Latino Imagineers Changing Face of TV Advertising

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3D animation studio transcends misleading cultural generalities in Hispanic TV commercials.

Cilantro Jan 08 no cap

Hispanic is much more than a language, it's a culture. You can be very Hispanic in your culture and not know any Spanish. Corporations can speak to these people in English and still miss the target, because they're not hitting the mark culturally.

A 3D animation studio has pledged to help mainstream media and corporations connect with the prosperous Hispanic community. Cilantro Animation Studios, a harmonious mix of Pablo Picasso and Bill Gates types, was founded when its leaders saw a social and financial need to correct cultural misunderstandings in TV advertising.

Cilantro executives hope to satisfy a deep and growing hunger for acculturated Latino entertainment. To meet this need they are developing TV advertising, TV programs, and movies that expand on the popular telenovelas, and improve on English-language content that is often poorly translated into Spanish.

"The Spanish market has been lumped into a big bucket, and that doesn't serve the market properly. Who's your audience, what is their age, what are they consuming, what are they watching, what technology are they using, where do they come from historically? If you don't know that, you won't be able to stay connected to your customers and your audience and grow your business with," says Salvatore Cavalieri, president and CEO of Cilantro Animation Studios in Boca Raton, Florida.

Cavalieri and co-founders Katty Arzola, senior vice president of marketing and public relations, and Francisco Sinta, vice president of sales and strategic alliances, all bring impressive resumes to the enterprise. Their combined experience includes award-winning stints in marketing, real estate, sales, animated presentations, public speaking and engineering. And they share the belief that corporations often fail to tap the trillion dollar Hispanic economy for one reason: false assumptions.

It is incorrect to assume that all Hispanics have roots in the Mexican culture. In fact, Latinos hail from many nations -- Mexico, Cuba, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, and many more -- with distinctly different customs and sensitivities. That's why cultural generalizations won't work when making Hispanic TV commercials.

Arzola says reaching Hispanics with 3D animation is difficult because of the different levels of acculturation. "Hispanic is much more than a language, it's a culture. You can be very Hispanic in your culture and not know any Spanish. Corporations can speak to these people in English and still miss the target, because they're not hitting the mark culturally."

The Cilantro founders say they can help correct the problem in TV advertising because they all hail from different Latino nations - Cavalieri was born in Venezuela; Sinta, Mexico; Arzola, Peru - yet each has been educated in the United States. And the rest of Cilantro's staff members represent a wide range of educational backgrounds and Latino-American cultures.

Cavalieri's vision for Cilantro Animation is greatly influenced by Walt Disney and his imagineers. As a boy Cavalieri was hypnotized by the Disney World characters and inspired to create his own world of 3D animation. But with one big difference: He would people his stories with walking, talking representatives of the diverse Hispanic-American community.

Today, Cilantro Animation Studios uses high-tech software and motion capture technologies to create unique 3D animated characters and concepts for the entertainment and advertising industries. The Cilantro team has also created a proprietary FTP file exchange application -- the CyberLoader -- that can upload and download up to 50GB, ending e-mail limitations. These advancements make it possible for the Cilantro staff to create TV advertising, movies and television programs that are specifically targeted to the appetites of the U.S. Hispanic audience.

Contact:
Salvatore Cavalieri
Cilantro Animation Studios
scavalieri @ cilantroanimation.com
Boca Raton, Florida 33432
Phone/Fax (866)741-6075    
http://www.cilantroanimation.com/

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HEATHER METCALFE

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