See What You Are Missing…

Univision, one of the biggest television broadcasting network for Latino viewers have launched their “See What You’re Missing” campaign in response to the information released by the Census that “Hispanics account for approximately 56 percent of the total population growth from 2000-2010.” In their video for the campaign, Univision talks about the queer latinidad of dualism and the reality of the merging of two cultures resonates what life has been like for many Latinos in the United States. Nonetheless, when the campaign is looked into closely what Univision is really trying to do is allow America to see the value in Hispanics because it allows them potential to “unleash their economic growth”. It also strongly stereotypes Hispanics with Novelas, Futbol and Tamales (all things that play a major role in Mexican culture). The video also fail to include Latino queer culture , but i see how that could be expected since Univision is trying to please the larger Heteronormative audience of America. of Is this the only way that the Hispanic population can become appealing to Americans? Should we simply be looked as economic consumers and not as college graduates, doctors, engineers, factory workers, government officials, and students? Should we be generalized into simply being possible economic profit and just that?

Marketing itself at the “#1 Place To Reach Hispanics,” Univision has taken it upon themselves and the rest of America the following two questions: what are we/you doing to include Hispanics in the marketing plans and how do we/you know we’re/you’re doing it right? Their website for this campaign then proceeds to provide the American audience with three basic principles which Univision deems important when assessing the two previously asked questions. The major subheading on the three principles were as follows:

  1. Think Hispanic During Every Planning Stage– Total market planning isn’t about shifting budgets. It’s about doing more with what you’ve got. It’s about looking for growth and delivering brand results by identifying and marketing to all your potential consumers. As you define your strategy and success metrics; as you conceive new products and design new packaging; as you develop new creative and media plans; constantly ask yourself and your teams: “What about Hispanic?”
  2. Reach Hispanics In Culture- Brands strive to lead with insights and connect with consumers emotionally. How do you accomplish that in this multicultural nation? By speaking to them in their language and their culture. Nielsen ad effectiveness research shows that, through communicating in-language and within a culturally relevant environment, ads realized significantly higher recall and likeability. (2)
  3. Understand Acculturation- Finally, don’t make the common mistake of thinking that acculturation automatically means English proficiency. Acculturation is about culture but language is just one expression of Hispanic culture. One can be completely fluent in English and still “lean Latino” in values, traditions, and key consumer behaviors like food, media consumption and entertainment choices.

I, personally, feel really uncomfortable with this. Firstly, because the term Hispanic (his-panic) makes me feel really uncomfortable, I am no one’s panic. Secondly, because it asserts the innate capitalism in every American that something can only be valued when it becomes of use. There is a strong sense that “Hispanics” have now become important, implying that they weren’t before, because their numbers are growing.  Now, big business and marketing companies need to reassess their marketing techniques to include Hispanics in theirs plans simply because it will of a benefit to their company. But why shouldn’t Latinos be recognized as legitimate citizens of the county simply off the fact that many Latino immigrants are working on agricultural fields and doing many jobs that white Americans don’t want to be doing? Why should Latinos be made to feel important because the numbers of first generation Latino students to attend college is increasing?

I think that one of the things that is really bothering me s that the queer latinidad that is individually experienced as a Latino/a as a marginalized group for so many years is now being exploited to de-marginalize us and bring us into the center. Univision’s way of doing this is by but by telling companies how to exploit Latino/as into buying their goods and making us vulnerable to large corporations. It extremely confusing for me to get my thoughts into words but why couldn’t we be brought into the center because we have been under-acknowledged as minorities for so many years and the work of undocumented immigrants have been appreciated? Why isn’t it enough that are numbers are high for us to be recognized? Why must we only consider ourselves important based on whether or not businesses market to us? Why should Latino/as be only considered as a large marketing group and not as individual in search of American opportunities? Why is it that our marginalized, queer experiences, dualism and ability to speak two languages used as a marketing scheme by Univision for large businesses?

