April 20, 2017
A recent video making the rounds features a Mexican-American at work on a construction job responding to questions about the work ethic of Latinos vis-a-vis recent comments by Donald Trump. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Ram Truck Division, extolling virtues similar to those articulated by that construction worker, is launching a new advertising campaign for the Latino market — a demographic whose representation in the truck market is growing as fast as the U.S. Hispanic population.
The television effort, “Salt of the Earth,” via Houston-based independent Lopez Negrete Communications, aligns the brand with the “sweat Latino workers put into building a life for themselves and their families — the sweat that comes from hard work, endurance, perseverance and dedication,” per an agency statement on the effort.
Comprising three TV commercials, starting with an anthemic spot, the campaign says Ram vehicles are as hard-working as Latinos. The campaign also brings in composer Gustavo Santaolalla (“Brokeback Mountain,” “Babel”) to add a Latin acoustic guitar soundtrack. The ads show Latinos doing hard work in America, on farms, in construction, and manufacturing, with a single drop of sweat splashing in slow motion onto farm soil, as a key visual.
Fernando Osuna, CCO of Lopez Negrete, says that while the campaign is principally Hispanic directed, it is ultimately intended to be transcultural, and as valid for the general market as it is for the broad cultural swatch of U.S. Latino cultures. “It’s about a feeling. At the end we wanted to portray a multicultural target, hard-working people. Its about how everyday laborers go out and feed their families and get the job done. The feeling was more about how can we relate a hard-working truck with hard-working people.”
The 60-second anthem commercial debuted recently. Osuna says that while right now the media buy is in Spanish, and the spot is in that language, it may have an English version. In addition to the anthemic spot, there will be two more, one spotlighting the vehicle’s towing ability and another about fuel efficiency, “but without losing that emotion.”
The agency also created campaigns for FCA’s Dodge brand, featuring well-known Hispanic actor Danny Trejo, the heavy in films like Machete; and for the Chrysler brand, a campaign with actor and director Gael García Bernal, who is featured in ads for Chrysler 200.
Osuna says there will be more creative for Dodge featuring Trejo. He also says new work featuring the actor may have a digital extension, something people can be engaged with socially. The first spot posited Trejo as a sinister closer in what appears to be a nefarious deal, but turns out to be a car sale in a Dodge dealership.
“I think the most important thing with Chrysler is every time we present them with something with a celebrity, they say, ‘If you are going to do that it has to be right for brand; it has to make sense.’ And Danny Trejo really is a car lover.”
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As appeared in La Prensa Houston on March 22, 2017.