Marketers Need to Communicate, not Just Translate
By Rochelle Newman-Carrasco

Quite often, my front door is littered with door hangers and my mail slot is filled with samples of everything from Swiffers to sanitary napkins (which I find oddly similar in texture, but that’s another story for another day).
Boost Mobile door hangerEnlarge

The “real estate” on these pieces is often a 50-50 split between Spanish and English. This is mostly made possible by a “front-side/back-side” approach as demonstrated by this Boost Mobile door hanger.

It is not uncommon, however, to find the Spanish language incorporated into an English language piece in a way that clearly places it in a role of lesser importance. While one can argue the pros and cons of dual-language usage and the size of font and placement of the second language, there are most certainly valid strategic reasons (not to mention graphic realities) that would make it appropriate to relegate the Spanish language to a supporting role.

What I’m often struck by, however, is what seems like a random use of the Spanish language. One in which it is unclear why the communicator (the brand) feels that the message recipient (the consumer) needs certain key phrases in Spanish and not others.

This Domino’s Pizza door hanger serves an interesting example. The decision seems to have been that the main messages featured on the door hanger, those that position the brand and communicate the new-product benefits and competitive advantage, aren’t as important to the Spanish speaker as the direct translation of product specific information — product-specific information that is almost identical in Spanish and English as a result of its simplicity and the similarities in language surrounding these particular product-related words. For example, the translation of 2-Large 2 Topping Pizzas and a 2-Liter of Coca-Cola is Dos Pizzas Grandes Con 2 Ingredientes y Dos Litros de Coca Cola. Spanish for Pizzas? Pizzas. To read the full story from Advertising Age click here.