Walmart and Target recently started airing Hispanic ads developed from the ground up rather than adapting a mainstream market idea into Spanish. Both Hispanic ads express unique insights about what it means to be a U.S. Hispanic. Target focuses on Spanish words that have no English translation and Walmart on celebrating that Hispanics come to the U.S. to live a better life.

I found out about Target’s #SinTraducción (“Does Not Translate”) video ads [links to ads follow] Arrullo and Sobremesa after a client asked why Target was advertising in Spanish since most Hispanics are either bilingual or English dominant. Soon thereafter one of Diaz & Co.’s extended team members mentioned seeing the Walmart ad, Momentos de la Vida (“Moments of Life”), on Hulu Plus. She told me that the ad caught her attention because she felt that it truly reflected who we are as Hispanics.

So, which retailer did a better job tapping Hispanic insights to build their brand? Below are a few things that I considered when evaluating these ads, keeping in mind that each retailer has to express the insight in a way that matches their brand persona—Target with a focus on design aesthetic and catchy tunes; Walmart with a focus on family and inspiring real-life vignettes.

1. Idea Execution. Walmart’s message was pretty clear to me from the get-go. Their spot portrayed the usual reflections and tensions that some of us go through on why we are “here” and not “there.” Conversely, I did not get Target’s idea. Although I could relate to mom playing a lullaby in Spanish for her baby to fall asleep or the experience of an extended family dinner gathering, it did not touch my heart as strongly. Once I saw their social media posts and realized it was all about the non-translatable words, I completely connected to the concept and thought it was so much cooler.

2. Brand Promise. Closely related to the clarity of the idea execution is whether the ad paid off what each retailer would provide me if I shopped there. Again, Walmart won here because both my associate and I agreed that we’re here for a better life, which is what Walmart offers. If Target’s video ad had been more like their social media, it would have better paid off self-expression through beautifully designed products bought at Target. With that said, I am a Target shopper—primarily because there have been no Walmart stores near me, but also because I have bought into the “cheap chic” idea that they have consistently delivered over time across customers touch points.

3. ahorita Viral Potential. Target is clearly the winner here. Coming up with words without translation and images that go with them is very easy for any consumer to do. And organic to bloggers too, which Target used to amplify its message. I did not see a social extension of Walmart’s idea, but if there was one, it might require someone to more deeply reflect to engage with it. Unless there was a #ViveMejor (“Live Better”) hashtag that people used to share what they have achieved because they moved to the U.S. (like getting an education, which is shown in the video ad).

4. Relevance Across Hispanic Generations. Target’s insight is also stronger at appealing to a broader segment of Hispanics because third or fourth generation Hispanics will use or remember certain words in Spanish even if they don’t fully speak the language. Walmart’s story is primarily relatable to immigrants or their children who are going through the experience of making sense of reasons why they or their parents moved to the U.S.

5. Inclusion/Crossover Potential. If Walmart created an English language version of the ad to run on mainstream media, everyone in the audience will understand the idea of making hard choices in pursuit of a better life (although some viewers may not agree on the means by which Hispanics are doing so, but that’s a different problem). Target’s video execution with the music in Spanish is not relevant to non-Hispanics. If Target’s ads were more like their social media posts which explain the meaning of unique words, they would be understood by anyone.

So, who did it best? Both. They have each taken the time to uncover the insights and create Hispanic ads to engage Hispanics in-culture and not just through a Spanish language version of a mainstream idea. Which brings me back to my client’s question, “why go through all this trouble if most Hispanics understand English?” The answer is simple: to differentiate the brand. Yes, you can reach us in English speaking to the part of us who is just like anyone else. But the emotional connection that builds a deeper level of brand trust only happens when you speak to our inner core—as savvy people who mix two cultures and two languages to make the most out of life.

Who do you think delivered the best ad for Hispanics—Walmart or Target?