Inspiration Central

Wendy’s Gives W Cheeseburger an F, Pulls Plug on Promotion

Midtier Burger Cannibalized Sales of Pricier Items

Wendy’s is no longer going to promote its W cheeseburger nationally.

The W, introduced late last year, was intended to be a midtier burger (originally $2.99 and later raised to $3.19) that would boost profit and sales, priced between the 99-cent menu and the more premium Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy burger. Stephen Hare, Wendy’s chief financial officer, said during its first-quarter conference call Tuesday that the W burger had not achieved the desired results.

The W was meant to get customers who use the 99-cent menu to trade up, but Wendy’s saw the opposite effect, with customers who typically bought the more expensive burgers trading down.

Wendy’s is no longer going to promote its W cheeseburger nationally.

The W, introduced late last year, was intended to be a midtier burger (originally $2.99 and later raised to $3.19) that would boost profit and sales, priced between the 99-cent menu and the more premium Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy burger. Stephen Hare, Wendy’s chief financial officer, said during its first-quarter conference call Tuesday that the W burger had not achieved the desired results.

The W was meant to get customers who use the 99-cent menu to trade up, but Wendy’s saw the opposite effect, with customers who typically bought the more expensive burgers trading down.

Sales of Dave's Hot n' Juicy (above) were hurt by the W.

“The positioning of ‘W’ clearly was not where it needed to be,” Mr. Hare said. “As a result, we will not promote the ‘W’ again nationally.
“In retrospect the ‘W’ cheeseburger in December started to show signs of diluting our marketing message and cannibalized some of the success of Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy,” Mr. Hare said. “Still, we were hopeful that our February promotion of [Hot 'N Juicy] would help us regain our momentum, but unusually intense competitive couponing and discounting negatively impacted our sales growth,” he added. Commodity costs, particularly for fresh beef, also affected the chain.Last year, Wendy’s passed Burger King to become the No. 2 burger chain in the U.S. by sales. But first-quarter sales disappointed the company and Wall Street. Although it was the fourth consecutive quarter of positive sales, North American same-store sales were up less than 1%. Comparatively, McDonald’s U.S. same-store sales were up 8.9% in the period.

The chain is in what it called a “transition year,” part of a turnaround effort that includes modernizing restaurants, introducing new menu items and positioning the brand as better than its fast-food competition and on par with fast-casual chains. Wendy’s is also slated to introduce breakfast. It is testing it in select markets but has not provided details on a national rollout.

Last month Wendy’s rolled out its new campaign, which carries the tagline “Now that’s better” and features two spokeswomen: the real Wendy Thomas, who promotes the brand, and another redhead, who focuses on product promotion.

“Our marketing messages must improve in impact and relevancy,” said President-CEO Emil Brolick. “We know we can’t out-shout the competition, so our strategy is not to attempt to play the same game better, it’s to play a completely different game.” The new campaign is an important step toward achieving that and “smartly challenges consumer food choices and promotes the benefits of choosing Wendy’s,” he added.

As for the rest of 2012, “we will continue to leverage the quality positioning in our brand with new innovative twists on our heritage products and return to a few seasonal favorites,” said Mr. Brolick. “We have seen that today’s consumer is accessing price value in multiple ways and more frequently.” He said that the company had recently introduced a “new layer of consumer engagement with a direct-mail coupon strategy designed to reinforce Wendy’s brand promise message.”

May 15, 2012   No Comments

Need Research on Generation Y? There’s a Film for That


NBCUNIVERSAL is forming a unit called Curve Films, but there is no intention for it to compete with siblings at the company like Universal Pictures or Universal Television.

Nikol is among several people 18 to 34 years old, known as millennials, who are interviewed and featured in cinematic storytelling by Curve Films, a unit of NBCUniversal.

Unlike those units, whose output is meant for millions of moviegoers and video viewers, Curve Films has a far more defined target audience: Madison Avenue.

Curve is the brainchild of the NBCUniversal integrated media group, which helps sales executives at NBCUniversal peddle commercial time and ad space on their myriad broadcast, cable and online properties that extend from Bravo and iVillage to NBC and the Weather Channel.

The goal of Curve Films — the name is supposed to evoke the phrase “Ahead of the curve” — is to find new, more interesting ways to deliver materials like research data to advertising and media agencies and marketers. So rather than publish a white paper on trends in consumer culture, Curve Films produced a handsome, 108-page book, titled “The Curve,” that would not look out of place on an office coffee table.

And rather than release a report on the estimated 76 million millennials in the United States — also known as Generation Y, and roughly defined as young adults born in 1980 or later — Curve plans on Monday to begin distributing a film called “Y Now.”

The film uses cinematic storytelling techniques to convey information about how Americans ages 18 to 34 behave, what they believe and how they differ significantly from people who were those ages in previous decades. Shot in a documentary vein, the film offers viewers interviews with nine millennials in New York and Texas.

Each represents a life stage or lifestyle like “the boomerang kid,” a 26-year-old man who has moved back in with his parents; “the creative moonlighter,” a man, age 24, who competes in poetry slams and works a day job in a restaurant; “the wanderlust,” a 23-year-old woman who travels and changes addresses continually; and “the stay-at-home dad,” 35, who takes care of his daughter while his wife works.

The film, which runs 22 minutes, will be divided into five shorter segments — five easy pieces, if you will — that are to be sent by e-mail to 1,000 employees at agencies around the country. The segments can be watched by clicking on links in the e-mails, which will go out from Monday through April 27.

“This is an opportunity to make research more compelling and entertaining,” said John Shea, who joined the NBCUniversal integrated media group in November in a new post, executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “We really want the audience who gets these e-mails to feel a connection with the subjects.”

For instance, the opening moments of the film “took cues from ‘An American Family,’ ” Mr. Shea said, referring to the 1973 PBS documentary series that has been called a precursor to reality TV, adding “there are a lot of ‘confessional’ kinds of shots.”

Melissa Lavigne-Delville, vice president for trends and strategic insights at the integrated media group, echoed Mr. Shea.

“Having been in research for so many years, I know that research gets boiled down to just stats and facts, but at the end of the day it’s a reflection of consumers’ lives,” she said. “We intend to breathe life back into what is at its core interesting material.”

In a twist, “Y Now” seeks to paint a portrait of Generation Y in broad strokes, concentrating on larger demographic trends — among them, “next generation parents and the new family” and “the creative class and career” — rather than examining more specialized subjects like changes in media consumption habits.

That approach is fairly novel for a media company. In fact, there is no moment in the film in which a millennial is seen watching TV, staring at a computer screen or thumb-typing on a smartphone.

The bigger picture was “even more of interest to us,” Mr. Shea said, because of the increasing importance to Madison Avenue of what the millennials decide to buy — or not buy.

“This is what the MTV generation, the Abercrombie & Fitch generation, looks like when they become work force newbies and start heading households,” he added. “They now make up 53 percent of the 18-to-49-year-old buying demo.” (That is the viewer demographic group most highly prized by many marketers because its members are forming brand preferences as they form families.)

Mr. Shea and Ms. Lavigne-Delville said they hoped Curve Films would have at least one release each quarter. The unit “does not require additional” spending, Mr. Shea said, because there was “a reallocation of resources” in the integrated media group after he joined.

That the group would seek more visual methods of presenting research results under Mr. Shea is not entirely surprising. He is best known for his long career at the MTV Networks division of Viacom, working on cable channels like MTV and VH1. In fact, when he joined NBCUniversal he received a so-called first look development deal for programming ideas.

NBCUniversal is not alone in trying to better understand Generation Y and explain it to clients. For example, Barkley, an agency in Kansas City, Mo., teamed up with the Boston Consulting Group for a study, “The Millennial Consumer: Debunking Stereotypes,” that was released this week.

May 15, 2012   No Comments

How McDonald’s Came Back Bigger Than Ever


It was a simple plan. McDonald’s would pay to appear at the top of the trends list on Twitter’s home page, using the social-media site to drive people to its new commercials highlighting some of the real-life farmers and ranchers who supply McDonald’s with its ingredients. Executives at the fast-food company loved the commercials; the word in-house was “authenticity.”

The spots, which were rolled out in January, transported viewers to down-home places like Warden, Wash., and Astoria, Ill., where gritty men wearing denim knelt in the soil or rode horses while talking about the sacrifices they made for the harvest or the herd and dispensing nuggets of plain-spoken wisdom about their worthy jobs. “Beef’s what we do,” one supplier said. “Good potato,” said another, examining a dirt-encrusted spud destined to end up as an order of French fries. McDonald’s wasn’t about fast food, the commercials suggested, but real food, born of the earth.

On Twitter that day, everything went well, at least for a while. After clicking on the hashtag #MeetTheFarmers, people were watching the videos online, and Rick Wion, the 39-year-old director of social media for McDonald’s U.S.A., was pleased.

“We got lots of great engagement on that, lots of uptick from it, lots of video views,” he says. But that afternoon, when Wion moved the conversation to #McDStories, to encourage people to keep talking about the farmers, the promotion quickly began to go sideways. From his eighth-floor cubicle at McDonald’s headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., Wion watched on his laptop — “we’re watching these things like a hawk,” he would tell me later — as other kinds of stories made their way into the Twitter feed, horror stories, real or imagined, justified or not, about the restaurant’s food, service, atmosphere, everything. In a matter of minutes, a public relations success had become yet another public relations crisis for the company, which shifted quickly into damage-control mode. A little more than an hour after the ill-fated #McDStories appeared that afternoon, Wion decided he’d seen enough for one day and pulled that hashtag off the Twitter home page.

The episode got what Wion said was an undeserved amount of attention in the traditional and online press. “It wasn’t even in the top 10 things that were talked about that day for our brand,” he said. People on Twitter, he pointed out, wrote about the Egg McMuffin “four to five times as much” as they complained about the company at #McDStories. But the anti-McDonald’s Twitter storm wasn’t exactly an anomaly either; it reflected a larger and longstanding problem facing the company.

For years, critics have been taking on McDonald’s, questioning its practices in an increasingly health-conscious time. The most famous assault on the company’s reputation was probably Morgan Spurlock’s “Super Size Me,” the 2004 Oscar-nominated documentary that suggested a month of eating only McDonald’s meals might hasten your death. But that has hardly been the only grenade lobbed in the company’s direction.

In the last year alone, nuns in Philadelphia, Seventh-day Adventists in California, doctors in Chicago and activists in Boston have warred with McDonald’s over its menu, its marketing, its mission or all of the above. Critics say McDonald’s minimizes its role in America’s obesity epidemic while continuing to market its food to children through Happy Meals. Some have called for the dismissal of the longtime clown mascot Ronald McDonald. More recently, the presence in McDonald’s hamburgers of “pink slime” — beef scraps turned into a paste and treated with an ammonia solution — became a cause célèbre. (McDonald’s reported in January that it discontinued using pink slime last summer.) And later this month at this year’s annual meeting, activists will get shareholders to vote on a proposal that would require the company to respond to the growing evidence linking fast food to obesity and other diseases, just as they did at last year’s meeting.

Now McDonald’s is fighting back, quietly launching a major counteroffensive of its own. And it isn’t simply trying to keep its current customers happy; it’s also hoping to convince McDonald’s skeptics that they’re wrong.

The company’s bottom-line success in recent years has been unmatched by its traditional burger-chain competitors. Wendy’s and Burger King have been losing market share, while McDonald’s has been growing, according to an analysis by Technomic Inc., a Chicago-based food-service research and consulting firm. Based on 2011 sales data, Technomic estimates that McDonald’s owns nearly 17 percent of the limited-service restaurant industry in the United States. That’s not only the largest share, according to the analysis, but also nearly as much as the next four restaurants in that category combined — Subway, Starbucks, Burger King and Wendy’s.

