‘Juan’ Gets the Job and the Girl

Moroch’s La Embajada Creates Latino TV Spots for McDonald’s
DALLAS–With his soulful brown eyes, large ears and Mexican heritage, it’s tempting to compare the star of McDonald’s new Spanish-language television commercials to a certain chihuahua.
But loveable, goofy “Juan,” the character developed by La Embajada, a new division of Dallas-based Moroch & Associates, goes beyond his canine counterpart.
“He portrays the American dream,” said Carlos Rivero, the creative head of La Embajada. “Hispanics relate to him because they’re all going through the same situation.”
That situation–working as a foreign national in the U.S.–is depicted in a charming manner as Juan bungles his way into meeting cute girls and gets his first job as a McDonald’s crew person.
The television spots now airing in three Texas cities and Sacramento, Calif., are the first creative work produced for McDonald’s under the auspices of La Embajada, a separate unit of Moroch that announced its launch last month. Tom Moroch, agency principal, said that the growth of Hispanic business in the region required a more dedicated approach.
“We didn’t [want to] just take general market advertising and do voice-overs,” he said. “We wanted to do work that reflects what the Hispanic consumer is thinking and looking for.”
La Embajada developed the ads after being approached by the Houston regional marketing department of McDonald’s Corp., which had previously used Moroch to develop its general market creative.
“It became obvious that one of the things we needed was a more relevant campaign,” said Rick Nance, regional marketing manager for McDonald’s Corp. In Houston, where the population is 24-25 percent Hispanic, Nance said the portion of his budget spent on Latino-targeted media “closely matches the demographics of the area.”
The character of Juan is based on Cantinflas, a Mexican comedian, said La Embajada’s Rivero. “His whole persona is that he really likes to work at McDonald’s and sees it as an opportunity to grow,” he said.
Nance said the market response to the effort has been positive: “It blends well with the national campaign [which uses the ‘Did somebody say McDonald’s?’ tagline]. Plus, it has that touch of the heart that McDonald’s is famous for.”