If you caught this year’s Super Bowl, layered between mostly mediocre ads was a TV commercial from Coca Cola entitled, “It’s Beautiful,” sung in various languages.
When you think that White non-Hispanics will be the minority in this country by 2042, the spot gives us a peak at what will soon become a “minority-majority” population.
It also brings to mind not only the many different languages spoken in the U.S., but also the many different cultures and the topic of acculturation. Acculturation, unlike the assimilation that was apparent with the European immigration through Ellis Island, is a vital aspect of U.S. Latino that makes them different from Latinos at our nations of origin. While many may not be happy about it, the “melting pot” concept of assimilation is dead.
Latinos immigrating now into the U.S. begin to incorporate many of the ideals and value of U.S. cultures while maintaining ties to their Latino culture. Their children and their children may acculturate more toward mainstream U.S. culture, but their Latino culture will remain in their heart and thus influence their decision-making. It’s very common to see young Latinos listening to Katie Perry or Drake one minute, and switch to sing along to Prince Royce or Romeo Santos without missing a beat.
Acculturation is a luxury that Latinos today enjoy that their European counterparts did not. Why? Because, technology keeps us connected to our culture more than at any time, we come from geographically closer areas and not via a ship across the Atlantic, and our immigration is much more recent.
This is an important aspect for marketing in that we must ensure cultural connections and relevancy even in English. The message is of primary importance, the language it is delivered in is secondary.