Even a sputtering economy hasn’t slowed the company down. In 2011, the average free-standing McDonald’s restaurant in the United States generated nearly $2.6 million in sales, an increase of roughly 13 percent since 2008. Last year, sales nearly doubled the industry’s projected growth rate by growing 4.8 percent over the previous year. And people weren’t just buying the McRib, the highly processed pork sandwich whose popularity baffles even some at McDonald’s. Sales of the Big Mac, the chain’s signature product that was first introduced nationwide in 1968, rose 10 percent last year, helping to push the company’s stock price to nearly $100 a share.

Advertising no doubt has something to do with all this success. The company’s annual advertising budget has been estimated to exceed $2 billion — making it “unmatched in the industry,” according to BMO Capital Markets, and roughly the size of the gross domestic product of Aruba. That allows McDonald’s to reach an audience far larger than the one that saw “Super Size Me.” But for McDonald’s to keep succeeding, especially in the United States, it can’t be satisfied with serving only its core customers.

The goal, according to Neil Golden, the company’s chief marketing officer for its American restaurants, is to win over the holdouts. One way to do that is by improving the food itself. Another way is to change how we think about that food. “The consumer perception of the quality of our food is not where we want it to be,” Golden told me. “Listen, we’re serving 28 million people every single day; there are a lot of consumers that love what we’re serving. But we believe that they would come more frequently. We also believe that there are more people that would want to come — if they could feel better about the product.”

With their remodeled restaurants, additions to the menu and at least one nontraditional ally — mom bloggers — executives are trying to present a greener, more healthful McDonald’s. And in some ways the company is indeed changing. For the first time last year, McDonald’s sold more pounds of chicken than pounds of beef, a seismic shift that would be like Starbucks selling more tea than coffee. Beverages, thanks to smoothies and espresso drinks, are now a $9 billion annual business for McDonald’s in the United States. The restaurants themselves are changing, too, adding Wi-Fi, colorful chairs, tables that wouldn’t be out of place in an IKEA catalog and, in some West Coast test markets, flat-screen TVs playing the McDonald’s Channel.

The content on the nascent channel is breezy (think Top 10 lists) and anodyne. The objective is “an agnostic view of the world,” according to Lee Edmondson, the founder of ChannelPort Communications, the California company building the channel for McDonald’s (its only client). In the test markets, at least, this means there will be no jarring images from CNN or Fox News. Instead, every few minutes between short features, the company’s catchy jingle — ba-da-ba-ba-bah — serenades the dining room as a reminder that all is right and good. “We don’t want to have graphic images up on the television screens,” says Brad Hunter, the senior director of customer engagement for McDonald’s U.S.A. “We’re not in this to keep the news from somebody. But the way that it’s shown is important for us and for our brand.” Even if the new channel does not make it into every one of the country’s 14,000 restaurants, the audience, Hunter says, “is everyone.”

If there is one McDonald’s franchise that seems to epitomize everything about the company’s recent efforts to win over new customers and strengthen bonds with old ones, it can be found in Riverside, Calif. There are solar panels on the carport, eco-friendly L.E.D. lights in the ceiling panels, totally new décor — and soaring sales.

“I’m not the smartest, certainly not the prettiest,” says Candace Spiel, a 58-year-old franchisee. “There are a whole lot of things I’m not. But I can be persistent. I can work hard. And that’s what I was on this project: I was persistent.”

Riverside, population 303,000, sits in the valley of the Santa Ana River, just south of the San Bernardino Mountains and about an hour’s drive from Los Angeles to the west and the desert to the east. The community, which is now almost half Hispanic, sprang up around the fruit-growing industry in the late 1800s, and the region still remains something of a citrus hub. Groves of navel oranges dot the arid, brush-covered landscape.

Candace’s husband, Tom Spiel, came here to sell hamburgers. A Chicagoan by birth, he fell into a job at McDonald’s the really old-fashioned way: in 1962, a family friend introduced him to the company’s founder, Ray Kroc, who got the young man a job bagging French fries, then dispatched him to manage restaurants in California and finally awarded him his own franchise in 1966 — McDonald’s store No. 855, in Riverside.

The neighborhood was rough, Spiel recalled earlier this year, blighted with cheap motels. “The ladies of the night,” he said, “would parade up and down the street.” But his restaurant, which initially had no dining area, was a success. Spiel made a few good hires, including the woman who would later become his wife. Candace started on the job in 1972, and together the couple would come to own nine McDonald’s franchises. Given the annual sales generated by the average McDonald’s restaurant in the U.S., that’s no small operation.

The Spiels have long been pleased, they said, with the sales at their Riverside location. Candace, however, thought the building was tired, with its hard, plastic furniture inside and its glaring, red double-mansard roof outside. By 2007, she wanted to tear the place down and start over. It was a risk many franchisees were unwilling to take at the time. The double-mansard, however kitschy, was considered part of the McDonald’s brand, almost as recognizable as the arches themselves. Some franchisees didn’t want to part with it; others didn’t believe that redesigning or rebuilding — new buzzwords from corporate headquarters — would pay off. Even with the company offering to cover a portion of franchisee costs, owner-operators can easily spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. Remodels can cost $600,000, and rebuilds can exceed $1 million, a big request, especially in a recession.

But corporate executives were committed to the idea. At best, the old restaurants felt like a cafeteria, says Steve Norby, McDonald’s vice president and general manager of the Southern California region. “You don’t necessarily want to be seen in that environment,” Norby told me. “You want to be seen in an environment that replicates the personality you want.”

Candace Spiel shared that sentiment. And she pushed for not just new décor and a new roof but also for solar panels, L.E.D. lights and eco-toilets that used less water per flush. She got final clearance from the company and approval from the city in 2009, clearing the way to build the new restaurant in late 2010. Ideally, she said, she hoped it would increase sales by 12 percent. Instead, the restaurant did 50 percent better in its first week, Spiel told me, and 20 percent better in the first year. “We were an instant hit, jam-packed inside, people waiting to get inside,” she said. “We were, like, the talk of this town.”

A structure by itself can’t entirely explain this sort of growth. New menu items like snack wraps, Angus burgers, specialty coffees and smoothies have also helped boost sales in Riverside and elsewhere. The beverages were especially successful last year, with the company reporting 16 percent growth in the McCafé category, thanks in part to popular items like a frozen strawberry lemonade last summer and a peppermint-mocha drink over the winter holidays.

The sales bounce the Spiels have experienced in Riverside has been repeated at other redesigned McDonald’s, which are growing in number every day. In recent years, 3,000 McDonald’s in the United States have been redesigned, including 900 just last year; another 1,000 or so are slated to be rebuilt or renovated this year. On average, these restaurants experience 6 to 7 percent sales growth over the market’s increase, according to McDonald’s.

The Spiels’ restaurant won recognition as well as more sales. At an event in January, attended by the mayor and nearly 200 others, the U.S. Green Building Council awarded the restaurant LEED gold certification, a top eco-design honor (and something of an irony, given that McDonald’s is a major consumer of beef, whose production, critics say, floods the atmosphere with greenhouse gases). It was 64 degrees and sunny. The only glitch was that the clown had yet to show up.

“You’re nine minutes late,” Tom Spiel informed Ronald McDonald when he arrived.

“Nine minutes late?” the clown replied, smiling and cheerful. “Oh, goodness.”

Ronald, decked out in a gold tuxedo, a red wig, white face paint and red, floppy shoes (size 29 EEE) with yellow laces, had awakened around 5:30 a.m. that morning and driven about 90 minutes from somewhere near Burbank with his personal assistant, David Roe, to be here for the Spiels. The clown, who declined to break character, talk about the makeup required for his job or give his real name — “He is Ronald,” Roe told me, straight-faced; “that is his real name” — mugged for photographs and then finally found Candace Spiel, wrapping his arms around her in a long embrace.

“It’s Ronald!” Spiel gushed.

“Hi, Candy Spiel,” the clown replied. “Congratulations on everything.”

The new buildings have helped burnish McDonald’s image. This is change directed at everyone (and customers have reported that the food actually tastes better in a remodeled McDonald’s). On a narrower front, meanwhile, the company has also begun courting a specific, important class of customer: mothers. Central to this strategy is one of McDonald’s most prominent moms, Jan Fields, the president of McDonald’s U.S.A.

Fields, who is 56, assumed leadership over the company’s American business nearly three years ago and soon earned the respect of her colleagues for her focused but hands-off leadership style and for her personal story. When she was 23, Fields, a young mother and the wife of a military serviceman stationed in Dayton, Ohio, got a job at McDonald’s cooking French fries on the night shift. The work was harder than she expected. The smell of the fries stuck to her, she recalled, and there seemed to be so many rules. “I went home and cried,” Fields said, remembering that first night. “I thought, Boy, I don’t even know if I’m going to be able to make it at McDonald’s.”

She briefly considered quitting, she said, but thought better of it. And over the course of three decades, she worked her way up. It’s a success story that, at McDonald’s anyway, isn’t all that unusual; countless other executives have what industry analysts like to call “ketchup in their veins.” Many started with jobs behind the cash register, often earning minimum wage.

The company seems especially fond of telling Fields’s story in public, perhaps because, in person, Fields doesn’t come off as some scripted corporate type trying to change negative perceptions of McDonald’s but as a chatty soccer mom charming wary customers with a folksiness that appears genuine. As Rick Wion put it, “Jan is just a plain old nice person.” But the strategy, Wion added, isn’t just about Fields’s personality. “It’s about the principles she’s bringing to the table,” he told me, “and the openness of the conversation.”

Franchisees report that she’s accessible. If Candace Spiel has a problem, she says she can e-mail Fields and get a reply. Fields says she even tries to answer McDonald’s critics, whose e-mails make it to her in-box from time to time. “There are some that just would like us not to be in business,” she told me. “What can I say?”

Fields has also made herself available to everyday mothers — especially those who happen to have blogs. The company has been reaching out to them, giving them personal access to Fields and other company V.I.P.’s and essentially trying to influence — McDonald’s would say “inform,” critics would say “spin” — the influencers in the blogosphere.

In mid-2010, the company invited 15 bloggers to visit the Oak Brook headquarters, flying them and their families to Chicago, putting them up at a nice hotel and giving them the grand tour: a meeting with Fields, a chance to make McFlurries in the test kitchen, a visit to a nearby Ronald McDonald House and photo sessions for the kids with Ronald. “There was just a great deal of care taken with my family,” Loralee Choate, a mother and Utah-based blogger, says of the trip. “I did not have one expense,” she adds. “They even took into consideration that I was two hours away from the airport, so they sent a car to take me. It was very, very gracious of them.”

According to Wion, a creator of the strategy, the premise was simple. “Bloggers, and specifically mom bloggers, talk a lot about McDonald’s,” he says. “They’re customers. They’re going to restaurants.” And even more important, these women have loyal followings. Why not let them behind the curtain, hope they like what they see and let them tell readers about it? “We identified them and said: ‘These are our key customers. These are key influencers for our brand,’ ” Wion says. “We need to make sure we’re working with them.”

In the blogging world, this is called brand work. In exchange for perks like free trips, access to important people and sometimes financial compensation, bloggers are encouraged or even contractually bound to write about a company, says Thales Teixeira, an assistant professor of marketing at Harvard Business School who has studied the trend. Some bloggers, he notes, get paid as much as $20,000 for the work, which by McDonald’s ad-campaign standards isn’t much money.

The benefits go both ways. Through bloggers, Teixeira says, corporations like McDonald’s believe they are reaching an audience that has become wary of slick ad campaigns. “It’s basically an advertisement sometimes but not directly from the company,” Teixeira says. “Instead they are receiving it from somebody they trust.”

