Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Is Music a Universal Language?


AT&T’s newest Spanish language campaign features Grammy Award-winning singer Natalia Jimenez. The commercial highlights AT&T’s high-speed internet and public hotspots by showing people enjoying a performance of her new song delivered through these portals.

According to the strategic planners, the insight behind the effort is that one of the key passions of Latinos is music. And, advertising in Spanish creates an instant connection with the target. (Baar, 2011)

But where does that leave the rest of us? Will we all need to brush up on our Spanish to appreciate the spot?

Baar, A. (2011, April 5). AT&T Enlists Jimenez in Hispanic Campaign. Retrieved April 6, 2011, from


  1. In my opinion of view, I think music is definitely an universal language. It doesn't matter whether we know the meaning of the word (lyric)or not. Once a teacher with whom I'm studying in the Upenn required me about a phenomenon, was that most asian love English songs but they don't virtually know the meaning of the lyric. It's very true! I answered.

    Therefore, in this case, if the music will reach the people who might love this song (melody). AT&T will reach the mass consumer instantly in the meantime. The point is, music is able to recall people in certain circumstance.

    Finally, I would like to give an example, a TV commercial of Olympus which was extremly successful in approximately 2008 in Asia because of the background music. After that, people talking about it all the time.

    Weijia Ling

  2. I think definitely, music is a Universal language. We like every kinds of music which is cool. If the real good song is English, Spanish, or even Japanese, listener don't care. In my opinion, it is important that the singer is Grammy Award-winner. Of course, AT&T think about the people who speak Spanish. But they have the target people who speak English, too.

    In Japan, we can hear a lot of English music as CM's music.

  3. Personally I think that this is a rather clever advertising idea. The number of Spanish speakers in the US is growing constantly, thus this is an enormous audience. Moreover, this isn't the ONLY ad that AT&T has running - all of the other ones are in English, thus they're not missing out on other Americans. Also, I think that tv is definitely the best medium for this kind of specific advertising: if I was flipping through a magazine and saw an ad completely in Spanish, even if I knew what the product was, in an otherwise all-English magazine, I would be really confused. However, if I came across the advertisement on television, I would most likely be interested enough to stop channel surfing and watch.

    Julia G.

  4. I completely agree, the music is an Universal Language. Either I speak spanish, I think people enjoy the music in any language no matter if they don't understand. If the song is good, people is going to accept it. Like a spanish speaker I have always seen commercials in english or in another language, and if the commercial is good, no matter the language, I will like it.

  5. I think the ad is affective because it uses the universality of music as a guise to say AT&T recognizes and supports Hispanic culture's pop music although I think it's key intention is saying that there is not just one type of Hispanic in the US but there is a varied and wide spread market that could benefit from connectivity.

  6. I think this is great. I think that even non-spanish speakers will get the point of the ad - even if they don't understand the lyrics of the music, it's still a good, catchy song which will grab their attention, and additionally, they get the visual of seeing the music being delivered seamlessly through AT&T's portals - you don't have to have a voiceover telling you what's happening to understand the concept. Music really is the "universal language", like someone said above - I've been in other countries & heard people who do not speak one bit of english singing along to English songs, and I know I have quite a few songs in my library which are in different languages - often it's more about the music and the feeling than the words.

    Anna P