La Sobremesa / The After-Dinner Conversation
Alex Duplan | VP, Creative Director of Multicultural
*an English language translation follows this story below

Cómo latino, Una de las tradiciones que más me gusta y que más valoro es la sobremesa. Es una de esas cosas que siempre he tratado de pasar a mi esposa y mis hijos que son orgullosamente americanos. Después de una rica comida o cena nos quedamos en la mesa para hablar. Hablar de cosas buenas, malas, graciosas, tristes, opiniones, puntos de vista, consejos, recuerdos, vivencias, anécdotas, experiencias, de la vida en general. Todo lo que llevamos dentro y queremos expresar lo hacemos en la sobremesa.

Recuerdo cuando era joven y vivía en México los sábados y domingos era tiempo para pasarlo con la familia, no sólo mis papás y mis hermanos, toda la familia, Abuelos, tíos, primos, novias y novios y ese amigo que formaba parte de nuestra familia. Comida en casa de los abuelos por lo general y todos nos presentábamos llevando alguna botana, una salsa, o algunas bebidas refrescantes y embriagantes. Las comidas terminaban tarde, casi en la cena y todo por la sobremesa. Esos momentos únicos donde te enterabas de cosas sobre tu familia que no sabías. O alguien daba alguna noticia en ese preciso momento cuando nadie lo espera. Así supe que mi hermana se casaba, o que mis primas eran gay, inclusive me acuerdo de que en una sobremesa le comuniqué a toda la familia que me mudaba a Estados Unidos a hacer publicidad para el mercado hispano. Así es la sobremesa, un ritual, un momento tan especial, que la comunicación fluye sin problemas y nos conecta de un modo emocional irrepetible y que se queda por mucho tiempo con nosotros.

Es así como creo que debería ser toda la comunicación con nuestros compañeros de trabajo, nuestros clientes y nuestros consumidores, estilo de una sobremesa. Además, en estos tiempos de confinamiento la sobremesa es perfecta.

En una sobremesa hablamos de todo y sin tapujos. No nos guardamos nada. En una sobremesa por ejemplo podríamos hablar con el cliente de Coca Cola y preguntarle porqué cree qué es una buena idea mostrar a Martin Scorsese y Jonah Hill texteandose en español, vaya en un perfecto español? Sabemos que no hablan español. El consumidor conoce a estos dos grandes personajes del entretenimiento y definitivamente no hablan español. Si la idea era conectar con el consumidor latino no era mejor invertir un poco más con unos personajes más relevantes para este mercado? Puede ser un buen tema de sobremesa.

También podríamos platicar con el CEO de Goya y preguntarle qué estaba pensando cuando mostró todo el apoyo al presidente Trump que se ha cansado de insultar y denigrar a los latinos de este país. Más allá del argumento de “free speech” el CEO perdió la brújula y se le olvidó que la mayoría de sus consumidores en este país son hispanos, indocumentados y que no están de acuerdo con que se les insulte y se les denigre con nuevas reformas y muros. Qué nos cuente cuanto pagó por que el presidente y su hija hicieran su post en SM mostrando su gusto por los productos Goya o si el speech que dió fue parte del pago. Que nos cuente por favor.

También habría que preguntarle al CEO de Burger King de dónde le salen esas fuerzas para apoyar y creer en la creatividad como movimiento de conexión emocional con los consumidores, y lograr que su marca sea el estándar para cualquier persona que se dedique al negocio de marketing. Fernando Machado ha logrado ser la envidia de la buena y seguro de la mala para muchos también, de cualquier CEO de una compañía tan globalizada como Burger king.

La sobremesa es esa iniciativa ancestral donde después de disfrutar una comida o cena que te da felicidad, se abre la persona para hablar, dialogar, amplificar cualquier tema que sea de interés por los sentados alrededor de la mesa.

Por eso, en mi caso, propongo que todos hagamos de la sobre mesa una tradición, una rutina que nos permita hablar de nuestras marcas, de nuestros clientes. Que nos permita dialogar y sacar ideas que aporten a nuestras marcas.

Que podamos amplificar que esta nueva America diversa, necesita que las marcas entiendan qué hay que involucrarse más allá del consumidor.

Si a alguien le interesa hacer una sobre mesa, avísenme y yo le entro encantado.

THE AFTER-DINNER CONVERSATION

As a Latino, one of the traditions I like and value the most is the sobremesa. While there’s no simple translation of the term into English, it can be loosely defined as the time when everyone stays seated after a meal and talks.

