Ads in the Spanish language can be some of the most unique and amusing you will ever come across, especially if you're interested in learning Spanish. Today, we'll look at some of the more comical and strange Spanish-language ads from the last few decades.
From musical McDonald's commercials and sexy Burger King ad campaigns to cultural references, dancing bunnies, and talking chihuahuas, read on to learn more about advertising from Spain and Latin America.
Before we jump into our top picks for Spanish language adverts, we’ll briefly explain how to learn a language by engaging with TV and videos. Finally, we’ll explore how Spanish language learners can benefit specifically from watching ads.
Learning Spanish with TV and Videos
Engagement with Spanish TV and videos is known to be a fun and established way to learn the language. It improves your listening comprehension and vocabulary acquisition.
Learning is more fun with TV, and having fun is important for retaining new information. Immersing yourself in video content is a natural way to absorb the language and it is better than learning grammar and vocabulary in isolation from a textbook.
Experts at Lingopie rely on this learning method to teach 8 popular languages on their site.
Spanish Ads: 12 Hilarious and Strange Commercials
1. B&B - Christmas Jingle (Guatemala)
In this beloved Christmas commercial, the now famous voices of Arístidez Paz y Anabella Portilla sing a catchy song about the delicious sauces sold by B&B. Though this ad came out in 1964, it is still played and loved to this day by Guatemalans.
Despite the lyrics being mainly focused on condiments ("mayonesa, salsa inglesa, buen vinagre muy sabroso y un montón de ricas cosas más"), the song is synonymous with Christmas time in Guatemala.
2. Coca-Cola - Copa America (Argentina)
In this 2011 ad, an Argentinian football fan has to sit on the Brazil side with the away fans because he couldn't get a seat with his fellow Argentinians. When Argentina scores a goal, he fights every instinct in his body to celebrate.
Unable to contain himself he yells "gooooool!" but when the Brazil fans turn on him, he quickly corrects his slip up by turning "gol" ("goal") into "coooooooca-cola" and takes a coke from a man selling sodas. The Brazilians relax and nod their approval.
3. Babbel - Spanish Passion
This hilarious ad is from a series of advertisements made by Babbel, the language-learning app.
They created a short video for each of the languages they instruct, and this Spanish one leans into the cliche of the passionate Spanish woman.
A man who is learning Spanish takes out a beautiful Spanish woman who asks him to tell her more ("dime más") things he likes about her.
He uses his beginner's Spanish to woo her and each compliment gets a bigger reaction from her and a louder, more passionate "¡dime más!"
Watch this classic Babbel commercial here.
4.McDonald's - Lovin' El Musical (Spanish-Language TV, US)
In a bid to reach a more Hispanic audience, McDonald's released an ad in 2015 featuring Leslie Grace, the Dominican-American singer known as the "Princess of Bachata".
This Spanish-language ad shows the singer struggling to write a new song inside a McDonald's.
Her server tells her she just has to look around her ("solo tienes que mirar") to see how love inspires people.
The ad suddenly turns into a Broadway-Esque musical and everyone begins to dance and sing in unison about "a little lovin'" ("un poquito de amor").
5. Pepsi - Sofía Vergara (Latin America)
You know Sofía Vergara from Modern Family and more recently as a judge on America's Got Talent, but before she made it big in the US, the Colombian actress made her start in a Pepsi ad that played across Latin America.
In the ad, which was shot in 1989, when Vergara was just 17 years old, she is on a beach when she spots a Pepsi cart. Vergara tries to make her way to the cart but discovers the sand is too hot to walk on.
She begins to shed her personal effects, using them as stepping stones to cross the sand, until all she has left is the bikini she is wearing.
Vergara then makes a dash across the hot sand to get her hands on a delicious can of Pepsi.
6. Nike - Los 5 Magnificos (Spain)
In this visually striking ad, five of Spain's most famous footballers, Fernando Torres, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas, Carles Puyol, and Sergio Ramos, write all over their own bodies their flaws and shortcomings.
They are listening to the radio talk about Spain losing football matches and the frustrations of their fans.
This ad came out before Spain's 2008 Euros win and the country's change in fortunes. It is a slightly uncomfortable watch and very much has the feel of something made in the 2000s.
7. Burger King - Sofía Vergara (Spanish-Language TV, US)
On top of her long-standing relationship with Pepsi, Colombian actress Sofía Vergara also has a series of Burger King ads.
Much like the Pepsi ads, and much of her career, her beauty and appeal to men are the focal points of these commercials.
In one such commercial, Sofía is making a salad in a very sensual way. When she turns and asks "¿quién pidió una ensalada?" ("who ordered a salad?") there is a cluster of excited men all grappling for the salad.
Vergara also appears in a Burger King commercial about smoothies. In the video, a Burger King worker is showing her how to make a smoothie.
He tells her the fruit and yogurt mix together, to which Vergara replies "como si estuvieran hecho el uno para el otro" ("as if they were made for each other"). This vein of flirting through fruit continues.
Watch the Burger King salad advert here and the smoothie ad here.
8. Colgate - A Dormir
This toothpaste commercial makes the list purely because it is reminiscent of a fever dream. In the short video, a woman calls out "niños, a dormir" ("kids, to bed") and then a group of children bursts into song about the importance of brushing your teeth before bed.
