Why You’re Feeling Double The Love On Hispanic Valentine’s Day

“Te amo mi vida, te quiero amigo mío”. For Hispanic culture, Valentine’s Day is all about showing some love to everyone, not just your romantic better half.

Latinos aren’t shy when it comes to expressing feelings, and what seems to be a day devoted to romantic love becomes an opportunity to show affection to all the people we love: friends, family, co-workers and even acquaintances. But this notion goes beyond that stereotyped idea that Hispanics will only relate to campaigns that focus on passionate love.

In most Latin American countries, the notion of friendship is relevant on Valentine’s Day. Hallmark-like stores, flower shops, restaurants, cafés and other retail shops strive to offer variations in their communication with the objective to include heart-warming messages that speak to friendly relationships. In Mexico, for example, Valentine’s Day is also known as “El Día del Amor y la Amistad” (“Love and Friendship Day”).

“In Guatemala, el Día del Cariño, ‘the day of affection’, is much like Valentine’s Day in the U.S, only broader. Guatemalans exchange flowers, chocolates and cards, but the day is also about showing fondness for friends and colleagues” Deborah Bonello for Los Angeles Times

So seeing friends get together for lunch, even giving each other flowers or exchanging presents shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. And the fun begins when marketers tap into Hispanic Valentine’s Day Behaviors, much like Cricket Wireless did with this fun video on Facebook. In Spanish “Te quiero” is said between friends, even family, as a ‘soft’ “I love you” that shows genuine appreciation. “Te amo”, meanwhile, is used to reveal a much deeper feeling; the literal translation of “I love you.” Spanish uses different words to express degrees of love, and the best way to understand how Hispanic’s feel is by knowing these nuances.

And what does all of this mean to brands? A great opportunity to speak to Hispanics needs and relate to their behavior. So let’s start bringing “te quiero” into our brainstorming sessions!

As a multicultural advertising agency in Dallas, Texas, Dieste is always finding ways to speak to our brands’ multicultural audience. Be sure to subscribe to Provoke Weekly below to find out more.

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jorgelo@thehangar.cr