The results of the focus group exercise suggested that there was a high level of correlation between the degree of acculturation the participant claimed based on her fluency in Spanish and English and the preferences she admitted to having in reference to particular print advertisements. The relevant features of each print advertisement and the division of the pairs are presented in Table 1.
Six female Mexican American subjects participated in one focus group study. Each participant was issued a booklet of six print advertisements that were divided into three pairs. Prior to issuing the booklets to the subjects, each individual was asked to identify whether she was fluent in English only, or in both Spanish and English. Each individual’s response is listed in Table 2.
After reviewing the discussion of the focus-group participants and evaluating the preferences expressed by each individual, an inferred correlation was found between the acculturation of the Mexican American female consumer and her preferences for products in response to advertisements. The participants’ summarized preferences are as follows:
- 50% of those participants who were fluent only in English preferred to see an Anglo model in the advertisement. Only 25% preferred to see a Hispanic model.
- 100% of the participants who were fluent in English only preferred the advertisement be printed in English.
- 100% of the participants who were fluent in English and Spanish preferred to see a Hispanic model in the advertisement.
- 50% of the participants who were fluent in English and Spanish preferred to have the advertisement printed in Spanish.
The results are presented in detail in Table 3.
These results suggest that highly acculturated Mexican American female consumers were more likely to prefer the English language and the presence of Anglo models. Those not as acculturated seemed to prefer the use of Hispanic models and either the exclusive or partial use of the Spanish language in the advertisements.
Important factors presented by individual participants during the focus group are as follows:
- Subject #1: She preferred Anglo models because they seemed to be more “versatile” in their appearance. Although she could decipher small bits of Spanish from some of the advertisements, she felt that the use of it rather than English was demeaning and assumed she was uneducated.
- Subject #2: She admitted to having no preference for the models’ ethnicities, even when presented with non-Anglo and non-Hispanic models.
- Subjects #3 and #6: Both preferred to see the use of Hispanic models in the advertisements because they felt most similar to them. Both preferred English to be used rather than Spanish, and Subject #3 stated that it was because she also felt the use of Spanish was demeaning and assumed she was uneducated.
- Subject #4: She stated that she felt no significant bond with Hispanic culture and preferred that the English language and Anglo models be used in advertisements.
- Subject #5: She revealed that her identity was rooted in her family’s Mexican ancestry and was delighted when both the Spanish language and Hispanic models were used in American advertisements.