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tatiana perea (the writer)
tatiana perea (the writer)
Photo courtesy of Tatiana Perea
Career > Work

As A Latina Advertising Major, I’m Excited To Embrace My Culture In My Career

As we are once again commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month, I asked myself, “What specifically makes me proud to be Hispanic, Latina, Puerto Rican, and Colombian?”  Well, I love that my community is proud to be who we are and we aren’t afraid to speak freely about it; our heritage is something that we keep close to our hearts. Because we are this way, advertising trends reflect that the Hispanic community’s approach to marketing and advertising is different from other demographics within the United States — and as a Latina and advertising major, that excites me. 

In this new generation, I am grateful to be able to see these changes happening, since they will allow me to incorporate my culture into my future marketing career and expand into a new realm of advertising. As I am currently a Gen Zer studying Business Advertising at the University of South Florida, I’ve learned what marketing is and what it has transformed into, as people are now able to share, post, buy, or view anything they desire with the click of a button. But technology is not the only thing that is rapidly expanding — so has the population growth throughout the world, and Latinos are right in the center of the action.  

The Latino community, which makes up almost 19% of the U.S. population, is more prominent than ever as the most accounted-for in population growth and media consumption, mainly within the last decade. Many states in America like Florida, Texas, New York, New Jersey, and California have huge multicultural-majority populations that are becoming imperative for the new generation of businesses, making this community a missed opportunity for businesses who don’t target Latinos. 

I want to be able to incorporate my culture into my career.

Catching the attention of this audience can be difficult if done incorrectly. According to the Refuel Agency, Hispanic audiences tend to prioritize accurate reflections of their culture over Spanish-language words, want diversity, and tend to trust companies that support their same values. The overall outtake on marketing to Latinos that’s overlooked is that companies’ consistent actions to be inclusive, rather than empty words, is what gains brand loyalty among Latino customers. Businesses are starting to realize that their tactics are not doing enough, forcing them to take a closer look into their strategies to gain loyalty, respect, and a deeper connection with the community.

Take Ford, for example: Ford has been able to attract the Hispanic community by starting the “Somos Familia” campaign, where they highlighted the importance of HIspanic heritage and family that has aided them in increasing sales and brand affinity. Ford has also made headlines for their generous deeds to the community by donating $2 million to The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Latino in 2022 as they embarked on building a Young Ambassadors Program

 Coca-Cola got into the action as well by creating a Hispanic Leadership Business Resource Group that provides development, networking, community engagement opportunities, and contributes to the company’s pursuit of innovative business concepts among its Hispanic and Latinx workforce. This group introduced a Point-of-Sale Spanish Adaptation Tool in 2017, enabling bilingual employees to offer their interpretations of Coca-Cola taglines and phrases in various Spanish dialects. 

Another great example is Aflac, a well-trusted company that has been repeatedly recognized by LATINA Style Inc.’s “50 Best Companies for Latinas to Work for in the U.S.” list, as they support my community inside and outside the office. Latino employees not only work on the diversity council but also hold significant senior executive positions, like Catherine Hernandez-Blades, the former Chief ESG and Communications Officer of Aflac. 

These companies expressed their dedication to the Hispanic community, providing a sense of action rather than words towards a better future for the next generation of Latinos. Coca-Cola ensured that the messages retained their intended meaning, rather than getting lost in literal translation, and Aflac provides Latinos with respectable high-paying jobs. These steps, whether small or large, have a big impact on how the consumer looks at your company and tremendously strengthens the relationship of business to customer.

My goal once I graduate is to be part of something that allows me to center inclusivity.

As I am still learning the ways of advertising and marketing through my university and experiences, there are many things I am taking into account that I will focus on when I transition into my post-grad career. Even population growth rapidly increases, companies are still reducing Hispanic media budgets when times get tough or doing the bare minimum towards inclusivity. 

As a student who’s about to graduate this upcoming May, I realize that these issues are still prominent. I want to be able to incorporate my culture into my career. Even though companies like eBay will claim inclusivity by holding one-off campaigns, but won’t invest in the community by hiring Hispanics for decision-making executive roles, not just low-paying jobs. This is an opportunity to seize the investment of a large community that is growing almost as quickly as the internet itself.     

My goal once I graduate is to be part of something that allows me to center inclusivity and team building, working towards a more respected brand that has my same values. I want to see an increase in the budgeting for diversity and engagement with Latinos and other multicultural communities that is coming from a place of care and acceptance, which I believe will keep consumers loyal to the brand. I am grateful for the changes that are already being implemented, but I cannot wait until I too am included in helping work to make changes that incorporate my culture to my everyday life.

Tatiana Perea pronouns are She/Her/Hers. She is currently studying Business Advertising at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida standing as her chapters Vice President. Throughout college she discovered a love for writing and wants to combine it alongside a career in advertising post-grad. During her time with HC she will be focusing on exploring different genres and styles of writing allowing life to lead the way of her writing. Enjoy!