But giving bloggers new digital cameras or vacuum cleaners in the hope that they might write about the products is somewhat different from what McDonald’s is doing. Mothers, after all, are often among those most inclined to consider the healthfulness of the menu at McDonald’s. By bringing them in, the company appears to be making a specific play at winning the support of a potentially skeptical demographic. And generally speaking, Teixeira says, this sort of practice is “blurring the line of P.R., and it’s blurring the line of advertising.”

Wion, who joined the company’s public relations team two years ago, told me that McDonald’s has on occasion paid travel expenses for bloggers attending conferences. But the company, he says, does not pay bloggers for content, require that they write anything specific or edit their posts in any way. The bloggers who came to Oak Brook, for example, were asked to write one post recapping their trip. “Beyond that,” Wion says, “we gave them, and we wanted them to have, free rein.”

The posts that followed — each accompanied by a disclaimer noting their sponsorship by McDonald’s — were overwhelmingly positive, however. And late last summer, McDonald’s was courting the bloggers yet again. The company sent Fields, Wion and Cindy Goody, the company’s U.S. senior director of nutrition, to San Diego for the BlogHer conference, an annual meeting that last year attracted 4,100 bloggers, most of whom were women.

About 25 of them were invited to a private luncheon with Fields and other executives. The conversation there focused on the improved nutritional content of Happy Meals. McDonald’s had recently announced that it was reducing the size of the French fries and putting apple slices in every meal, changes that took effect nationally in March and that earned praise from even the company’s critics.

But Fields took all questions, no matter the topic, listening to the women even if she didn’t always agree with their ideas. “I heard some that probably wouldn’t fly with the average person,” Fields conceded later, recalling one suggestion that McDonald’s make broccoli available for kids. “I’m thinking that just would not work in a Happy Meal,” Fields told me. “I don’t think it’s universal enough yet. But red pepper might be.”

Bridgette Duplantis, one of the bloggers in the room that day, was impressed. When I met with her months later over a wild berry smoothie at a McDonald’s near her home in suburban New Orleans, Duplantis admitted that she still has complaints about the fast-food chain. She’d like McDonald’s to offer carrot sticks for kids and more healthful, whole-grain buns. And she recognized that it was savvy marketing for the company to hold the luncheon. “Somebody like me?” the 37-year-old mother of two said. “Meeting Jan Fields from McDonald’s? When does that ever happen?”

Duplantis said she felt a connection with Fields that day, something personal, mother to mother. “Now I relate to her,” Duplantis told me, “and in turn I relate to McDonald’s.” Which means, more than likely, that the Duplantis family will be seeking out one of its restaurants for its next fast-food outing instead of going somewhere else — a small victory, perhaps, but one that McDonald’s will take and try to replicate. “I know they have smoothies and they have yogurt and they have other things that my kids would want,” Duplantis said. “I really couldn’t tell you what Burger King’s doing right now,” she added with a shrug. “I have no idea.”

May 15, 2012   No Comments

Hispanics to spend $500M on Mobile Apps in 2012

by dm2h9490

“Hispanics are early adopters of both tablets and smartphones, and also more likely than whites to go online using mobile devices. All of that activity will add up to a sizeable pile of cash for device retailers and app stores in 2012. According to December 2011 research by advisory firm Zpryme, adult US Hispanics will spend $17.6 billion on mobile tech devices in 2012, a 30% increase over the previous year. It also estimates that Hispanics will spend $501.1 million on mobile apps by the end of the year. Smartphone penetration was 51.5% among the survey group, which was comprised almost entirely of mobile owners (just 6.1% said they had no mobile phone). This is slightly higher than eMarketer’s estimated 46.9% smartphone penetration for Hispanic mobile users as of the end of 2011. Also, 19% of those polled owned tablets, higher than eMarketer’s estimate of 12.6% for the same period. The high adoption rates for smartphones and tablets among Hispanics are likely due to the fact that they are on average a young group, and more likely to use mobile devices instead of landlines.”

May 15, 2012   No Comments

ABC News, Univision to launch English-language news network

By Meg James and Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times

The yet-unnamed cable channel is expected to debut during the first half of 2013 and will target the fast growing and increasingly desirable Latino audience.


Speaking the language of the fast growing and increasingly desirable Latino audience, Walt Disney Co.’s ABC News and Univision Communications are teaming up to launch a 24-hour English-language news network.

The yet-unnamed cable channel, announced Monday, is expected to launch during the first half of next year. The two companies plan to get a head start this summer with a website and content for social networks and mobile devices devoted to covering the U.S. presidential election — which some analysts say could be decided by Latino voters in battleground states.

The most recent census shows that more than 50 million Latinos live in the U.S., making up 16% of the country’s population. Advertisers are increasingly looking for ways to reach young and upwardly mobile Latinos who have disposable income and are fluent in English.

“This is a recognition of the new American reality,” said Cesar Conde, president of Univision Networks. “Our mission is to inform and engage the Latino community, and we think this [cable news channel] is the natural evolution for us.”

According to the 2010 census, the Latino population in the U.S. grew 43% between 2000 and 2010 — four times as fast as the overall population.

“The math is profound,” said Ben Sherwood, president of ABC News. “That huge population surge is already happening, and we get it. It’s happening in California, and it’s happening in the rest of the country. We’ve got to figure out a way to deliver culturally relevant programming in English to this rapidly growing and very influential population.”

The two firms had an incentive to collaborate. Univision, the nation’s largest Spanish-language TV network, has seen its most reliable source of new viewers — immigrants from Mexico — shrink as fewer people cross the border. The population growth now comes from U.S.-born Latinos.

The trend has challenged Univision to find ways to reach young Latinos, in English, without alienating the company’s loyal audience of Spanish speakers.

For ABC, the venture should provide immediate heft and credibility in reaching this audience. Unlike competitors NBC and Fox, Disney’s television group has little programming devoted to Latinos, with the exception of sports channel ESPN Deportes. NBCUniversal, in contrast, owns two Latino-focused networks — Telemundo and the bilingual cable channel mun2 — and Fox is beefing up with new Spanish-language network MundoFox.

The new channel also would enable ABC to plug a programming gap. ABC has been at a competitive disadvantage to Fox and NBC, which each own lucrative cable news channels, providing them greater resources to finance costly news gathering operations.

Without its own cable news channel, ABC News has been aggressive in recent years in trying to find new audiences online and through partnerships with such established players as Yahoo and now Univision.

ABC News and Univision will each own 50% of the joint venture, which will have its own management team and a board of directors. It is unclear whether the parties will buy an existing cable channel, such as one owned by Disney, so that it could reach millions of households from the outset rather than start from scratch.

“This is going to be a very interesting joint venture,” said Carmen Baez, president of Latin America for advertising behemoth Omnicom. “If it does well, it could benefit both companies and become a powerful force in reaching this fast evolving market.”

The ABC-Univision partnership is not happening in isolation. NBCUniversal has been devoting more resources to its Telemundo network and mun2. News Corp. in February said it would launch the Spanish-language MundoFox broadcast network this year in collaboration with Colombian broadcaster RCN Television Group.

Comcast Corp. plans to launch four independent channels on its cable systems targeting minorities in the next two years, including two English-language channels owned by Latinos. One, named El Rey, will be co-owned by film director Robert Rodriguez (“Spy Kids,” “El Mariachi”) and is expected to launch in 2014.

Increasingly, media companies see the most potential in reaching English-speaking Latinos.

According to a 2009 Pew Hispanic Center study, U.S.-born Latinos are more likely to watch English-language television. About 70% of such first-generation Latinos watch English-language channels, according to Mark Lopez, associate director of the Pew Hispanic Center. The number exceeds 90% for second-generation U.S.-born Latinos — those who have parents also born in the U.S., he said.

An estimated 41% of U.S. Latinos age 16 to 25 are bilingual, Lopez said. More than a third, or 36%, are English-dominant and an estimated 23% are Spanish-dominant.

“It’s clear that reaching this market is becoming a business imperative for media companies, and they recognize that,” Omnicom’s Baez said.

May 15, 2012   No Comments

Advertising To Hispanics: The Answer Is In Balancing Language And Cultural Signals

By: Huffington Post Staff

It’s not new news that the U.S. Hispanic population represents important sales and marketing opportunities. With Latino purchasing power surpassing $1 trillion in 2009, the U.S. Hispanic market is one of the top 10 economies in the world. By 2015, it is expected to reach $1.5 trillion.

But with 50 million people in the U.S. of Latino origin, the composition of the Hispanic population is rapidly changing due to birth rates, immigration rates, and demographic and acculturation trends. Sohow exactly are advertisers tapping into the ever-expanding, non-monolithic Latino market?

A recent article by ADWEEK suggests that to target the Hispanic baby boom,advertisers must focus on language and culture.

While second and third generation Hispanics are adapting to U.S. culture and customs, they still maintain strong attachment to Latino traditions and value systems.

“They’re growing up in this dynamic and are very much acculturated, but they’re seeing how their parents operate and are still influenced by the cultures of their grandparents,” said David Hohman, EVP and Global Performance Director for MRM Worldwide, in the ADWEEK article.

As such, ADWEEK suggests “Advertisers targeting this group can use Hispanic actors and models, but have them speak in Spanglish.”

In a blog for The Huffington Post, Lili Gil, business strategist and media contributor, writes about advertising companies progressively gearing their campaigns towards the Latino consumer.

Latinos in the U.S. are “not your stereotypical undocumented immigrant,” Gil writes. “The U.S. Hispanic market is a vibrant and young bi-cultural and bilingual market.”

The proof is in the numbers: over 22 percent of all children under 18 in the U.S. are of Hispanic origin.

But despite the numbers, “many marketers assume that English language and a one-size fits all works with this emerging ‘Americanized’ Latino,” Gil writes.

While many younger Hispanics are bilingual or English-dominant, they are clearly heavily influenced by their Latino background and culture. A retro-acculturationphenomenon is occurring as many Latinos reach back into their roots for a sense of identity.

And advertisers are taking notice. Portada online cites the example of McDonalds and it’s approach to promoting products to a Latino audience in the U.S. with it’s Spanish website

There’s a tab entirely devoted to different ways of speaking Spanish titled el ‘Orgullo Latino’ (‘Latino Pride’). The section includes a question that says ‘Como lo dices?’ (‘How do you say it?’) and each way of saying a specific word in Spanish in different countries in Latin America.

This embodies two realities of the U.S. Latino. On the one hand, united in a shared historic relationship to the Spanish-language, but on the other hand, diverse in its geographic and racial composition.

But is it enough? Are advertisers already behind the ball? Some researches propose that young Latinos are evolving beyond retro-acculturation and towards something entirely new. As Guy Garcia stated in a blog for The Huffington Post:

“Recent studies have shown that Latino identity is malleable, contextual and constantly evolving. Younger Latinos in particularly see no contradiction in calling themselves Dominican, American and black, or Caucasian, Hispanic-American and Columbian, or gaysian, balxican, or any other racial-cultural-sexual amalgam that fits their nationality, genealogy, sexuality and mood.”

April 17, 2012   No Comments

Amazon Opens Kindle En Espanol For Latino E-Readers

By: Carolyn Salazar, hoping to capitalize on the growing power of Latino spending, has launched its first Spanish-language e-book store.

Tienda Kindle (eBooks Kindle en Español) offers over 30,000 titles, including longtime classics like Paulo Coelho’s “El Alquimista (The Alchemist)” and Gabriel García Márquez’s “Cien años de soledad (100 Years of Solitude).”

Analysts say the move shows how more and more companies are beginning to understand how Latinos are a growing force in the digital world. They are also realizing that Latin America is not a place to ignore.

“Publishers recognize that globally, Spanish is a primary language,” said Seneca Mudd, director of Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Multicultural Council and an expert in digital marketing. “These moves represent the magnitude of the Americas as a hemispheric marketplace.”

