook moving to greener pastures?”  Given increasing reports indicating Facebook’s diminishing usership - with some new statistical models predicting that Facebook will lose up to 80% of its users by 2017 - it comes as no surprise that Facebook is seeking new segments to keep its brand afloat.  

Source: Forbes Facebook To Help Brands Convert 55 Million U.S. HispanicsTime Facebook Is About to Lose 80% of Its Users, Study Says

Jan 18

Problems with Federal Health Care Website Continue, Now En Español

By: Natalie Gover, Brand Planner

Following in the footsteps of the English-language site, the Spanish-language version of the federal health care website has seen a slew of usability issues, particularly when it comes to translation.

The site,, launched more than two months late.  A page with Spanish instructions within the site links users to an English form.  Most notably, the translations are so direct and full of grammatical mistakes that many believe they must have been computer-generated.  (The name of the site itself can literally be read “for the caution of health.”)

"When you get into the details of the plans, it’s not all written in Spanish. It’s written in Spanglish, so we end up having to translate it for them," said Adrian Madriz, a health care navigator who helps with enrollment in Miami.

While it is tempting to simply roll our eyes at the ineptitude of the site translators, these issues underscore the halting efforts across the nation to enroll Spanish-speakers under the federal health care law.  Critics assert that as a result of these technical difficulties and mistranslations, many people whom the law was designed to help have been left out of the first wave of coverage.

"Across the U.S., about 12 percent of the 317 million people in the country speak only Spanish, but federal officials have said less than 4 percent of calls to a national hotline were Spanish-only as of last month."

Source: ABC News

Jan 17

Later FOMO, 2014 is All About JOMO


By: Natalie Gover, Brand Planner

With JWTIntelligence at the vanguard, a number of trend forecasters have dubbed 2014 as the year of JOMO: the Joy of Missing Out.  The term incapsulates a backlash to previous years’ FOMO - Fear of Missing Out - by eschewing the pressure to say ‘yes’ to everything in favor of giving yourself space to think and experience life at your own pace.

The catchy acronym is an element of the larger social trend of Mindful Living, whereby consumers are developing “a desire to experience everything in a more present, conscious way.”

While evidence of this desire abounds, the most obvious place to look is the decline in cell phone dependence: “In 2013, 52% of consumers agreed, ‘I could not get by without my cell phone,’ down from 59% in 2012.”  Or, on a more tangible level, who hasn’t been invited to play at least one round of the Cell Phone Stack during dinner with friends?  

Sources: JWTIntelligence 10 Trends for 2014 and Beyond; 2013 U.S. Yankelovich MONITOR

Nov 12

Latinas as primary earners and influencers in their households. Check it out! 

Latinas as primary earners and influencers in their households. Check it out!