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AHAA to Contribute to Smithsonian’s Advertising History Collections

Leading Hispanic Organization to Host Fall Event for its 20th Anniversary

Fairfax, VA, May 7, 2015 – Today, AHAA: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing announced that it will donate the Sara Sunshine archives to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History where they will become part of the nationally recognized advertising collections held by the museum’s Archives Center. The Sara Sunshine archives feature advertising print, audio and visuals from the 1960s to 1990s and include artifacts from Ms. Sunshine’s tenure at Spanish Advertising and Marketing Services (SAMS), the first recognized U.S. Hispanic agency founded in 1962, and Siboney Advertising. Among the major advertisers showcased in the Sara Sunshine archives are companies such as Colgate-Palmolive, KimberlyClark, Pepsi-Cola and Polaroid.

AHAA is the only national trade organization for the Hispanic marketing, communications and media industry. Since its founding in 1996, AHAA has championed the Hispanic Market in corporate boardrooms, advocated for increased investment in multicultural marketing strategies, and led the industry in defining Total Market strategy. The association has grown to represent more than 45,000 marketing, research and media executives who possess trusted Hispanic expertise.

“On the cusp of AHAA’s 20th anniversary, the Hispanic marketing industry has undergone significant changes and now in many cases the Hispanic consumer is at the forefront of corporate advertising strategy,” said AHAA Executive Director, Horacio Gavilan. “We are honored to find a home in our 
nation’s museum where this archive can be studied and showcased to show the origins of our proud industry and honor those luminaries who were the architects of change and development. The entire industry looks forward to joining AHAA to celebrate these achievements with a fall event.”

This collection will join artifacts from fellow AHAA pioneers Lionel Sosa, Ernest Bromley and Adolfo (Al) Aguilar, which include agency business records, public service announcements, awards and other printed materials and video landmark campaigns developed for companies such as American Airlines, Burger King, Coca-Cola, Kroger, Bud Light and Western Union. 

“The National Museum of American History explores the richness and complexity of American history and helps people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more humane future,” said AHAA Chair Aldo Quevedo. “That’s why it is so significant that the Hispanic advertising industry is being honored as an important part of marketing history, which has influenced the trends
and pop culture of today.”

The National Museum of American History is opening its first-ever exhibition on American business, 
“American Enterprise” on July 1. A section of the exhibition explores branding and its role in engaging consumers from the 1700s to the present. “American Enterprise” places a special emphasis on the consumer-era, between 1940s and 1970s which is also the time period when television became a big business and changed the world of advertising and marketing. 

American Enterprise chronicles the tumultuous interaction of capitalism and democracy that resulted in the continuous remaking of American business – and American life. Visitors will be immersed in the dramatic arc of labor, power, wealth, success and failure in America in an 8,000-square-foot gallery focused on the role of business and innovation from the mid-1700s to the present. The exhibition traces the country’s development from a small, dependent agricultural nation to one of the world’s most vibrant economies. 


An immigrant from Cuba, in 1962 Ms. Sunshine, working in conjunction with Luis Diaz-Albertini, cofounded SAMS the first U.S. full service agency to focus on the Hispanic market. She then collaborated with Alex Berger and Gary McBride to establish the New York office of Siboney Advertising before joining the Bravo Group. A highly sought-after speaker at industry events, Ms. Sunshine has also been the recipient of many industry awards including the first CLIO ever awarded for Hispanic advertising.

For more information on the National Museum of American History, please visit http://americanhistory.si.edu.