A recent study by Pew shows that 21 percent of adults have read e-books in the past year, and that number keeps ticking upward. In a three month period, between December 2011 to February 2012, it increased by three percent.

And Latinos are not lagging behind. A study by Zpryme Research and Consulting shows 19 percent of the people they surveyed would buy smartphones, with about 29 percent of first-generation Latinos saying they would buy tablets.

“It’s absolutely a growing market,” said Ariel Coro, a leading technology expert and founder of TuTecnologia, said about Latinos gravitating toward e-books. “When you look at a company like Amazon, they don’t make a move like this without doing extensive market research and analytics.”

But some say while it’s admirable that Amazon is realizing the influence of Latino consumers, tablets and e-books are still too cost-prohibitive to most Hispanics.

“It’s wonderful. It’s important to have more and more Spanish-language books available no matter what format they are,” said Aurora Anaya-Cerda, owner of La Casa Azul Bookstore in New York City’s El Barrio. “But tablets are very expensive, and that’s a limitation because many Latinos just can’t afford them.”

In her bookstore, which predominantly caters to Latinos, she said most of her customers prefer old-fashioned paperbacks or hard covers. During author readings, crowds show up holding paper books. The few that are holdings e-readers, like Amazon Kindles or the Barnes and Noble Nook, tend to be second-generation Latinos that feel more comfortable reading in English. E-readers usually run from about $70 to over $200.

“I do see Latinos buying e-readers, but not in a significant rate,” she said.

Coro, however, disagrees. His book, “El Salto,” which was released a few months ago by Vintage Spanish, a division of Random House, and is about emerging technologies in modern society, sold just as well in e-book format as it did in paper format, he said.

“One of the challenges people have is that they don’t always have access to the books they want to read and have trouble finding them in stores,” Coro said. “This makes all the books available in one digital store.”

Kindle en Español offers popular, and even lesser known, titles by Hispanic authors in Latin America and the United States. It also offers customer service in Spanish.

“We expect our Spanish-speaking customers to enjoy both the newly-added books in Spanish, and the improved shopping and reading experience—including dedicated customer service in Spanish—that we’ve added to e-books Kindle en Español,” Russ Grandinetti, vice president of Kindle Content, said in a statement. “And we’re looking forward to continued expansion of our store for Spanish-language readers around the world.”

April 17, 2012   No Comments

Hispanic Advertising: Dunkin’ Donuts launches integrated Campaign

By: Portada Editorial Staff

Dunkin’ Donuts is launching a new integrated Hispanic advertising and marketing campaign this week. The Spanish-language campaign will run in select markets and introduce the brand’s first Spanish tagline, “América se mueve con Dunkin’ (America moves with Dunkin’).” The testimonial-style campaign reveals a sequence of Hispanic Dunkin’ Donuts fans unleashing their inner Dunkin’. “¿Qué estás tomando?” complements its General Market counterpart, Dunkin’ Donuts’ popular “What are you Drinkin’?” campaign, and will be integrated across Hispanic television, radio, website, social media, as well as public relations and in-store activities.

The documentary-inspired theme of the campaign features Hispanic Dunkin’ coffee drinkers in their communities, which is how they were discovered and recruited. “Me pone de buen humor” (It gets me in a good mood) and “Se siente el sabor rico del café (You can taste the coffee’s delicious flavor)” are among the many accolades Hispanic fans tout about their Dunkin’ coffee. All testaments lead back to the new Spanish tagline, “América se Mueve con Dunkin’ (America Moves With Dunkin’),” and it’s clear this is a way of life for Dunkin’s die-hard Hispanic coffee consumers. “This new campaign reflects the importance and the loyalty of our Hispanic consumers,” said John Costello, Chief Global Marketing and Innovation Officer at Dunkin’ Brands. “Dunkin’ Donuts and our franchisees have long been an important part of daily life for millions of guests throughout the country, and we are looking for ways to deepen our relationship and build brand loyalty with our guests in multicultural communities.”  “¿Qué estás tomando?” takes Hispanic-insight driven advertising and provides an authentic brand experience,” said Luis Puerta, VP Group Creative Director at Accentmarketing, Dunkin’ Donuts’ Hispanic Agency of Record, which developed this campaign. “It was important that we engage with Dunkin’ Donuts’ Hispanic guests and authentically portray the ways in which they move with Dunkin’.”

In recent years, Dunkin’ Donuts has introduced select markets to limited time offerings and permanent menu items, which feature bold and exotic flavors inspired by the Latin culture, such as the Cuban Flatbread Sandwich and Café con Leche, Huevos Rancheros Wake-Up Wrap® sandwiches and Latin-inspired donuts.

Launched at the start of 2011, Dunkin’ Donuts’  “What Are You Drinkin’” multi-million dollar integrated advertising and marketing campaign reinforces Dunkin’ Donuts’ coffee leadership.

April 17, 2012   No Comments

A Network Popular With Hispanics Reaches Out to Them

By: Amy Chozick

It’s been redone nearly 400 times over the last 17 years, but one thing has stayed the same about ESPN’s “This is SportsCenter” advertisement: It’s always been in English.

That will change on Wednesday when ESPN introduces the first Spanish television ad for the network’s signature news program.

The ad follows the Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano as he makes his way around ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., headquarters giving high-fives and elaborate handshakes to staff members while unknowingly spreading a cold.

Pegged to Major League Baseball’s opening day, the ad, known as “Handshakes,” is the first time the network will show a Spanish ad on both ESPN Deportes, its Spanish-language sports channel, and its English-language sister channel ESPN2. A slightly modified English version will be broadcast during ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight” program.

The Hispanic audience for ESPN has increased by 15 percent over the last five years, outpacing non-Hispanic audience growth.

Each quarter 29 million Hispanics connect with ESPN either through the cable channels, Web sites or apps, according to the network. Some 60 percent of those viewers will watch only ESPN’s English-language channels, while 20 percent watch only ESPN Deportes.

“Amplifying our efforts to reach Hispanic sports fans is one of our priorities for the year,” said Carol Kruse, senior vice president of marketing for ESPN, which is owned by the Walt Disney Company. “We want to make sure we’re reaching out across our networks.”

The “Esto es SportsCenter” ad, created by the New York office of Wieden & Kennedy, comes as EPSN Deportes faces increased competition in delivering sports programming to the growing Hispanic audience.

On Saturday, Univision Communications, parent company of the most-watched Spanish language network, will introduce Univision Deportes. The soccer-driven sports channel will make programming available in and outside the home via Dish Network.

Comcast’s NBCUniversal also is ramping up sports on its Spanish-language network Telemundo. Comcast paid roughly $600 million for the Spanish-language rights to broadcast the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to viewers in the United States; that’s nearly twice what Univision paid to broadcast the 2010 and 2014 World Cup tournaments.

On Wednesday Telemundo will introduce an Olympics promotion with the tagline “Vivimos Juntos el Sueño Olímpico” (“Together We Live the Olympic Dream”) alerting viewers to the channel’s coverage of the London Games this summer.

The increasingly crowded marketplace for Spanish-language sports corresponds with the changing makeup of the United States population. More than half of the total population growth in the United States from 2000 to 2010 was a result of the increase in the Hispanic population, according to the 2010 Census. In 2010, according to the census, there were 50.5 million Hispanics living in the United States, up from 35.3 million a decade ago.

Advertisers spent $4.3 billion to reach Hispanics in 2010, up 14 percent from 2009, according to the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies.

ESPN introduced ESPN Deportes in 2004 after noticing that a growing number of Spanish speakers were watching boxing, Major League baseball and National Football League games on ESPN. Ever since, the network has tried to make the distinction between English and Spanish language programming more fluid.

That means more anchors and analysts who are bilingual, and ads like the “This is SportsCenter” spot that will be broadcast in English and Spanish.

The preponderance of Caribbean and Latin American baseball players like Mr. Cano, who is Dominican, also prompted ESPN to operate on a more bilingual basis, said Lino Garcia, ESPN Deportes’ general manager.

He recalled a broadcast when the Dominican-American outfielder Manny Ramirez transitioned to Spanish during an interview. “He got a lot of laughs,” Mr. Garcia said. “If we didn’t have someone behind the camera who understood, we would’ve had to have had a silent pause.”

Begun in 1995 as a deadpan take on the mockumentary “This is Spinal Tap,” ESPN’s “This is SportsCenter” ad portrays popular athletes in uniform participating in everyday events at the network’s headquarters.

Over the years stars like Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong, Andre Agassi, LeBron James and Michael Phelps have appeared in the commercials. The situations and athletes have changed but the conceit — that the headquarters is “a fantasy world where athletes and mascots lived and worked together with anchors and journalists” — hasn’t.

In “Esto es SportsCenter,” Mr. Cano in his Yankees pinstripes meanders around the office greeting workers with his signature handshake. The “SportsCenter” host Tony Cherchi explains that colds spread very easily in the ESPN office.

“First one person, then two, then 10. We really don’t know how it passes,” Mr. Cherchi says over video of Mr. Cano’s trip through the office.

Rather than dubbing or adding Spanish subtitles, Ms. Kruse, the marketing executive, said it was important to make an entirely new commercial targeted at Hispanics. “If you take a spot that isn’t culturally relevant and just translated it, it wouldn’t work,” she said.

April 17, 2012   No Comments

Study Reveals How QSRs Can Build Loyalty Among Hispanic Consumers


Univision Communications Inc., a media company serving Hispanic Americans, released its Univision QSR Landscape study exploring how quick-service restaurants can expand their businesses by better addressing the needs and wants of the Hispanic community.

The findings of the study, conducted in partnership with Burke Inc., were discussed during the “Hispanic 411: Insights to Grow Your Business” webinar earlier this week.

“Last year, NPD’s new CREST Hispanic tool confirmed that Hispanic consumers are driving QSR growth, contributing 17 percent of all restaurant traffic and 18 percent of all restaurant dollars in 2011,” said Michele Kessler, senior vice president of Univision’s Client Development Group. “Univision’s QSR Landscape study will help brands take advantage of the opportunity by understanding what motivates Hispanic consumers to visit, return and become loyal customers.”

