Investigating the Malinchism-Nationalism Paradox in Hispanic TV Advertising: An Abstract
We explore the coexistence of the malinchism-nationalism paradox within the TV advertising context. Generally, the malinchista concept refers to those who engage in anti-nationalist acts. The stereotype originates from La Malinche, a Mexican-Indian interpreter, to the Spaniard conqueror Hernan Cortes, whose preference for and support given to the conquerors in significant events during the conquest of Mexico (circa 1500) secured them the victory. Within the marketing arena, a malinchista is defined as a consumer exhibiting preference for imported products. We propose the use of malinchism instead of cosmopolitanism, considering that malinchism is embedded in a historical perspective, in a similar fashion than the nationalism construct.
Using semiotic analysis, we investigated the plots used in advertisements aired on Spanish language networks. The sampled advertisements were selected using five sampling criteria: (1) must be ads shown on Univision or Telemundo (two popular Hispanic television networks), (2) must promote a consumer product, (3) must have more than 50 views at the time of the download, (4) must be less than 3 min long (excluding short documentaries and infomercials), and (5) must include narrative plots that contain conceptual richness. Of the 89 advertisements collected, the 70 included in the final sample were required to meet the set criteria. Two independent coders who are Spanish/English bilinguals conducted the evaluation and interpretation of the advertisements. Each evaluator performed an analysis independently, and the findings were then brought together for comparative analysis.
The findings revealed the following plots: (1) malinchista upper middle class main plot with two subplots, (a) successful woman with bicultural appeal and (b) empowered woman, and (2) nationalist main plot with two subplots, (a) soccer cult and (b) family ritual. Consistent with the scant literature, we found Hispanic ads portray two contradictory historical tendencies. In particular, we concluded that Hispanics have a strong nationalist predisposition perpetuated by cultural rituals. Unlike previous work, the cosmopolitanism or preference for foreign goods among Hispanics was not very palpable. Indeed, our findings confirmed that despite high nationalist predisposition, preference for bicultural appeals is evident among Hispanic groups.