By:Claudia VargasFear, worry and stress know no cultural borders in this global pandemic. In this incredibly challenging time, brands have a key role to play to help support consumers from all communities to navigate a sea of change. Hispanic reactions to COVID-19 on social media can offer insight for brands looking to bring some much-needed comfort to this important group. Some Hispanic consumers have jokingly mourned the death of “Rana” the frog. Injured Hispanic children learn the frog rhyme when they need comfort: “Sana, sana, colita de rana. Si no sanas hoy, sanarás mañana.” The translation, “heal, heal little frog tail. If you don’t heal today, you’ll heal tomorrow.” Think of it as a twist upon the old “kiss it and make it better.”
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Despite the regular application of gallows humor,Hispaniccommunitiesfeel the COVID-19 stress a bit more intensely than others. As a group, they are more likely (50%) than Americans as whole (34%) to see theCoronavirus as a serious threat to their health, finances and community, a new Pew Research Center reportshows.
Hispanicsarealsoconcerned aboutmissing vital information dueto the delay inlanguagetranslation. Thelifesavinginformationis sometimestranslatedasa general overview and is not verbatim from officialCOVID-19briefings.These fearsof being misinformed and unprepared,combined with larger families who often live together, has motivatedmany Hispanic Americansto stockpile food and supplies more than any other ethnicity.
There’s opportunity for brandstoaddress the Hispanic community’s concernsandoffer them real help, sympathyand relief fromtheir fears.
With financial turmoil on the horizon, brands can show they care by providingmeaningfulsupport to local Hispanic communities.This includes sharingSpanish-languageinformation about local organizationsofferingassistanceandprovidingcoupon codes and other discountsthatcan lighten the burden of feeding and caring formultifamily homes.
Demand for information in Spanish will only rise throughout this pandemic. Think of the many missed opportunities by not simply translatinginformationinto the second-mostspoken languagein theU.S. Brands must do their partsto share information in Spanish to help the communitiesacross the nationstay in the know. The appreciation for that consideration, respect and kindness will endure long after the quarantines and social distancing disappear.
Beyond just the frog, social chatter also suggests Hispanics use humor to share ways to keep their families healthy and provide each other tips to avoid getting sick. Brands themselves can use an empathetic and funny tone to get their messages out to the community, but they should not lose sight of the serious nature of the virus and its impact.
Hispanics continue to be heavier users of social networks than other groups.More than half of the groupuses WhatsApp to stay connected.AndHispanic audiencestend to bebrand loyalists,with75%talkingwith friends and family about positiveexperiencesthey have had with a brand. However, they can be just as vocal in spreadingdissatisfactionwith a brand– 65%of Hispanic Americansare not shyto discussnegative experiencesor interactions,according to a Mintel report on Hispanic attitudes towards advertising.So, striking the right tone and interaction is more important than ever.
Brands can use the right cues to convert Hispanics into brand advocates who spread positive messages.Being connectedto thecoreoftheHispanic culture, brands have the opportunity to show and help the community to stay connected virtually.
When searching for entertainment and information, the nation’s Hispanics aremost likely to watch digital video.AMintel studyon digital trendspublished in May 2019showedHispanics also over-index for household ownership of technology products often found in family rooms. And they add streaming media capabilities through smart TVs, streaming media players and UHD TVs.That means content created forconnectedfamilieswill resonate even more strongly now as the population practices social distancing and stays home.
As Americans, we all face the challenges the coronavirus presents while hoping we can return to normalcy as soon as possible. Brands thatcanunderstand the Hispanic community, its concerns and its behaviors during this crisis,andwhocan communicate effectively and empathetically,willendear themselves to the community and have amuchgreaterpositive impact.
Isn’t it amazing what a frogcan teachus?
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Claudia Vargas serves as a Director of Integrated Marketing bringing a wealth of knowledge in strategy and account management. With experience in paid media, brand ambassador programs, content development, multicultural campaigns and social media community management, Claudia leads several integrated projects for the agency connecting the dots to drive results for clients.