Pundits say that Americans now spend up to 60 hours a week engaging with media¹. In fact, with active and passive consumption (e.g., watching TV while surfing the web and/or reading tweets) it is actually possible to sit through more than 24 hours of linear content in a day.
“So much which is a pleasure to write is a pain in the neck to read.”
-Michael Frayn, playwright
The digital pie is growing fast as people increasingly consume content from screens instead of more traditional mediums. The ubiquity of smartphones and tablets lets us bring an immense world of communication, information—and distractions—almost anywhere we go. Plus, few would argue that real life is simply more complex and moving faster than it was just five short years ago.
Here’s something you may not have thought about: Spanish is different in different Spanish-speaking countries. Don’t assume that because Hispanics speak Spanish, they all speak the same Spanish. Everyday words can have such different meanings within each Hispanic cultural sub-segment that, in the extreme, one group may respond positively while another may do so negatively to the same word.
My former English teacher, Miss Thorne, would kill me if she read this, but the rules of grammar are not etched in stone.
Twenty-five years ago it was hard to move words around. If you wanted to publish anything you had to submit your work to a battery of editors, who hemmed and hawed over 1,000 other submissions before deciding whether yours was worthy enough.
As Robin Williams once said, “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” This sentiment is especially true in advertising. As any Creative Director will tell you: Every word matters when there is so little space and time to get a message across. And when advertising to Hispanics, one challenge is: Do you need original copywriting? Or is translating an effective option? What’s the difference? A copywriter writes copy. A translator translates words. Translating just the words may not be enough because it doesn’t always translate (pun intended) into good copy.
My wife bought me a rice cooker for Christmas. Just when I thought I couldn’t be more elated I saw this burst of genius written on the box:
People don’t read. They have short attention spans. Copy needs to be short. Really short.