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Lunchtime Briefing: Ads In Espanol

Frank Ahrens

Today, my Post colleague and bud Paul Farhi writes about the flack Chevy is taking for its "Our Country" Silverado ads, which feature historical footage of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, the New York memorial of the 9/11 attacks and so forth. (Here's a YouTube parody of the ad.)

But last night, I was watching the World Series and saw another Chevy truck ad: one that was a mix of English and Spanish. Chevy first aired English-Spanish ads two years ago during the World Series. Even though I don't speak Spanish--other than what I've picked up living in Washington, which everyone does--I was able to understand the ad.

You may also have noticed the Spanish-language ad for the NFL featuring former player Anthony Munoz and current Chiefs player Tony Gonzalez, as the league tips a hit to Hispanic Heritage Month.

The ads made me think of my late Mom. She was terrified that one morning she'd wake up and everyone but her would be speaking Spanish. I told her, Mom, that's not how it works. One day, you'll be surprised to hear yourself saying, "gracias." She never quite made it, but her son has.

Fascinating, how malleable the English language is. It absorbs like a roll of Brawny paper towels.

And, thanks to the mass media--Fox's broadcast of the World Series, for instance--one more way technology is changing us.

Today in The Post, check out Sony's apology for the Great Flaming Battery Recall and Yuki Noguchi's piece on Amazon's profit drop.

Also, in a show of corporate synergy, Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp is showing this year's season premiere of "The O.C.," which airs on NewsCorp's Fox network, on MySpace, which also is owned by NewsCorp, and on the Web sites of Fox's 24 TV stations.

The news here is that the Web showings will be one week before "The O.C." hits the airwaves on actual television.

(Why is it you always have to write "Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp?" Never just "NewsCorp?" No one ever writes "Dick Parsons's Time Warner" or "Bob Iger's Disney." Hmm.)

The move is a way for NewsCorp to drive MySpace users to Fox TV and to drive Fox TV viewers to MySpace.

It's also sop for the Fox local affiliate TV stations. Rightly so, local TV stations have been a little peeved at the big media companies's Internet strategies, such as ABC showing repeats of "Lost" online immediately after it airs on Wednesday night, because they fear it will suck viewers away from local TV.

So NewsCorp not only gives "The O.C." premiere to MySpace, it gives it to the local Fox affiliates to show on their Web site, as a way of making sure viewers still value local TV. Even if it's on the Internet.

P.S. Don't forget to keep adding movies to our Great Tech Movies list, a few postings below. We've got a good roster going.

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 25, 2006; 10:04 AM ET  | Category:  Frank Ahrens
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It is too bad the US has not adopted a national language. When my spanish speaking brethren come to the US and do not learn english it makes it even more difficult to integrate into society. They can live in their spanish speaking enclaves and do well but will never integrate into the larger US society. My parents learned english when they came to the US and insisted that their children be raised speaking english so that we had every chance to succeed as adults. My ability to speak, and write, two languages fluently has provided me with many great opportunities in my career.

Posted by: Juancho | October 26, 2006 8:41 AM

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