During the webinar, Kessler and Peter Filiaci, vice president of Univision’s Client Development Group, discussed the survey’s key findings, including:

  • · Hispanic consumers are frequent visitors to QSRs. Hispanics, including millennials, are much more likely than the general population to visit QSRs. The study found that on average, Hispanics visit QSRs more than 10 times in a 30-day period, while non-Hispanics visit about seven times per month. Furthermore, Hispanics are nearly twice as likely to be categorized as frequent users (more than 10 visits a month) than are non-Hispanics and significantly contribute to the breakfast (20 percent Hispanic vs. 14 percent of non-Hispanic) and snack (21 percent Hispanic vs. 12 percent non-Hispanic) dayparts. Latino millennials visit QSRs even more frequently – 12 times a month versus eight times per month than non-Hispanics.
  • · Hispanic party size is bigger. The Univision QSR Landscape study found that Hispanics are more likely to visit with friends and family than the general population – 34 percent of Hispanics are likely to bring children 18 years of age or younger versus 25 percent of non-Hispanics; and 25 percent are likely to bring friends compared to 18 percent of non-Hispanics. Hispanic millennials are also 10 percent more likely to bring friends (36 percent vs. 26 percent non-Hispanic). Across all meal times, this adds up to Hispanics having on average 2.9 people in their party vs. 2.1 for the general population.
  • · Hispanics showcase profitable ordering patterns. Hispanics are much more likely to order beverages with their meals; 93 percent say they order food and a beverage when they visit a QSR vs. only 78 percent of non-Hispanics saying they order both. Hispanics are also less likely to use a coupon (25 percent vs. 30 percent non-Hispanic).
  • · A family-friendly environment is a major driver. Whether it’s for new or returning customers, Hispanics look for QSRs that can accommodate their bigger parties and social needs. Hispanics are much more likely to cite spending time with family (44 percent vs. 20 percent non-Hispanic), treating the children (30 percent vs. 16 percent non-Hispanic) and spending time with friends (21 percent vs. 10 percent) as reasons to visit a QSR. The story is similar for Hispanic millennials; two out of the top five reasons to visit are tied to family. Family did not rank in the top five reasons to visit for non-Hispanic millennials.
  • · Hispanics are drawn to fresh food options. Fresh food also plays a major role in getting Hispanics to visit and return to a QSR. “Having fresh food on the menu,” “having healthy meal options for children,” and “offering fresh veggies and salads” are some of the most commonly chosen reasons to try a new restaurant. For non-Hispanics, that list is dominated by value options like “getting more food here for the same price at other places” or receiving a discount or coupon in the mail.
  • · Opportunities abound to build relationships with Hispanics. Overall, unaided awareness levels for QSR brands are generally lower among Hispanics. The burger category dominates QSRs when it comes to top of mind recall and overall unaided awareness. Hispanics also hold more favorable opinions of brands across categories with 65 percent having extremely favorable or very favorable opinions of burger brands (vs. 50 percent non-Hispanic), 50 percent for pizza brands (vs. 38 percent non-Hispanic) and 58 percent for sub/sandwich brands (vs. 54 percent non-Hispanic). And, once a brand establishes a relationship with Hispanic consumers they become even more loyal customers than non-Hispanics.

“We believe that more targeted communication to Hispanics would help raise awareness levels and motivate Hispanics to make a decision among the plethora of fast food options available to them,” Kessler said. “Restaurant ad spending on Spanish-language TV has grown 31 percent from 2006 to 2011 as brands realize that Hispanic consumers are essential to their growth, yet many brands are inactive or spending way below the recommended 15 percent of total media dollars.”

The study, fielded by Burke Inc., consists of interviews of 1,250 U.S. and foreign-born Hispanics, and 1,250 non-Hispanic adults who are frequent patrons of QSRs. Twelve QSR chains were used in the study. The survey was conducted in both English and Spanish.

Similar to other studies:

Results from the study echo similar reports released recently about how the growth of the Hispanic demographic will benefit the restaurant industry. The U.S. Census indicates that the Hispanic population is expected to grow 34 percent from 2010 to 2020. Foodservice market research company NPD Grouphas found that this growth is beginning to influence national consumption patterns.

QSRs have begun responding to the trend by directing more marketing dollars toward the Hispanic demographic. According to the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA), there has been a 14 percent increase in budget allocation for these types of campaigns since 2009.

The QSR segment falls into the “Leaders” category of the AHAA’s list of Hispanic advertisers, with a significant increase of 30 percent, or $70 million in incremental investment, for $301 million total spend in 2010.

Brands such as Popeyes’, Domino’s, Pizza Patron, Wendy’s, Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin-Robbins, El Pollo Loco, Whataburger, Sonic, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s have increased their Hispanic marketing budgets, hired agencies specifically to communicate to the Hispanic demographic or added staff for the same reason.

In 2011, McDonald’s was listed as the fourth top spender in Hispanic media, among all advertisers in all industries.

April 17, 2012   No Comments

Marketer Interview: On Creating a Hispanic Centric Web Series

By: Portada Editorial Staff

Recently the second season of Latinos Are One was introduced, A Hispanic-centric web series that spotlights ten aspiring Latino artists who will be challenged to create an original piece of art inspired by Maña y Corazón. The project is a collaboration between  McDonald’s, Dallas-based Latino ad agency, iNSPIRE! and content production and distribution company DBG.

Portada talked to Tommy Thompson,  President at iNSPIRE!, McDonald’s Dallas-based Latino ad agency.

Portada:  Can you describe the series and its language? Tommy Thompson, President at iNSPIRE!, Dallas: “The series is in English because the primary target of the series is young Latinos.  The trend is for U.S. born or second generation Latinos to be bicultural or even English Dominate.  While the content is relevant to their cultural roots and heritage, English is the best way to connect with this group.”

Portada: What are the main elements of the shows content? Tommy Thompson: “In an effort to reach the Latino teen market in the U.S. in a new and engaging way, McDonald¹s needed a campaign that bypassed the traditional TV commercial.  Their goal was to create an online ad that provided the consumer with content they would be able to stay connected with during the year-long campaign.  Since music is so important to the target, this provided the perfect framework for a music-centered campaign that utilized a variety of Latino artists and producers.  LR1 took music fans inside the creative process as GRAMMY-winning producer Andres Levin brought together three rising musicians of different heritages and musical backgrounds to craft a new song celebrating the diversity and strength the American Latino culture.  Over the course of three days, Levin and Hip-Hop MC Velcro, Jean Shepherd from the rock band Navegante, and singer-songwriter Debi Nova combined their talents to create “Maña y Corazón” ­a new single that showcased the current creativity of independent Latin music.  Season 2 takes “Maña y Corazón” to a different level when the song was used as source of inspiration to various artists to create their own unique take on the message.”

Portada: What is the length of the campaign? Tommy Thompson: “The campaign will run throughout 2012 launching in February with 4 stories.  Episodes will continue to be released and by the end of the year all 10 stories will be served to consumer through our media plan and available on”

Portada” Who does the media buying to promote the show? Tommy Thompson: “Moroch Partners handles the media planning and buying.”

How are media partnerships achieved? Does DBG pay its partners (e.g. Batanga TV) or does McDonald’s do this in this case? Tommy Thompson: “Partnerships are achieved through the media plan.  DBG last year was able to negotiate the partnership with Batanga as part of the 2011 campaign.  Batanga was a natural partner for a music-centered content series.”

Portada: Do you think Online Video is going to eventually replace TV? Tommy Thompson: “I’m not sure that online video will ever completely replace TV, but it continues to redefine how consumers decide to engage with content and programming.  Right now it is critical to understand how they work together and how to leverage the different experiences that audiences have with both.”

Portada: Regarding English-language content targeting Hispanics and Spanish-language content targeting Hispanics, as it related to online video? Which of both is more demanded right now? How do you see this going forward? Tommy Thompson: “Both Spanish and English language content are in high demand.  Hispanic consumers are hugely underserved online and are begging for networks and marketers alike to provide them with more relevant content.  The future will require a growth in both in order to connect with Hispanic consumers.”

Portada: Do you think there are enough advertisers and sponsors willing to advertise in English digital media that targets Hispanics? Tommy Thompson: “Spanish language media is no longer the exclusive territory for reaching Hispanic consumers that now straddles across media and language. Social media and the online environment serves as the perfect example of how Latinos put content preferences first and language second.  More and more advertisers need to develop that type of thinking and understand that it is less about language and more about relevant content.”

March 16, 2012   No Comments

New Research: Hispanics Much More Optimistic than the Rest of the Population

By: Portada Editorial Staff

A new study provided exclusively to Portada by MediaVest and Ipsos MediaCT reveals that Hispanics have a much more optimistic perspective on their lives, and the state of America more generally.  This is even more the case for Spanish-dominant Hispanics.

Key findings include:

▪                39% of Hispanics, and 51% of those taking the survey in Spanish, are “Pan-Optimists” – a consumer segment characterized by a broadly-based sense of optimism that extends beyond personal and family matters to include optimism about America, the economy, and other “distal” concerns.

▪                In contrast, among the general population, only 21% are Pan-Optimists, with the most prevalent segment (37%) being “Personal Optimists” – a consumer segment characterized optimism about “close to home” matters such as one’s life and one’s family, but pessimistic outlooks about broader matters such as America and the next generation.

▪                Hispanics in general, and those taking the survey in Spanish in particular, are more likely to report having a clear sense of their life goals, to believe the American Dream is alive, and to consider the American Dream to have been personally inspirational to them.

Background & Methodology:

MediaVest commissioned Ipsos MediaCT to conduct Optimism in America, a study designed to take the pulse of Americans today with regard to optimism, goals, and the American Dream.  The study was conducted via an online survey of 1,033 adult Americans during October 2011.  The results were weighted to reflect the U.S. population according to U.S. Census data. 

Hispanic Representation:

To ensure a broad and accurate representation of Hispanic Americans, respondents were given the option of taking the survey in English or Spanish.  To further ensure the adequate representation of less-acculturated and Spanish-language-dominant Hispanics, respondents were recruited through multiple sources, including the well-respected Cada Cabeza research panel ( In total, 144 of the 1,033 (14%) respondents described themselves as Hispanic; of these, 88 took the survey in English, and 56 took the survey in Spanish.

Setting Goals is Key to Understanding Optimism:

Optimism is determined by the goals people set for themselves.  People continue to re-evaluate their goals and dreams.  During a recession, and in the short-term following a recession, people search for stability.  They find this stability in their families and friends while reprioritizing monetary goals (again, the short-term).

Respondents were asked their agreement to the statement, “Because of the economy, I have had to put a lot of my dreams ‘on hold.’” Fully 60% of Hispanics agreed with that statement.  That’s a larger share than non-Hispanic white/Caucasian (50%), non-Hispanic Asian (50%), and Non-Hispanic Black/African-American (39%).

The table below shows the relative importance of each type of goal across four major ethnic and racial groups.  Family is important to all groups while “personal goals” have a stronger pull among Hispanics.  Additionally, all groups rate “career goals” the lowest of the five groups measured.

% Extremely Important
Hispanic Any Race Non-Hispanic Black/Af.Amer. Non-Hispanic White/Caucasian Non-Hispanic Asian
Family Goals (128) Family Goals (122) Family Goals (142) Family Goals (144)
Personal Goals (116) Spiritual Goals (113) Personal Goals (111) Spiritual Goals (96)
Spiritual Goals (101) Financial Goals (98) Spiritual Goals (108) Financial Goals (94)
Financial Goals (82) Personal Goals (98) Financial Goals (84) Personal Goals (88)
Career Goals (73) Career Goals (70) Career Goals (55) Career Goals (78)

The data in ( ) above are relative indices.  Step 1: The five goal groups were averaged for each of the racial and ethnic segment noted.  Step 2: Each goal group was then indexed by that average for each racial and ethnic segment (goal group / average of the five goal groups *100).

March 16, 2012   No Comments

‘Cosmo Latina’ Takes Aim At Bicultural Readers English-language mag nixes family-friendly approach

By: Emma Bazilian

When Hearst Magazines launches Cosmopolitan Latina in May, it will target an audience that brands are growing increasingly aware of: the millions of young, bilingual and bicultural Latino Americans. And it won’t be like the Spanish-language magazines that already dominate the market. For starters, it will be in English.

“What typically happens when you have a magazine or product targeted toward Latinas is, it has a very wholesome, family approach,” said the magazine’s editor, Michelle Herrera Mulligan. Cosmo Latina will provide “the kind of conversation that goes on when the door is shut, when we can talk about things openly and honestly.”

Cosmo Latina, which will start with two issues this year and a circulation of 545,000, will have half its ads coming from beauty versus one-fourth in the original Cosmopolitan. Advertisers in the launch issue include Estée Lauder, Procter & Gamble, L’Oréal USA, Lancôme, Christian Dior, Macy’s, Unilever, Calvin Klein and Coty.

Marketers and media companies have taken note of second-generation, bicultural Hispanics because they’re young, their numbers are growing fast and they have more earning potential than their less acculturated counterparts. Ad spending in Hispanic-interest magazines grew 18 percent in 2011, per Media Economics Group, versus a 3 percent decline in consumer magazines in general. But other than the 500,000-circulation Latina, most of those magazines are Spanish-language, creating a wide opening for outlets like Cosmo Latina that give advertisers a way to reach an important audience while staying in the comfort zone of English.

