Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Making History And Breaking Into The Advertising World With A Focus On Hispanics

Sosa&AssociatesAmerican Enterprise, the exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, is featuring the accomplishments of the firm Sosa, Bromley Aguilar & Associates as the top-billing and groundbreaking Hispanic-focused advertising agency in the country from the 1980s and 1990s. Celebrating pioneers in industry and the country’s transformation to the world’s leading economic power, the exhibit relates the story of American evolution, the transformation of an agricultural nation into a global market powerhouse.

Al Aguilar set out to be to the “Hispanic David Ogilvy” as a young man, a reference to the eminent public relations icon and father of modern advertising. Lionel Sosa, the creative mind of the group, cut his advertising chops in New York City and founded the firm Ed Yardang & Associates. An early and key victory for what would soon be known as Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar & Associates was the work Sosa, who would later head up the creative side of the business, did for then-US Senator John Tower of Texas. Senator Tower, facing a difficult and uphill battle for reelection, enlisted Sosa to create both Spanish and English-language ads for the campaign and ended up winning thanks to the support from the Hispanic community.

Soon after, The Wall Street Journal ran a piece profiling the advertising work Sosa did for the campaign. Others noticed. Before long large companies came seeking advice from Sosa on how to make inroads in the emerging Hispanic market. “I told my partners this is where the future is” he said. “They weren’t interested in doing that.” Sosa soon sold his stake in the company and founded Sosa & Associates in San Antonio.

Ernest Bromley, an academic with innovative ideas on how to transform the industry, later joined the firm as a researcher and ran the operations side of the firm with Aguilar heading up marketing.

The venture allowed the team to reach the Hispanic community due to their experiences in the Hispanic community in America. The firm was well positioned to speak to the realities experienced by Hispanics but also help clients see Hispanics not just a minority group but one with real purchasing power.

On a macro level, this exhibit may tell the story of a bygone social dynamic, one that sheds light on the importance of diverse and deliberate outreach for lasting success. But upon closer inspection, the story reveals an increasingly relevant point of engaging with the Latino community for success on any platform. As the election season ramps up, this could not be a more telling point.

Check out the Smithsonian exhibit, American Enterprise, from Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

San Antonio Magazine