It is one of those things I have tried to pass on to my wife and children who are proudly American. After a delicious lunch or dinner, we continue to just sit around the table and have a conversation. We talk about everything: good, bad, funny or sad. We share opinions, points of view, advice, memories, experiences and anecdotes. Anything you want to express is on the table, literally.

I remember when I was young and lived in Mexico, Saturdays and Sundays were spent with the entire family. Not just my parents and brothers, but grandparents, uncles, cousins, girlfriends and boyfriends too. Even that good friend who came over enough that he was considered family. These days usually took place at our grandparents’ house, and everyone would always show up with something to share, from a tasty salsa to some refreshing and intoxicating drinks. And thanks to the sobremesa, these days were sure to go long into the night.

So many things were shared at the sobremesa. My sister told us she was getting married. My cousin came out as gay. Even my news that I was moving to the United States to work in advertising for the Hispanic market was shared during the sobremesa. It is truly a unique moment where communication connects us all in a lasting and emotional way.

As a marketing agency, this is how I think all our communication should be, from how we talk to our co-workers to our clients, even our consumers. Like at the sobremesa, we shouldn’t be afraid to speak plainly and openly, or even ask questions that may be uncomfortable, like asking Coca Cola’s CEO why he thinks it’s a good idea to show Martin Scorsese and Jonah Hill texting in a perfect Spanish. We know they don’t speak Spanish. The consumer knows they don’t speak Spanish. If the idea was to connect and resonate with a Latino consumer, would it not be better to invest a little more into more relevant characters?

With a sobremesa mindset, we could also talk to the CEO of Goya and ask him what he was thinking when he showed his support for President Trump, who has a history or insulting and denigrating Latinos in this country. Did the CEO forget a majority of his consumers in this country are Hispanic, undocumented and/or don’t appreciate being criminalized and targeted by new reforms and walls? It would also be a great time to ask him what price he paid (whether in dollars or dignity) for the president and his daughter to post Goya endorsements on their social media accounts.

We can ask these tough questions, but we can also ask Fernando Machado, the CEO of Burger King, where his strength comes from to support and believe in creativity as a movement, and how has making an emotional connection with consumers helped transform his brand into the standard for anyone dedicated to the marketing business. We could also ask him how it feels to be the envy of any CEO with a company as globalized as Burger King.

The sobremesa may be a Spanish tradition, but it is one I propose we expand past our homes, past our borders and into our businesses. Let’s create a space where everyone feels empowered to contribute to the dialogue, share their diverse thoughts and ideas and make our brands. and our world. stronger.

So let’s go grab a meal together, then let’s take that little extra time to talk.

Alex Duplan

Alex is a recognized multicultural marketing thought leader who directs the Elasticity Multicultural practice group from the agency’s Dallas-area offices.

This Mexico City native has built up two decades of experience with leading agencies, such as Ogilvy México (in Mexico City), Dieste (in Dallas) and Richards/Lerma (also in Dallas), and Alex has led integrated multicultural marketing initiatives for brands including Kraft Foods, Pepsi, Levi’s, Pizza Hut, HBO, Hershey’s, Avocados From Mexico, Jose Cuervo, Nissan, Bud Light, Budweiser Chelada, Duracell, Procter & Gamble, Gatorade, Mattel, Dr. Pepper and countless others.

Nominated in 2005 as best creative director in the U.S., his award-winning international work — which has garnered FIAPs, Clios, honors from the New York Festival and accolades from the London International Awards, to name just a few — stems from his breadth of experience across all aspects of multichannel marketing. With experience in developing campaigns that integrate digital strategy and social media, direct mail, activations, promotions, TV broadcast, radio, print and content creation, Alex knows more than just how to translate content to reach a multicultural audience; he knows how to decode it, making sure every nuance is translated well and authentically.

Check out some of Alex’s work here:

Social Cup 0909

MetroPCS

Levi’s

Creative, Culture, Data, Development, Media, News, PR, Social, Strategy | 11.12.2019
Brand Marketing + Reputation Management Firm Elasticity Enters Denver Market
Award-winning brand marketing and reputation management agency Elasticity today announced
Creative, Culture, Data, Media, News, PR, Social, Strategy | 04.27.2020
ELASTIC INSIGHTS: DENVER’S MOST ENGAGING BRANDS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Regional businesses including Chipotle, Denver Museum of Nature & Science,
Creative, Culture, Development, Media, News, PR, Social, Strategy | 10.19.2020
Boring Yet Meaningful Blog Post: Elasticity is Hiring a Senior Graphic Designer
The following job posting from Elasticity was NOT written by