The strange part is the man dancing behind them wearing a slightly terrifying giant bunny costume.
The whole video is overwhelmingly bright, cheery, and in-your-face, giving it the feeling of an old kid's TV show.
9. Comfort Fabric Softener - Softie
You've seen Paddington Bear, but have you ever met Softie, the bear who likes his clothes to be soft?
Well, in this Comfort fabric softener commercial, a woman makes the mistake of using a 2-in-1 detergent pod instead of using Comfort, and Softie is not amused!
The teddy bear dives into the woman's freshly-laundered clothes and breaks his arm on the hard clothing. An ambulance arrives and the paramedic berates the woman for using 2 in 1.
He says "tienes que usar siempre Comfort" ("you must always use Comfort").
10. Taco Bell - Yo Quiero Taco Bell (Spanish-Language TV, US)
Perhaps in an attempt to sell Taco Bell as an authentic Mexican restaurant, or else to appeal to Spanish-speaking Americans, the fast food chain released this commercial featuring a Chihuahua that can speak.
Traditional Mexican music is playing as the dog runs through the streets, eagerly smelling something out.
There is a female Chihuahua that we believe he's after, but when he runs past her, we realize she's not the object of his desire. He approaches a man holding a taco and says "yo quiero Taco Bell" ("I want Taco Bell").
11. Ikea - Disconnect to Reconnect (Spain)
This is one of the more emotional TV commercials on the list. Ikea's Christmas 2018 ad shows different Spanish families competing in a quiz.
Each person is asked personal questions about other members of their family and when they cannot answer, they must leave the table.
Eventually, everyone has to leave the table. The family members then realize the importance of talking to one another and putting mobile phones away.
In this ad, Ikea decided not to advertise its specific products, but instead to create a campaign around the company values of family, togetherness, and community.
The internet might last forever, but your family will not. So, take advantage of having them with you today.
12. M&M's - William Levy (Spanish-Language TV, US)
William Levy, an American-Cuban actor, and model, features in this silly M&M's advert. He is on a date with an M&M and tells her "hoy te ves deliciosa" ("you look delicious today").
The M&M then gets a little hurt because she thinks he only likes her because she is made of chocolate.
When the couple agrees that Levy also likes her brain - which is also made of chocolate - they laugh it off and enjoy their evening.
How Learners Can Benefit from Watching Spanish TV Commercials
There are many benefits that learners can gain from watching Spanish TV commercials. For one, commercials can be a great way to learn about new products and services.
Moreover, they can help you learn about the culture and values of Spanish-speaking countries. When Spanish music or customs are featured in ads, they become a great learning tool for people from other cultures.
Spanish learners can gain a lot of insight into the Spanish language from video ads as well. Advertisements often feature slang and colloquialisms, and image ads with slogans sometimes use puns.
Posters and flyers can benefit your reading skills, while video and radio commercials can be a great way to improve your listening skills and vocabulary. Words are often repeated in ads for emphasis. They are written to be catchy and easy to follow, making them accessible to learners.
If you want to see more Spanish ads, you can change your language preference on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and any other social media platform you use. Your feed ads will then switch to your preferred language.
FAQs: Spanish Commercials
What is the most famous Spanish ad?
One Spanish-language ad that has truly resonated with the Spanish public in recent years was the 2015 Spanish Christmas Lottery advert.
The Spanish Christmas Lottery, known as "el Gordo", is a huge deal in Spain.
This moving advert competed with the John Lewis man on the moon Christmas ad for most moving and memorable that year.
Should I watch Spanish TV commercials with Spanish subtitles?
Yes, it is a good idea to watch Spanish adverts with Spanish subtitles.
When you can hear the actors speaking Spanish and follow along with the words on the screen, it is easier to follow the dialogue and discern the meaning of the ads.
Work on your listening and reading comprehension simultaneously with Spanish ads and subtitles.
Why am I getting Spanish ads?
When a company advertises on the Microsoft Audience Network, it can choose who will see its ads.
The Audience Network Planner now supports video ads, so companies can target video ads to a specific audience.
If you fit the profile of their target audience, you may be being targeted by ad campaigns. This generally occurs with Spanish ads when a Microsoft user self-identifies as a Spanish speaker.
Can Ads from Spanish ad groups play in the US?
Advertisers can now serve text ads from Spanish ad groups in the U.S. on all devices and publishers, according to Microsoft Advertising.
This means there is more opportunity than ever to learn Spanish from online resources, including advertising.
Summing Up: Hilarious and Strange Spanish Commercials
No matter what country you're in, with the magic of YouTube, everyone has access to at least some Spanish TV commercials. We have listed 12 here, but there are many more out there if you've enjoyed these!
Related: Learn Slang Words and Phrases in Spanish
Learners can benefit from watching Spanish-language TV and videos, as they provide natural exposure to language and culture. Adverts specifically are useful tools as they are engaging, use wordplay, and are written to be accessible.
So if you're looking for a good laugh or an interesting insight into the Spanish language and culture, take a look at some of these hilarious and strange ads in the Spanish language!Don't forget to check out Lingopie as well for some quality Spanish TV content.