Precision Bilingual Marketing to Maximize Your ROI

When raising awareness across a diverse audience, the challenge is finding a way to hit the most eyeballs, while maximizing your investment. It gets trickier when you also need to adapt your message for another language or culture. 

Ecology Action of Santa Cruz came to us for a campaign to raise awareness about electric vehicles in low-income and economically disadvantaged, primarily LatinX, communities on the California Central Coast. The overall objective was to accelerate awareness of clean transportation affordability, prompt people to sign up for their Purchase Guidance program and increase EV ownership in these communities. We developed an integrated, digital, multi-channel campaign with a more surgical approach to maximize both the budget and the impact of the campaign.

Spanish-First Approach

A bilingual approach was core to our solution. We secured unique URLs for English (EVsforeveryone.org) and Spanish (EVsparatodos.org) which allowed us to target our messaging. This proved to be the right approach as the Spanish URL had 135% more visits than the English.

Even more importantly, our bilingual campaign started with a Spanish-first approach to messaging. We’ve found that just translating English to Spanish often means the message is lost in translation. To ensure our efforts would resonate in both languages, we included a native Spanish speaker in campaign concepting. We found that phrases common in English had to be tweaked a bit to remain effective. For example, in Spanish, the idea of driving a “clean” car is interpreted as a car that is washed, not one which is better for the environment. While this approach took a little more time and effort, the campaign was much more effective than it would have been if we had relied on simple translation.


Agility is the Name of the Game

The original campaign goals included target numbers for local and state rebate applications, in-person test drives, Purchase Guidance program sign-ups and actual vehicles purchased or leased. While the goals were straightforward, achieving effective results required a lot of pivoting. With continuing COVID restrictions, in-person events were not possible until the tail-end of the campaign. Additional challenges arose when state and local rebate opportunities were reduced and vehicle shortages meant dealers didn’t have EVs available to sell or lease to interested buyers.

Reading the Numbers Like a Story

In today’s data-driven world, it’s all about metrics. Marketers need to prove that campaigns are effective and rely on data to identify reach, determine which designs resonate the most, and more. Websites, digital ads and social media allow marketing teams to evaluate the numbers in real-time and make adjustments as needed for better user engagement and to adjust when circumstances change. In today’s crazy world, flexibility is key. 

Even with these hiccups, the campaign still exceeded the target goals for Purchase Guidance program sign-ups and community awareness via impressions on digital and social. Webinars took the place of in-person events for the first eight months of the campaign and resulted in a 40% conversion rate for attendees applying for the Purchase Guidance program.

The Waltz Creative Team has been a tremendous resource towards Ecology Action achieving its tactical and strategic ambitions with its EV Equity Program. Of particular note was our recent Ride and Drive event where we gained unique exposure to our target audience largely based on marketing assets created by the Waltz Creative Team.”
Sabrina Delk
EV Program and Events Specialist | Ecology Action

As in-person events resumed, digital campaign efforts switched gears to drive attendance for a Fall Ride and Drive event. The event was a success with 300+ visitors and 57 test drives that resulted in 60 EV purchases.

Even with unexpected challenges, the campaign delivered measurable results and a successful outcome. Even better, the momentum created by the campaign continues to fuel Ecology Action and partner organizations’ efforts to increase awareness, show the community that EVs are more affordable than they think and prompt residents to take action to investigate rebate options, purchase guidance opportunities and more.


Video produced by: Ecology Action and Let’s Green CA!


The team at Waltz is brilliant. With enthusiasm and skill, they took the lead on a complex creative project with a slew of stakeholders to navigate and an ambitious timeline to meet. Despite the challenges, Waltz delivered the project on-time and on-budget. Their team is super organized, very responsive and downright joyful to collaborate with. The client service and creative output at Waltz exceeded all my expectations. If you are looking for an agency to partner with for creative marketing support, I definitely recommend contacting the team at Waltz!
Sarah Seward
Creative Director | Ecology Action