There is an excellent post on Advertising Age’s site today about the seemingly random use of Spanish in some promotional materials for major brands. Rochelle Newman-Carrasco describes her experience receiving mailers and door hangers for Domino’s and Kotex, among others. The use of Spanish is mixed in with English- sometimes a direct translation, sometimes only a tagline or warning label is translated, but inconsistency is the constant factor. The provided door hanger for Domino’s is not only partially translated, but poorly translated. The message is clear: we put this together at the last minute. Someone told us we should do something, anything, in Spanish. This is our lame attempt to reach you people.
The line that Newman-Carrasco ends her piece with sums it all up well: Whether a consumer speaks Spanish or Swahili, he wants you to talk to him — not translate to him. Many agencies would do well to heed these words.