ÍCONOS: Pulling the Heartstrings through Well-crafted Nostalgia

Curator's Note

As the economic prowess of Latinos in the United States continues to grow, it has become important to better represent this audience outside of limited and homogenous stereotypes.  Spanish programming Dish Latino’s use of nostalgia adds multidimensional understanding and cultural knowledge to their advertising strategy.

Earlier this year, Dish Latino released a Spanish advertisement starring Eugenio Derbez and an AI-created Chavo del Ocho.  El Chavo del Ocho was a character created by Mexican actor Roberto Gómez Bolaños.  The character made his debut in Mexican households in 1972 and ran until 1992.  Bolaños secured his spot as one of Latin America’s greatest comedians with this role.  Disseminated across the Americas, El Chavo became a staple in the childhoods of many Latinos.  One of the those Latinos is Eugenio Derbez.  From the early 1980s to today, Derbez has established himself as a beloved Mexican actor with recognizable characters such as Ludovico in La familia P. Luche

For bicultural and unassimilated US Latinos, the advertisement evokes nostalgia in its use of AI to bring El Chavo back to life.  As they comment on the many shows available on Dish Latino On-Demand, Eugenio celebrates the milestones experienced by Latino films, actors, and music.  Eugenio credits these successes to the legacy created by El Chavo before they both engage in one of El Chavo’s iconic phrases (Eso, eso, eso, eso, eso!). 

Here, Dish Latino effectively evokes a trifecta of their Latinidad and the audience they hope to target.  First, their Latino audience can speak Spanish fluently.  Second, they can recognize cultural icons in Spanish entertainment as well as understand their importance to the representations of Latinos.  Lastly, the brand incorporates this knowledge with evoked emotion and a tagline that centers that emotion as a selling point.  For the consumer that fits the parameters of the brand’s Latinidad, nostalgia becomes the product. 

Cultural competence allows Dish Latino to target a multigenerational audience.  Individuals who do not watch television can still use the service on their smartphones.  But most importantly, it is a service that is Latino … just like its viewers.


For a more in-depth study of this topic, please see the longer version of this article here.

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