The problem with General Market Agencies trying to develop a Hispanic practice or a department, is not in the general market people that they hire to support the Hispanic “dude” (or dudette) who will be the face and share insights, the problem they face is when they encounter the Horchata Effect at the moment of brainstorming.
It happened to me. This is how it goes:
“Hey Hispanic professional, who knows a lot about Hispanic Marketing, we have a client who wants to do Hispanic marketing and since our revenues are shrinking and our people are not reflecting the multicultural landscape that we live on, we would like you to join our team to “lead” our Hispanic Group”….
This is when the first moment of truth, should scare you to take the job…
“by the way you will be reporting to the white dude (dudette), who Habla Espanol… (kind of akward laugh inserted here), she went to school in Barcelona for a semester in Highschool and is dating one of the VP’s a Univision (of course we all know all the VP’s at Univision are anglos, but at least it gives our fictional leader at the GM agency street cred)”
So, at this point you finally think you’ll make change and unleash all your great culturally-attuned-not-based-on-stereotypes-awesome ideas… and boom!
Here is your team:
Planner, Creative & Account Persons, all gringitos (cool looking, but still not connected what-so-ever to the culture).
Your first brainstorm goes like this: (of course, assuming you all did the research and found a great insight to develop ideas)
“what about if we start with Agua de Horchata”….
“What is Jooorchada”?
After an hour and a half of explaining that you need to put rice in water, to then cinnamon, etc… and the entire process and history of the Horchata… you come to the conclusion that of course you need creatives that get the culture, that you need a planner that will not look into stereotypes, that the account person will actually let you have direct contact with the client and that you will not be able to do good work until you join a truly Hispanic Agency…
And that my friends… is the Horchata Effect….