“The low-hanging fruit with marketers is the English-dominant,” said Enedina Vega-Amaez, publisher of Meredith Corp.’s Hispanic Ventures Group. Meredith Corp., with mass women’s titles like Parents and Family Circle, is building up its Spanish-language content online but also thinking about how to go after Hispanics who are English-language dominant.

There are risks to this strategy, though. Cosmo Latina, by covering topics like sex and dealing with conservative parents, could stir controversy by going up against traditional culture. And an English-language product needs to be compelling enough to pull in acculturated Hispanics who already consume mainstream media, not to mention the advertisers who are already reaching them through those means.

Cosmo Latina hopes more advertisers agree with Carol Russo, sales and marketing gm at Estée Lauder, which is advertising in both Cosmo Latina and Cosmopolitan. “We like to reach our customer on all platforms,” she said. “We think it’s an opportunity to either re-engage or potentially engage someone who may not have been reading Cosmo.”

March 16, 2012   No Comments

NBA to Pay Tribute to Latin Heritage with Noche Latina 2012

Official Press Release

The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced the schedule of this season’s Noche Latina (Latin Night) program. These commemorative games celebrate the growing support of NBA fans and players across Latin America and U.S. Hispanic communities with special telecasts and in-arena festivities, including distinctive NBA team uniforms.

This year, Noche Latina celebrations will begin on March 1st and take place in Los Angeles (Lakers), Miami, Orlando, Phoenix, San Antonio, Chicago, and New York with seven nationally televised games on TNT, ABC, and ESPN.

“The Noche Latina program is the perfect example of the ongoing commitment by the NBA to celebrate diversity as part of the fabric of our game,” said NBA Vice President of Hispanic Marketing Saskia Sorrosa. “This month-long celebration will bring the excitement of the NBA to Hispanic fans in ways that are culturally relevant.”

To further honor Hispanic fans and players during Noche Latina games, participating teams will host in-arena Latin-themed activities, including music, performances, and giveaways. As the league’s marquee program under the éne•bé•a platform, Noche Latina events will also be supported with television and radio advertising on both English- and Spanish-language media across the country as well as on the league’s Spanish-language Web site,, and social media pages.

Noche Latina merchandise, including the special game jerseys produced by Adidas, will be available at the NBA Store on Fifth Avenue in New York City, online at, and at in-arena stores for participating teams.

Noche Latina launched during the 2006-07 NBA season and, features uniforms that display the team name as spoken by the bicultural, bilingual Latino population and Spanish-language TV and radio announcers, according to market research. The Miami Heat, for example, are “El Heat”; the San Antonio Spurs are referred to as “Los Spurs.”

March 16, 2012   No Comments

How to Win the Latino Vote that Will Elect the Next President

By: Chiqui Cartagena

The Time magazine cover story “Yo Decido. Why Latinos will pick the next President” might seem shocking to some, but according to at least one well-respected political consultant, Latinos have already picked one president: W. In a panel discussion addressing this very same question during last fall’s Advertising Week, Lionel Sosa, a longtime Republican consultant who has worked on eight presidential campaigns, starting with Ronald Reagan in 1980, proclaimed that Latinos had already elected a U.S. President … twice! First, in 2000 when the difference between Al Gore and George W. Bush in Florida was 535 votes and Bush won 6,000 more Latino votes than Gore.Then again in 2004, when Bush won an unprecedented 44% of the Latino vote.

Everyone in politics knows that winning elections is a numbers game, and that in the end this presidential election will depend on 15 key swing states where, according to Jeb Bush’s op-ed in The Washington Post,”Hispanic voters will represent the margin of victory.”

In fact, Jorge Ramos’ piece in Time magazine’s “Yo Decido” issue says that no Republican has won the White House without garnering at least one-third of the Hispanic vote. And a poll conducted by Univision (my employer) in November showed that 52% of Hispanic voters are potentially up for grabs. You see, most people who are not well-versed in the Hispanic community think we don’t care about politics. Nothing could be further from the truth. Voter participation among registered Hispanic voters is 84%!

I’ve been following the Republican primaries with keen interest, not because I am a political junkie, but because Latinos have been used as political red meat in what is still a bruising Republican primary race. In spite of repeated warnings from their own party, the Republican candidates have all been particularly negative with regard to some of the issues that matter to Latino voters, like immigration reform and the Dream Act. And if they think that they can reverse course after the primary and — as Newt Gingrich said at a Univision candidate forum — get more than 50% of the Hispanic vote, they have a lot of work to do.

Don’t get me wrong — both parties are doing a terrible job of reaching out to the Latino voter, and my biggest complaint is what are they waiting for to start fixing it? They need to start now, and speak to us in the language of our heart: Spanish.

So here’s my advice, for free, to both parties: I believe the Obama team is missing a huge opportunity to start recapturing the hearts and minds of disillusioned Latinos … right now. After Super Tuesday, I would start spending in all the swing states where Hispanics represent a significant amount of the electorate, saturating Spanish-language media with Obama’s message. After the vitriol they’ve heard from the Republican side, this would go a long way, even though he hasn’t delivered on all of his campaign promises. Show us what you have done for us.

As soon as the Republican candidate is selected — and the sooner the better — Republicans will need to start mending fences with Latino voters by carefully crafting messages that really speak to their conservative side. If the nominee is not clearly decided after Tuesday, I believe some of those Super PAC’s would be better off preparing the eventual nominee’s campaign by spending some of their billions to soften the tone the candidates have taken thus far. They need to remind Latinos that they are welcome to the party and that they, too, are “Republicans at heart, but just don’t know it yet,” as Reagan used to say.

Both parties are going to need a ton of help from crafty advertising agencies and political consultants who know not only how to connect emotionally with the Hispanic community but how to create those messages in Spanish. Don’t wait until the conventions. You’ve got to start talking to the heart and minds of Latinos now. Now is when I am discussing politics at home with my family, and trust me, millions of other Latinos are, too!

March 16, 2012   No Comments

Hispanic Youth May Be Overlooked

By: Myriam DiGiovanni

As credit unions continue their Gen Y outreach efforts, they may want to take a closer look at the Hispanic market.

Recent research has found that Hispanic youth currently represent some 20% of the total U.S. teen population and U.S. Census reports project that in 10 years more than 60% of all U.S. teens will belong to the Hispanic population.

“It’s a big opportunity, and I think credit unions are missing out,” said Miriam De Dios, vice president at Coopera. “The average age of Hispanics in general is 25, so serving the Hispanic audience is a way to lower that average member age.”

She added that when targeting Hispanic youth, parents are still key, but successful outreach efforts have to go beyond simply translating existing marketing materials.

“If you can win over the first generation, then you’re much more prone to earn the loyalty of the second generation,” said De Dios. “Culturally, there’s a strong sense of responsibility to family, a large number of Hispanic teens are living in tight-knit households where pride and self-reliance are core values. One thing to note is that they’re still learning financial habits from their parents and are often more inundated with messaging. I was born in Mexico and moved here when I was about four years old. Even in high school, I got more mail than my parents, mostly credit card offers. I learned a lot on my own.”

She added that in terms of language, the second generation may prefer being courted in English and like their parents they take advice from friends and family.

“If your credit union serves that Gen Y’s parent well enough that they speak highly of the experience then they’ll be more open to consider it as well,” said De Dios. “Get involved and be a part of your local Hispanic community. Look for meaningful partnership opportunities with local vendors. It can be as simple as volunteering at events or serving on a local organization’s board and finding ways your credit union can help. Financial institutions that build real relationships within the community will encourage that word-of-mouth marketing, which delivers better results.”

To further cut through the advertising clutter, having a good grasp and understanding of the local demographics is key. She added that credit unions must demonstrate rather than just tell how they add value to their members’ lives by adapting products/services to the genuine needs of the local Hispanic residents.

“There is a huge opportunity to reach out to this audience that’s thirsty for financial services as they plan for their future,” said De Dios.

February 13, 2012   No Comments

How to Friend 100,000 Latinas on Facebook

By: Joe Kutchera

If you want your company’s brands to make 100,000 “friends” on Facebook, Tatiana Hansell can show you how.

As Unilever’s Multicultural Marketing Manager of personal care products, Hansell developed its Vivemejor branded content initiative for Latina women online. First, she launched its Spanish-language website,, which provides helpful cooking and beauty tips for Latina moms. Today, with the explosion of social media, Vive Mejor, which means “Live Better” in English, distributes its content across the major social sites: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Vive Mejor recently just surpassed 140,000 fans (as of the publication of this article) on its Facebook page, making it one of the largest Spanish-language communities on Facebook catering to U.S. Hispanics. And after only three weeks in market, the @Vivemejor Twitter page amassed more than 10,000 followers.

With consumers fast forwarding past TV ads with DVR’s (digital video recorders), some smart marketers, like Unilever, have developed editorial websites that are findable on search engines and “like”-able on Facebook, to provide helpful and interesting content for their target audience, wherever they want to read it. In essence, they have become media companies, all in order to develop trust and a closer connection with consumers online.

A recent study from the Custom Content Council and ContentWise showed that spending on branded content among the top 100 US marketers grew to an all-time high of $1,914,000 per company. The number one reason why marketers use branded content, according to the study, is to educate customers, while the second is consumer retention. Leading marketers oftentimes find branded content initiatives surpass the effectiveness of other tactics like public relations, direct mail, and magazine advertising, according to the study.

“Unilever understood that there was a gap in high-quality content relevant to their brands and to Latina consumers,” says Hansell. “A branded website and Facebook page made sense for two reasons. First, a critical mass of Latinas has become very active on social media. Second, publishing content digitally is extremely efficient, quantifiable and flexible.”

We launched Vivemejor® in 2007 to provide Latina moms with relevant, practical and interactive resources including food, home and beauty tips, as well as family-related solutions that enrich their lives,” says Hansell. “It represents the first time that Unilever brought its food and personal care brands together in one marketing effort for Hispanic consumers, in-language.The company’s well-known brands like Dove, Hellmann’s, POND’S, and Ragú all pooled their resources together for this Latino content initiative.

Hansell recruited five food and beauty mavens to develop videos and articles for Vive Mejor, including: Leonardo Rocco, a celebrity hair stylist, Dr. Janice Lima-Maribona, a board certified dermatologist and beauty expert, Julie Pope, a professional hair stylist and makeup artist, Lourdes Castro, a chef and nutritionist, and Ema Quevedo, a chef and Unilever Kitchens consultant.

A 2010 study from Forrester Research, “Social Media is Mainstream for Online Hispanics” confirmed that Unilever was on the right track. It reported that, “Hispanics, compared with non-Hispanics, have cultural values that are much more centered around family, friends, and social connections, which makes social media a natural fit for this segment once online. Hispanic consumers continue to lead the general market in online social behaviors.”

Hansell and her team find that culturally relevant open-ended questions tend to illicit the highest level of engagement. To measure results, they analyze engagement metrics across their digital platform, including fan growth, likes, comments and website performance as well as qualitative measures like the sentiment of the feedback they receive. And of course, one huge benefit to social media sites like Facebook is that it’s much easier for friends to exchange information with one another online.

Speaking of sharing, what brands do you know that have successfully launched custom content initiatives for Latinos? Tell us who on Twitter @FoxNewsLatino and @JoeKutchera.

February 13, 2012   No Comments

Did 2012 Superbowl Advertisers Ignore the Hispanic Demo?

