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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards


Winner in Earned Media


There are over 11 million child translators in the United States. This means that millions of non-English speaking adults are forced to rely on children, sometimes as young as five or six, to translate everything from healthcare to legal documents to the family’s finances. It’s a big burden for a little kid. 

U.S. Bank noticed this firsthand in their branches when they expanded into California in 2023, and were inspired to create Asistente Inteligente: the country’s first and only Spanish voice assistant for banking. Until now, there were no bilingual voice assistants for banking in the United States. With Asistente Inteligente, 42 million native Spanish speakers could now bank with their own voices and in their own language - without depending on others to translate. 

But to launch it, we didn’t just advertise the product. We wanted to celebrate the children and community who inspired it. So, we created Translators, a 20-minute documentary that told their story.

Strategy and Execution

We could have done the traditional :30 spot touting ourselves as the “first,” but in a category plagued by mistrust with an audience overlooked until now was not going to resonate. We wanted to connect with them in a way that reflected their lived experiences and made them feel seen. We made a short film unbranded documentary, Translators, telling the stories of three immigrant children (Densel - 11, Harye - 13 and Virginia - 16) who represent the more than 11 million children in the U.S. who are translating for their families and helping them navigate daily life. 

We related to the community. We debuted the film at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) to start the conversation around this shared experience of Translators (despite qualifying for other mainstream festivals at the time). This was to pay homage to this important community. Countless attendees approached us, exclaiming that Translators resonated with their personal upbringing and told their stories.

We secured exclusive interviews with CNN en Español and Al Dia journalists, who were translators for their families. These interviews, featuring director Rudy Valdez and the documentary's families, connected deeply with the LatinX community through top-tier outlets.

We educated beyond the community. We educated a broader audience on shared experience, as we prepared for its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival. Partnering with Leslie Grace, who resonates with both LatinX and broader audiences, provided an authentic connection, given her own experiences translating for her grandmother. We leveraged her voice in major outlets, including Variety and Refinery29 Somos, ensuring that each interview became a heartfelt exchange about shared experiences. Journalists interviewing Leslie were meticulously selected for their own backgrounds as translators.

The director and family members were featured on NYC local TV networks like CBS Mornings, NBC News Now, and CW 11 Morning Show, selected for their high Latino viewership. During Tribeca, we organized an event with the families, director, Leslie Grace, and selected journalists, hosting a panel discussion that attracted coverage from major outlets like The Atlantic, Time Magazine, and Latino USA.

We celebrated the community. U.S. Bank hosted community events in Los Angeles, another highly populated LatinX community where we partnered with John Leguizamo who also has translator experience. U.S. Bank received coverage on local LA networks such as KCAL and were featured as the reason behind the documentary. This was done within earned parameters only - unheard of from a broadcast perspective. HOLA! Newsweek en Espanol, Telemundo, AFP continued the local and national dialogue.

U.S. Bank hosted a screening in the families' hometown, Tampa, FL, sparking coverage in the local publications and broadcast stations.
In addition, we hosted screenings at local U.S. Bank branches and partnered with related non-profit organizations in the area. We also began to include sound booths at each of the screenings so others could share their translator stories. A micro-site hosted the film to drive additional reach and awareness. All creative was produced in English and Spanish.


Translators highlighted a topic that resonated in culture and connected with audiences of every ethnicity. Millions of people were talking about the most American story that had never been told.

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Video for Translators

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Weber Shandwick, McCann Detroit and Casanova//McCann, U.S. Bank