The recently televised NBA Finals that aired on ABC also featured a Spanish language AD for Ford Motor Company. The Ford AD for the Ford Escape in the Spanish language ran for 30 seconds and also featured English subtitles. English subtitles is nothing new for programs aired on American Networks. There have been movies with actors speaking in a foreign language with the English language version of the Actors words dubbed into the picture for decades. Who can forget the movies spoken in German about WW11 genre, or Italian movies in the Italian language featuring Sophia Loren. And of course there are the famous Karate movies spoken in Chinese and the off timing between the sound of the actors words and their mouths moving. So no big deal. We have seen English subtitles before.
But now a new type of foreign language programming is invading our English speaking networks and TV's, and I find it downright insulting, particularly since I am paying a premium price to watch TV these days. It is being said through the grapevine, it is a first for ABC (American Broadcast Company), an American Car Company (Ford Motor Company), and for the NBA (National Basketball Association).
So let's take a look at the who's and why's of this being a first. The motives behind the scene.
The Game: The NBA Finals featuring The Miami Heat, and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The location for the Heat, Miami Florida of course. Miami happens to have a large Spanish speaking population.
Let's look at Fords current financial statistics, and ABC's current ratings for some explanation of why they chose to involve themselves in airing a Spanish language AD in a predominately English speaking country.
Ford's current Financial statistics - courtesy of Forbes:
ABC Networks current viewer ratings - courtesy of USATODAY.Com and Nielsens:
A large part of the decision to take such a leap of faith stems from the brainstorms of the Marketing Departments at Ford Motor Company, involving - Matt Van Dyke - The Director of U.S. Communications at Ford, and Alvaro Cabal - Multicultural Communications Manager at Ford.
Bio's courtesy of:
So the economy has been in a downward trend, but Ford and ABC are two Company's still considered to be standing on a solid foundation. So what were they thinking when they decided to take a journey into uncharted territory? Normally reaching out with long out-stretched arms to welcome news profits is not out of the norm for any company in the business of making money. So let's look at the roles Matt Van Dyke and Alvaro Cabal played in this. A few brainstorming conferences were made. A few phone calls were made along with a few demographic projections made on the part of Ford and ABC. Ford and ABC then gets together in agreement along with the NBA to melt the hearts of an assumed audience into buying a new Ford Escape and becoming life long fans of ABC and NBA Basketball. I didn't buy it for a moment.
(Mons AD) - Ford F-150 for for sale. Cheap. Sold to the highest bidder - non negotiable. Runs great, but lacks company loyalty.