By: Portada Editorial Staff

All the wonderful ads of last night’s 2012 Superbowl have been praised, but one thing is not clear yet. Have these ads appealed to Hispanics? Have Hispanics even been taken into account? Fox News recently reported that the 2011 Superbowl drew an average of 10 million Hispanic viewers, making last year’s broadcast on Fox the most-watched television show in history among U.S. Hispanic viewers beating out the 2010 World Cup final. “I think most advertisers missed the mark to talk to the large growing segment of Hispanic viewers”, John Durham, CEO, Managing General Partner at Catalyst S+F tells Portada. “The Super Bowl plays to middle America which tonight was proved strongly. Yet, the ads ignored for the most part the Hispanic demo,” says Durham who also is Adjunct Professor of Advertising School of Management at the University of San Francisco, Perhaps, the “Un-Hispanicness” of the ads has to be attributed to the strong jingoistic feel many of the ads had. In this regard Durham highlights Budweiser and the Detroit cars. “You expect that with America’s party day,” Durham notes.

Regarding the ads themselves the advertising expert notes that NBC sports ads as well as Doritos, M&M, Fiat, Best Buy, Samsung, Honda, Acura and the Coke commercials along with Pepsi Max BIG HITS hit the mark of good messaging. These ads will also drive people to do something.

$3.5 million commercials
Frances Allen, the CMO of Denny’s, a company which has increased its outreach toward the Hispanic demographic, explained in a Forbes article why Denny’s did not appear in a 2012 Super Bowl ad. “At roughly $3.5 million a commercial, a 2012 Super Bowl ad is a marketing decision that I hope companies have truly thought out this year – does it reach their segment; is the spot unique, memorable and differentiating; does it make an emotional connection that is lasting with their audience? With such a high profile advertisement, you can be certain there will be significant critique and commentary on all Super Bowl ads in the days and weeks to follows. There may be no worse fate to advertisers than to have one of their Super Bowl commercials deemed a “failure” or “irrelevant” from the chorus of advertising “critics” who seem to appear on morning talk shows and the like each year.”

However, Pizza Patron, did use the Superbowl, although not through a TV Ad, to push its Party Paquetazos targeting Hispanics. “Super Bowl Sunday is not the biggest day of the year for us, but it’s in the top four or five, and we want to improve and capture more business,” Gamm told the Nation’s Restaurant News. Pizza Patrón has introduced four new Party Paquetazos — which means “combo” in Spanish and is pitched toward the chain’s core Hispanic demographic — combining wings, large pepperoni pizzas and five-piece orders of QuesoStix. They range in size from a $34.99 Paquetazo of 30 wings, two orders of QuesoStix, two pizzas and three dips, to an $84.99 combo of 90 wings, four orders of QuesoStix, four pizzas and eight dips.

February 13, 2012   No Comments

What’s to become of Hispanic Identidy?

By: David Morse

A paper published in the journal Social Science Research raises important questions regarding the ongoing assimilation of Hispanics in the United States and its implications for the future of multicultural marketing.

The research by two University of Southern California sociologists shows that 6% of respondents reporting Spanish or Latin American ancestry in a 2006 survey conducted by the U.S. Census answered “no” when asked if they identify themselves as Spanish, Hispanic or Latino. The authors, Amon Emeka and Jody Agius Vallejo, suggest that this might be early evidence of “ethnic attrition” or assimilation among Hispanics.

With three-quarters of today’s Hispanics either immigrants or second-generation, theories abound of how today’s immigrants and their children — who are mostly non-white — will assimilate (or acculturate). But most empirical evidence is based on early 20th century immigrants, who were mostly white. Since it’s impossible to ask this particular group of survey respondents why they said that they were not Hispanic, the authors developed a regression model to predict variables associated with non-Hispanic identity. While education, income, age and gender were significant predictors of Hispanic identity, more powerful predictors were mixed ancestry, English-language exclusivity and race.

Not surprisingly, respondents of mixed ancestry (Latin American/Spanish and something else) were less likely to say they were Hispanic. Similarly, non-Spanish speakers were significantly less likely to call themselves Hispanic. However, the biggest eye-opener centered on race. Respondents of Latin American/Spanish ancestry who identified their race as white, black or Asian were several times more likely to identify as non-Hispanic than those who said that their race was mixed or “some other race.”

The authors conclude that this may reflect a “racialized notion of Hispanicity ” among Latin American descendants, who think of white, black, Asian and Hispanic as mutually exclusive racial groups. It is a mind-boggling conclusion, given that in the 2010 U.S. Census, 53% of those who self-identified as “Hispanic” indicated that they were white, 3% black and 1% Asian/Pacific Islander.

The responses revealed a big difference between the foreign-born and the U.S.-born. Only 2% of those born in Latin America or Spain indicated that they were non-Hispanic, compared to 12% of those born in the United States. Given that the majority of future growth in the Hispanic market will be driven by the U.S.-born, and that close to nine in 10 Hispanics under 18 were born in the United States, we can assume that future generations of Hispanics will relate to their Hispanidad differently than did their immigrant parents and grandparents.

So what is to become of Hispanic identity? Clearly, intermarriage with non-Hispanics will lead to some diminution of Hispanidad among the children of such unions. So will the inevitable loss of Spanish as a primary language among the U.S.-born. And based on this analysis, a subset of Hispanics will identify more with their race than their Hispanic ethnicity with the passage of time.

Sociologist George Yancey predicts that in coming decades Hispanics and Asians will assimilate into the mainstream, creating a new “black/non-black” divide, similar to what occurred in the early 20th century, when newly arrived ethnic groups were widely thought of as non-white. Others envision a divide between whites, Asians, lighter-skinned Hispanics and lighter people of mixed race on one side, and African Americans, darker Hispanics and darker people of mixed race on the other. Neither of these scenarios would bode well for America. The good news is that today’s younger generation is largely bereft of yesteryear’s baggage regarding race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Wherever we end up, it will likely be in a better place.

As multicultural marketers (something all of us in this profession will be), we need to be mindful that race and ethnicity are, and always have been, fluid concepts. The “non-whites” of the early 20th century — the Irish, Italians and Jews — assimilated into the mainstream. To be successful, we will need to remove our cultural blinders and anachronistic conceptions and speak the language of whatever new America is evolving.

Author Michael Barone has written that it took white ethnic immigrants about 100 years to fully assimilate into the American mainstream. So if we date the new Hispanic immigration to have started around 1975, and if the past is any measure of the future, we can expect Hispanic marketing to be around as a meaningful category until at least 2075. By that time, our grandkids will be horrified by the inundation of America by some other ethnic group, as scholars study the assimilation of early 21st century Hispanics into the mainstream. And for certain, the multicultural-marketing pundits will declare that the new immigrants are different, that they are special and that they are nothing like the earlier immigrants, including Hispanics, who came to America in search of their dreams. And they will be partly right.

February 13, 2012   No Comments

Pontiflex Introduces Spanish-language Mobile Advertising Platform

By: Portada Editorial Staff

Pontiflex, a mobile and online signup ad platform announced new Spanish language capabilities. With the Pontiflex mobile signup ads platform, advertisers like The Hunger Project, Visit Mexico, Club Cupon, and Seleqto are running Spanish – language signup ads on iPhone, iPad and Android devices to connect with Hispanics in the US and around the world.

With today’s announcement, advertisers will be able to create ads in multiple languages on the Pontiflex mobile signup ads technology platform. When a user has activated the Spanish – language setting on their mobile device, the platform automatically displays mobile signup ads and accompanying prompts in Spanish. As a result, Spanish-speaking people in the US and around the world can view mobile signup ads in their native language and receive advertisements that are relevant to them.

Fortune 500 brands and small businesses alike will be immediately able to take advantage of the Spanish – language capabilities to run accountable mobile app advertising campaigns, reach this increasingly important audience and secure returns on every ad dollar with mobile signup ads.

Hispanics account for a large slice of US consumer spending and are becoming one of the most mobile savvy segments of the US population. Omnidirect reports that at three times the annual growth rate of the general market, US Hispanics total 47 million people and spend roughly $1 trillion per year. Zpryme Research also projected that US Hispanics spent $5.15 billion via mobile devices over the 2011 holiday season.

“The Hunger Project has a presence in twelve countries, including Mexico and Peru,” said Sara Wilson, Communications & New Media Officer, The Hunger Project. “With Pontiflex, we can now reach and communicate with a wider audience in the US about topics that are meaningful to them.”

Visit Mexico (Mexico Tourism Board) is another organization partnering with Pontiflex to run mobile signup ads that reach the US Hispanic audience. Pontiflex mobile signup ads help Visit Mexico create awareness, shape a positive perception of Mexico and drive tourism, which is the fourth largest industry in Mexico.

“Despite some of the negative publicity in the media, the truth is entirely different. Mexico is a perfectly safe country to visit that’s rich in history, tradition, culture and natural beauty. By using Pontiflex’s mobile signup ads, we’re able to connect to an engaged audience on mobile devices and drive tourism to Mexico,” said Luis Antonio Tejeda, Internet Marketing Manager, Visit Mexico. Pontiflex signup ads enable people to opt in to ads without having to click away from the app to a clunky browser. Advertisers pay only for signups – and never for wasted clicks or impressions. With Pontiflex mobile signup ads, marketers at organizations such as The Hunger Project and Visit Mexico can reach people who are interested in hearing more from them, in Spanish or English.

February 13, 2012   No Comments

Old Navy Backs Online Hispanic Mini-Novela “Stolen Styles”

 By: Laurel Wentz

In an effort to attract the attention of Hispanic shoppers, Old Navy is backing a six-part online mini-novela in which fashion plays an integral part. Called “Stolen Styles” (“Estilos Robados”), the title hints at rivals’ efforts to steal the spotlight from the fashionable but spoiled protagonist Isabella, who plays a novela star.

'Estilos Robados' star Isabella
‘Estilos Robados’ star Isabella

Starting Oct. 14, each weekly episode lasts just under five minutes, and ends with a choice between two outfits for Isabella to wear in the following episode after viewers text their votes for her next look. Old Navy’s digital agency, AKQA, created the concept and developed the technology, and NBC Universal-owned Spanish-language network Telemundo produced the online novela and is promoting it.

In the first episode, called “Tears, Lust, Sequins” (It sounds better, or at least more alliterative, in Spanish: “Lagrimas, Lujuria, Lentejuelas”), Isabella, clad in a long, figure-hugging red dress, flaunts her handsome actor boyfriend in front of a TV reporter. Behind closed doors, it turns out that her real, secret love is a penniless chauffeur. Worse, another actress has won the next novela role that Isabella covets. Her plan: storm into the executives’ office and change their minds—as soon as viewers pick her next outfit designed to impress.

“We filmed multiple versions of different episodes,” said Deborah Yeh, VP of marketing at Old Navy. “There are a couple instances where the clothes influence how Isabella is going to make some decisions. She can choose to react positively to a situation, with clothes that are more angelic, or respond negatively and look mischievous.”

Each online episode ends with the words “In the style of Old Navy, produced by Telemundo.” In addition to Isabella’s outfits, a variety of other Old Navy clothes are pictured at the end of each episode, with price tags and a 25% discount coupon, although shoppers can’t click to buy and have to go to the store. Fashion-loving Isabella’s whole wardrobe is from Old Navy, but the retailer isn’t mentioned in the script.

“And there are no scenes in an Old Navy store,” Ms. Yeh said.

Ads for “Estilos Robados” are running on Telemundo’s TV network, website and mobile site to drive viewers to watch the episodes, which can be seen on the ‘Estilos Robados’ tab within Old Navy’s Facebook page and on Old Navy’s Spanish YouTube channel as well as Telemundo’s mobile site. In addition, Old Navy is distributing flyers for two weeks at more than 100 Old Navy stores in heavily Hispanic areas, and is using digital billboards in Miami.

The company doesn’t work with a Hispanic ad agency, and has used its general market shop, CP&B, for Spanish-language work for the last three years, Ms. Yeh said.

