Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez is an icon of the highest order, still beloved by millions of fans across the world more than 20 years after an estranged friend murdered her in 1995. She is less remembered for having forever changed the Latino advertising market. But like her lasting influence on music and Latino culture, her status as one of the first Latino spokespeople for a major American brand—Coca-Cola—and her impact on how advertisers treated Latinos remain strong parts of her legacy.
Starting this week, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American history will permanently display artifacts that tell the story of how she shaped the course of Latino advertising. Part of the museum’s permanent exhibition “American Enterprise,” which documents the ever-shifting landscape of American business, the display features artifacts from a 1994 Coca-Cola campaign starring Selena and developed by Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar & Associates, which was at the time the most
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