"Your Words Today" Campaign Promotes Hispanic Parental Engagement

According to a study conducted by the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute, Hispanics who have gone to college rank their parents as being most influential in their decision to continue their schooling. However, more than 65% of Hispanic parents do not have the knowledge to guide their children as they seek to apply and enroll in college.

This challenge is at the center of a campaign sponsored by the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and The Ad Council, with creative by the Grupo Gallegos ad agency. The first spot, “Julian” captures a voice-over conversation between a mother who wants her son to attend college, and her son who wants to skip college to get a job so he can buy “new stuff” like a phone and a car. The commercial focuses on the reasons mom and son each give to support their position. Here’s the spot:

The real emotional wallop comes as we see the son’s future unfold and change during the conversation; his economic future tied to each potential path. Most striking is the briefcase that turns into a small ice cooler and back again, signifying that the real choice at stake is between a white-collar career or a blue-collar job. These are visuals that any parent can relate to, regardless of ethnicity or economic status. The commercial’s closing reminder, “Their tomorrow depends on your words today,” puts the responsibility squarely on the parent’s shoulders.

This is an extremely powerful message, executed in a way that effectively hits an emotional nerve. And like I mentioned earlier, although it was created for an Hispanic audience, the message really speaks to parents of any race or ethnicity. It’s a really touching commercial that effectively speaks to parents.

The campaign is supported with a fantastic website (www.yourwordstoday.org), which provides a number of resources for parents including information on planning and paying for college.

Comments (4)

  1. the only message I saw was giving the impression that going to college (which isn’t for everyone) will get you a BIGGER car and more exspensive phone. If it’s targeted towards minorities why don’t they show what the REAL message should be…like someone in the “hood” with 5 kids or sitting in a jail cell. There’s nothing wrong with a middle class, hard working father who provides for his family. The commercial made it seem like that wasn’t good enough-which is why the white collared worker was buying his lunch kissing his wife good bye in a custom made kitchen, getting into his exspensive car leaving his half a million dollar house…yea good message…NOT

  2. Thanks for your observation. I agree that focusing on different outcomes (jail, living in “the hood”, etc.) would make an even stronger statement. And I also agree with you that there is nothing wrong with a middle class hard-working father who provides for his family (which describes my father and my childhood, which I believe was fantastic).

    I do believe the ad deals with parental desires for their children, and I don’t know many parents who wouldn’t want a better life for their child. For many Hispanic families, attending college is one way to accomplish this.

    I didn’t read into the commercial as a critique on blue-collar workers, but a celebration of parental influence on a child’s life.

  3. This commercial drives us crazy. My daughter pointed out a few obvious facts.

    1. There is an implied snobbery that a simpler life is somehow inferior and undesirable to a high-powered “doctor’s” life.
    2. The potential for accruing crushing debt in order to earn that white coat over years and years is very high. You might argue that agencies would help to fund the additional education — but think of the message to an impressionable audience who might then go into more exploitative personal debt if they didn’t happen to qualify for an agency loan.
    3. The long-term benefits of owning a less mortgaged and less costly but more affordable home and not being locked into huge payments for a showy paalce could make that “poor” family a lot wealthier in real terms than the overencumbered debt slaves.
    4. The “poor” man probably has a lot more time to spend with his family than the driven, white-coated “pro.”
    5. The blue collar man’s children might actually qualify for more and better financial aid than the so-called professional’s children.

    6. The subliminal messages made by the barred door and windows are actually very heavy-footed.

    This ad is quirky and its message is an unintended argument for the very opposite lifestyle.

  4. This commercial is driving me insane!! It airs every single commercial break and I simply can not take it anymore. I thought when the election ended it would finally cease playing, but that has turned out to most definitely not be the case and now there is no end in sight. I am on the verge of leaving the country for good just so that I don’t have to see it again, my bags are already packed!! Just the thought of how much money the actor is making on residuals alone makes me feel physically ill. Someone please help and make it stop!

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