This commercial features Oakland A’s outfielder, Yoenis Cespedes, a Hispanic immigrant who deactivated from Cuba in order to play in the MLB. As an A’s fan, I frequently watch the games and, as a result the commercials. This particular advertisement displays three Hispanic individuals: The A’s bullpen coach, Rick Rodriguez, Yoenis Cespedes and his translator Ariel Prieto, a former A’s pitcher and immigrant from Cuba. This advertisement is equally split between two languages English and Spanish. Cespedes is known for hitting homeruns (he is the most recent Home Run Derby winner). He uses his ability to hit homeruns as a bargaining tactic to have fireworks set off. Additionally, this advertisement is promoting firework night at the A’s coliseum after the completed game. This advertisement refutes some of Davila’s points in her article, “Don’t Panic I’m Hispanic.”
Davila discusses the ability media possess to act as a space, where U.S. based Hispanics can be active media participants (24). Through the use of this commercial, the Oakland A’s are targeting Hispanics in California, and specifically Hispanic baseball fans. In particular, the use of Cespedes, a recent immigrant enables Hispanic audience members to establish, “ethnic ties,” with him (30). This connection provides further incentive for Hispanics to find the Oakland A’s appealing, since they have a Hispanic player, and this advertisement is partially spoken in Spanish. Additionally, Cespedes’ Spanish is considered, “pure,” by Davila’s terms since he is a recent immigrant (35). This purity, provides a connection between the viewer and the producer, in this case the fans and the Oakland A’s. The A’s are effectively advertising Spanish culture (44).
However, this advertisement is one of the few that media produce to target Spanish-speaking groups of people in the U.S. Even though Latin America immigrants make up 11% of the population, only 1% of media is devoted to marketing to this particular audience. In turn, this advertisement also strives to target not only Spanish- speakers, but also English speakers. The use of two languages indicates that the A’s are not specifically advertising the Spanish speakers. This demonstrates Davila’s point that markets are becoming more uniform over time, and losing their individuality (53).
This advertisement is particularly interesting, because it is promoting firework night at the A’s games. Firework nights tend to be more expensive. Therefore, the fact that this advertisement is appealing for both English and Spanish speakers indicates that the A’s want more ticket buyers, in order to make a greater profit. It is questionable if the A’s actually want to address Hispanic audiences, or if they just want to make sure they have a large amount of consumers. Yet, another point that can be argued is that the A’s genuinely want to advertise to Hispanic audiences. In particular, since the commercial showcases one of their current Hispanic player, and a former Hispanic player, the commercial shows active support for the players by the A’s.
Additionally, in order to understand the advertisement, the audience has to possess some background knowledge. This background knowledge consists of understanding that Cespedes is from Cuba, or at least is a Hispanic immigrant, and that he is known for hitting homeruns. Both sides can be argued when viewing this advertisement: whether this advertisement is in search of profit, or genuinely trying to reach another fan base group. Overall, I believe this advertisement refutes Davila’s points of possessing ethnic ties, Hispanic purity and uniformity of advertising to Hispanic populations.