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Smithsonian Collects Hispanic Advertising History

Smithsonian Collects Hispanic Advertising History 1

WASHINGTON, April 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will add materials and advertising artifacts from AHAA: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing’s 2000 VOTO Campaign. The donation—made during the annual conference in Miami April 19—continues a collecting initiative established in 2015 to assist the museum in telling the story of Hispanic advertising history.

VOTO was a pro bono, non-partisan campaign designed to increase Latino voter registration and participation during the 2000 presidential election and to demonstrate the growing importance of the Hispanic market. It began with an invitation from then AHAA president, Al Aguilar, to all member agencies to submit concepts, storyboards and rough ideas to share at the annual conference. The firm Casanova Pendrill developed a print campaign and the broadcast spots. A second print campaign was developed by the firm Sanchez & Levitan. The VOTO campaign uses humor to make the point that only by voting can individuals make important decisions about government that otherwise would be made by others.

“In this presidential election year, the VOTO campaign reminds us that diversity and participation are key to understanding the American experience, and the tagline ‘If you don’t choose, someone else will do it for you’ is as fresh today as it was in 2000,” said Kathleen Franz, the museum’s business history curator.

The bilingual campaign ran in several local and national publications, including TV Guide en Español, the New York Daily News, the Miami Herald and People en Español. Several other companies and broadcasting corporations committed to backing the campaign with millions of dollars of pro bono airtime and production support. The campaign was broadcast through MTV, Telemundo, Univision and on radio and phone services were provided by AT&T. The campaign is credited with registering more than 1 million Hispanics to vote in 2000.

“The visionary goal and results of the VOTO campaign is an important historical milestone of AHAA,” said Aguilar. “The VOTO Hispanic voter registration and participation campaign is a landmark initiative that helped set the path of today’s growing political power and influence of Hispanics in America.”

In October 2015, AHAA helped facilitate the donation of objects and archives from six Hispanic owned and operated advertising agencies from across the United States to the museum.






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