Here’s what I have to say to America:

No, thank you. I recognized that you have taken me into consideration when marketing simply because the number of Latinos is growing. Value me because I am a citizen of the United States and not just a marketing group that you can exploit. Don’t see me and think how I can be of an asset to your business. Talk to me in Spanish because you want to get to know my culture and me. Understand my dualism as a construction of my queer identity and slowly learn to respect it. Come to terms with the reality that I am not going anywhere and that there is a need for Ethnic Studies courses, not only because our numbers high, but because even with low numbers there is a great need for Latino students to understand their history. Understand my ethnicity to be different than that of other Latinos. Latino’s are not all Mexican. Do not generalize, discriminate, or marginalize. Our numbers are growing; take us into consideration as part of what constitutes the American people, but not as just a marketing group.

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4 thoughts on “See What You Are Missing…

  1. You know what’s interesting. I started watching the video and couldn’t help but feel goose bumps all over. I felt important when they mentioned that we were 1 in every 6 people in the U.S.; I felt that this video was somewhat inspiring (the music played a pretty big role in this). But once they started using stereotypes and after the “but it’s not too late section” this was no longer and ‘inspiring’ video for me. I’m also tired of being seen as one of a big general Latino population. I’m not saying that Latinos should be separated but people should acknowledge that Latinos are very diverse and they should respect that. I know that Univision is trying to make our presence visible to the American culture especially now that we have reached the 50 million count but they could have done a better job at it. Instead of telling people to keep us in mind when they are making a new product they should educate people about ethnic studies and why it’s important to have them. As a Latina I will always be different, as a queer Latina I won’t be accepted in many communities but what I choose to do is embrace my queer being and seguir mi camino.

  2. Hey Esthefany,
    I’m really glad you decided to address this issue in your post. I am also really bothered by the idea that Latinos became a legitimate concern because of their “marketability” and their growing numbers. It makes me feel like people only care about Latinos when we now are seen as having some economic benefits.
    Unfortunately, I have had a lot of issues with Univision and other Latino geared programming recently. I, now as a college student am looking back at the things that I would watch on Saturday nights with my family. There was another Being Latino post where the author talked about how Sabado Gigante, a show I grew up watching my whole life, perpetuated machismo and the degradation of women. And we wonder why machismo persists as a stereotype of our culture and why it is still (unfortunately) an issue in the community today.
    http://beinglatino.wordpress.com/2011/02/05/sabado-de-antes/

    Because of things like this and along with what you presented in your blog post, I have really realized that even if something is geared towards Latinos, one can’t get excited about it just because it is “brown.” We have to be more critical of what we see as representations of ourselves and our culture in the media, even if it is Latino media.

  3. I thought your post was really interesting, Esthefany. Your critique of the video and the way that it mainly seems to be appealing to the sheer economic potential of the growing Latino population became very clear to me as I watched it. At one point, the video says, “I am the 15th largest consumer economy in the world” and there are money symbols in the background, which essentially reduces the multifaceted Latino population to its power as a consumer entity. I was also frustrated with the way this video deals with the idea of cultural hybridity. It says “my duality makes me more interesting” but then reduces this duality to distinct, stereotyped poles like “tamales and cheeseburgers” and “reggaeton and rock n’roll.” These are the most superficial markers of ethnicity and culture, limiting the much more complex idea of culture duality that we have seen in Anzaldua’s explorations of the borderlands identity and mestiza consciousness. Furthermore, this video assumes that all Latinos have a dual identity-which is implicitly saying that Latinos are foreign and not American unless they like “football” “rock n’roll” and “cheeseburgers.”

  4. I am a 2nd generation Puerto Rican. I am Puerto Rican, and I am American.
    I am not Futbol or football.
    I am not Reggeton or Tamales.
    I am not addicted to novelas.
    I don’t live the world cup or the super bowl.
    I wish the video had made me nod my head yes instead of make me shake my head no.

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