Say goodbye to those old-school telenovela story lines?
That’s possibly what will transpire, thanks to the release of the first “Latinas Storytelling Guide,” developed by the ANA/SeeHer in partnership with Telemundo and NBCUniversal.
The guide is focused on encouraging authentic and accurate portrayals of Hispanic women and girls in marketing, media, advertising and entertainment.
SeeHer is the ANA’s global movement “to increase accurate representation of women and girls in advertising and media.”
And, it is the group that put its stamp on the guide. “The first Latina-focused #WriteHerRight guide empowers brands and content creators to apply an intersectional lens and help Hispanic women see themselves – and all of their potential – accurately reflected in content.”
The guide, incorporating insights from SeeHer, NBCUniversal, and Telemundo, features key questions to illuminate the immense opportunity that lies in genuine representation of Latinas and encourages storytellers to address potential blind spots and unconscious biases, as well as language and cultural nuances. The #WriteHerRight guide builds on SeeHer’s longstanding efforts to improve representation for women of diverse backgrounds, seeking to both raise awareness of the complex storytelling needed across Latina characters and provide creative teams with thoughtful ways to reflect Hispanic women more accurately.
The 13-page Latina Characters guide was unveiled Tuesday in San Diego at the 2021 ANA Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference. In addition to providing creative guidance, the resource also highlights the importance of investing in Hispanic female talent at every level, including behind-the-camera, to ensure accurate and nuanced depictions of Latina characters.
“Latinas are integral to the fabric of the American story, so they have a right to be fully seen, heard, and reflected in the content we create and consume,” said Dr. Knatokie Ford, an Executive Advisor for SeeHer. “It is a tremendous disservice to exclude them or reduce them to tropes, stereotypes and caricatures. There is no singular Latina story–there are infinite stories. So, we should endeavor to paint more vivid pictures of Latinas to illustrate the fullness of who they are, where they have been, and even where they hope to be.”
“We’re thrilled to support the ANA in developing this very important tool,” said Mónica Gil, EVP and Chief Administrative and Marketing Officer for NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises. “Nearly 1 in 5 women in the U.S. are Latinas influencing a large part of the $1.9 trillion in Hispanic consumers’ purchasing power, so it is important for brands and content creators to connect with them authentically and accurately to fuel their businesses’ growth.”
“Alongside our partners at Telemundo, NBCUniversal is incredibly proud to support the ANA’s work in advancing such vital conversations around representation of Latina characters in advertising and entertainment,” said Laura Molen, President, Advertising Sales and Partnerships, NBCUniversal. “There is a true business imperative for creating genuine connections across all communities, and we support brands and storytellers who embrace their social responsibility and reflect the experiences of all consumers. Efforts like this guide are authentically bringing the force of brand power to the forefront and are celebrating the full range of Hispanic audiences.”
“P&G and its brands are deeply committed to powering progress for the Hispanic community every day and the content we develop and support must feature characters with whom Latinas can identify,” said Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, P&G and SeeHer Co-Chair. “We see a lot more diversity in ads and programs today, but we need to ensure that Latinas are accurately portrayed in a real, respectful and genuine way that truly reflects who they are.”
The Latina Characters guide poses questions to creative teams across two core categories, focusing on delineating between Latina characters that advance truthful representations and those that perpetuate harmful stereotypes. Questions in the guide are positioned to encourage critical assessment of the depth and nuance given to Latina characters, as well as the character’s honest relationship to cultural heritage, nationality, and other intersecting identities.
The Latina Characters guide was developed by ANA’s SeeHer team through an extensive and robust process, drawing insights from NBCUniversal and Telemundo executives, creators and storytellers and other media industry organizations to devise an in-depth series of thought-provoking questions to guide character creative development.
Asked who the intended audience was, a Telemundo spokesperson tells Hispanic Market Overview both screenwriters and copywriters can benefit from the guide.
“The audience is two-fold,” the representative said. “On the advertising/marketing side it is a mix of client-side marketers, multicultural marketing professionals, and industry execs that are especially focused on measuring ROI of multicultural plans, total market, multicultural millennials, etc. On the entertainment side, it is intended for writers, those involved in casting, and the like. In short, it is designed for those in decision-making roles that can bring authenticity to Latina characters on screens, or perhaps in a print ad or online ad.”