Old Navy started posting in Spanish on Facebook last year, and has been stepping up its Hispanic effort in traditional media, too. All Old Navy’s radio spots are produced in Spanish as well as English, and ten Hispanic-targeted TV spots have been produced this year, Ms. Yeh said. Print ads started in the summer and a September campaign ran only in Hispanic-focused titles. The company also hired a Puerto Rican fashion expert, Yanira Garza, as a spokesperson and distributes a Hispanic version of its circulars in top Latino markets.

“Hispanic shoppers account for about 12% of apparel sales, and Old Navy’s share is north of that,” Ms. Yeh said.

January 4, 2012   No Comments

Walmart’s Tony Rogers: ‘Blow Up’ Your Multicultural Budget

By: Laurel Wentz

 Walmart Stores is going to “blow up” its multicultural marketing budget and move the money into the company’s individual business units, said Tony Rogers, senior VP-brand marketing and advertising, at the ANA’s Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference today in Miami. “I’ve come to the conclusion that if you really want to be serious about multicultural, one way to do it is just blow up the multicultural budget,” Mr. Rogers said. “Take the multicultural budget out of a silo and push it out into the business units. [And] you’ve got to protect the budget and make sure it doesn’t just dissolve away.”

At Walmart, for instance, if a marketer works in a category group like food, “I’m now handing you a budget that includes a very strong multicultural component,” he said. “That makes it more difficult for that marketer to ignore any part of it. If those budgets are sitting in a silo, there’s an assumption that someone else [is taking care of it].”

Mr. Rogers said this change is happening “in real time.” The new system will include linking compensation to multicultural performance, he implied. “You’ve got to make sure this marketer has four or five objectives for the year,” he said. “One of those objectives has to be how did you do against multicultural.” Walmart’s main multicultural agencies are Lopez Negrete Communications, one of the biggest independent Hispanic agencies, GlobalHue for African American work, and Interpublic Group of Co.’s Asian agency IW Group.

Procter & Gamble, the biggest multicultural marketer, made a similar move about a year ago to push multicultural budgets into individual product categories and brands from a more centralized multicultural unit and tie managers’ bonuses to multicultural performance. Ethnic agency assignments were also realigned. And as a precaution, P&G guaranteed its multicultural agencies’ revenue for three years to help smooth the transition.

Mr. Rogers spoke today to a record 700-person crowd at the ANA’s annual multicultural gathering. In a fireside chat with Jacqueline Hernandez, chief operating officer of Telemundo Communications Group, Mr. Rogers said he had just come from running the New York marathon on Sunday and drew applause for delivering Walmart’s slogan in Spanish: “Ahorra mas, viva mejor.” (“Save more, live better”).

He described his own journey as a marketer over the last decade and said there are three levels of “getting” multicultural marketing. The first level of “getting it,” he said, “is not doing anything.” The second level is recognizing its importance, but keeping efforts pretty siloed, like spending some money during Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month and considering the multicultural box to be ticked off. “The next step is where we are — making multicultural part of everything we do,” he said.

He cited Walmart’s recently rolled out layaway program, saying it’s incredibly popular among multicultural customers and that “not leading with a multicultural message, that’d be crazy.” He also said Walmart found that the interaction with recent digital ad for the layaway program, done in both Spanish and English, was three times higher for the Spanish-language version.

For Walmart’s current Christmas price-guarantee program, each multicultural ad is based on a relevant insight, Mr. Rogers said. The humorous African-American spot revolves around food and extended family. The camera zeroes in on individual food items like pie, and adds a price tag to show how affordable it is. One missing pie is tracked down to an errant uncle sneakily devouring it in another room, so he’s relegated to the kids’ table at the feast.

The Hispanic spot is based on abundance, with a huge stack of gifts at the store, which Mr. Rogers said has prompted store managers to ask if they can build a similar stack in their own premises. A third TV ad, in Chinese, reflects a Chinese saying about comparing prices three times before buying.

January 4, 2012   No Comments

Hulu launches Latino service with Spanish-language programming

By: Meg James

Hoping to attract a rapidly growing U.S. Latino audience, online video site Hulu has launched a Spanish-language programming service with popular shows from networks Univision, Estrella TV and Azteca America.

Until now, Spanish-language programming has been scattered across different Internet sites. And some of the most popular programs, including the spicy telenovelas produced by Grupo Televisa of Mexico, were not available online in the U.S. 

Hulu — which has ramped up its offerings this year — saw an opportunity.

“The demographics of the U.S. Latino audience are very interesting to us, and until now there was so little Spanish-language content available online in an aggregated form,” said Andy Forssell, senior vice president of content at Hulu, based in Santa Monica.

The U.S. Latino population is the nation’s fastest growing demographic group. The median age of the Latino audience also is younger than that of the general market, which has helped to attract blue-chip advertisers who prefer younger viewers. 

The Hulu Latino service is being sponsored by five Hulu advertisers: Corona, Modelo, Toyota, Pantene, and Volkswagen of America.

Advertisers and Hulu, owned by media companies Walt Disney Co., News Corp. and NBCUniversal, are particularly interested in reaching bilingual viewers who watch programming in English and Spanish. They believe a large percentage of that audience can be found online.

Hulu has spent the last few months negotiating agreements with 11 Spanish-language content partners, including Univision, the largest Spanish-language media company in the U.S., and other Latin American media companies.

Spanish-language programming will be available on the free Hulu site and through the Hulu Plus subscription service. Hulu Plus will offer hundreds of hours of current and classic shows, including entire seasons of the enormously popular telenovelas, including those produced by Televisa, Venevision and RCTV of Venezuela.

Much of Univision’s programming has been slow to arrive online because the company did not have the online rights to the popular telenovelas produced by Televisa until late last year. Two months ago, Univision announced its arrangement to provide its programming to Hulu.

The Hulu Latino service launched Tuesday. Users of the free Hulu service will have access to several episodes of current season programming, including recent episodes of such Univision shows as  telenovela “La Fuerza del Destino” (The Power of Destiny), newsmagazine “Aqui y Ahora” (Here and Now) and late night talk show “Noche de Perros” (Guys’ Night Out).

Hulu has rolled out several new offerings this year, including a service in Japan in September. It also has been working to bolster its library with foreign programming including Japanese anime, Korean dramas, and British television programs, including “Misfits” and “Mongrels.”

January 4, 2012   No Comments

Hispanics Are Online, But Marketers Don’t See Them

By: Lee Vann

Here’s a question for online marketers: What percent of U.S. online advertising spending do you think is targeted to Hispanics?

Let me give you a couple of clues. The digital marketing site eMarketer expects U.S. online advertising spending to reach $31 billion in 2011.  Hispanics make up about 15% of the total U.S. online market.

Fifteen percent would be too high, as many online Hispanics are bilingual and or prefer English, and general market online advertising reaches a large majority of them. So perhaps somewhere in the mid-single digits would make sense, say 5% or about $1.5 billion?  If that was your guess, you would be way off. Industry figures peg U.S. Hispanic online advertising at only $200 million this year, a mere 0.65% of the total investment in U.S. online advertising.

In the past ten years I have seen investment in the Hispanic online market grow, albeit at a much slower level than U.S. online advertising in general.  When you look at the numbers, the disparity between U.S. online and Hispanic online investment is shocking. 

So why is it that marketers spend less than 1% of their digital budgets against a group that represents 15% of the online market?  Perhaps it is because most of the people that allocate digital marketing dollars are not Hispanic and they do not see or feel the Hispanic online market first hand. Maybe they don’t really think that Hispanics are online? 

To invest in something, you have to understand it

For years professionals in our industry have struggled to prove that Hispanics are online, sending research study after research study to anybody who would listen.  After nearly a decade of countless PowerPoints, conference calls and meetings, we have made inroads, but still we have only gotten to 0.65% of the market.  There has to be a better way.

As I was doing some research on the leading Hispanic Facebook pages it clicked.  These large, colorful and engaged Hispanic Facebook communities are the digital equivalent of a Hispanic market immersion tour.  These tours have been successfully used in Hispanic marketing for a while as they take non-Hispanic marketing executives into Hispanic neighborhoods so that they can see and feel the Hispanic market first hand, something a PowerPoint can never accomplish. 

So I invite those who allocate digital marketing dollars on a Hispanic online market immersion tour to see and feel the Hispanic online market first hand.  Spend five minutes checking out the top five Spanish Hispanic media and brand Facebook pages.  Even if you don’t understand Spanish, the sheer numbers, faces and engagement levels you will see will give you a real senses for the Hispanic online market.

  1.                               263,000 Likers
  2.                            150,000 Likers
  3.                   107,000 Likers
  4.                      103,000 Likers
  5.                              101,000 Likers

I am hopeful that marketers will take me up on my invitation and see firsthand that Hispanics are online and worth much more than 0.65%.

January 4, 2012   No Comments

TargetSpot Signs Spanish Broadcasting System As Ad Affiliate

By: Erik Sass

One of the largest digital radio ad networks is growing bigger, with TargetSpot’s announcement that it has signed a deal with Spanish Broadcasting System, extending its reach among the growing U.S. Hispanic audience.

SBS claims to have 1.3 million monthly unique listeners across its network of 21 Hispanic-oriented stations, reaching 42% of the total U.S. Hispanic population; SBS has a presence in most of the major Hispanic markets, with stations in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.

TargetSpot enables digital advertisers to target listeners down to the ZIP code level, for a fair degree of specificity in reaching urban Hispanic audiences. Hispanics are heavy radio listeners, according to SBS, which cites data showing average radio listening time of 15.5 hours per week among Hispanics.

Spanish-language and Hispanic-oriented radio is also an effective advertising medium, as Hispanics are 53% more likely to purchase items advertised on Hispanic-oriented radio than mainstream, English-language counterparts.

TargetSpot is not the only big online audio network bolstering its reach among Hispanics with Spanish-language offerings. Although it is not an online ad network, in September, Clear Channel Radio revealed that it was adding Spanish-language programming from Univision Radio to the New iHeartRadio platform. The content partnership — the first third-party distribution relationship for the digital platform — includes music, sports, and talk formats, as well as leading AM and FM Spanish-language radio personalities.

The buying power of U.S. Hispanics has risen quickly, in tandem with the growing size and income of the population. Total Hispanic buying power has been estimated at $1 trillion to $1.3 trillion. Median household income among Hispanics has risen from $35,525 in 1990 to $38,039 in 2009, in 2009 dollars, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

January 4, 2012   No Comments

How To Target Hispanics With Facebook Advertising

By: Lee Vann

Twenty-five million Hispanics visit Facebook each month. That represents 74% of all online Hispanics. Given these figures, it is not surprising that countless brands and organizations use Facebook advertising to reach the nation’s largest minority group.

In this post, I’m going to share with you some of the insights I’ve gained firsthand by successfully targeting Hispanics on Facebook. Specifically, I’m going to show you how to use Facebook’s self-serve, cost-per-click-based advertising platform called Marketplace.

Let’s assume we are trying to reach Spanish-preferring and bilingual Hispanics who are 18 years or older.

Define Objectives and Budget

It is imperative to first ask yourself what are you trying to accomplish and how will you measure success.  Facebook advertising can be used to achieve several objectives, from branding and awareness, driving “likers” to a Facebook page, generating traffic to an external website or even direct response marketing.  It is also important to set a budget and financial goals for the campaign and put the proper tracking in place to measure your success – that is, how much is your goal worth?

Establish a target audience

Facebook allows marketers to target audiences based on geographic, demographic, language and psychographic characteristics. Facebook’s targeting engine makes it easy and cost effective to reach various segments of the Hispanic online market. Here are some simple targeting techniques you can use:

Location – Facebook allows marketers to target users on a national, state, city and zip code level.  Location targeting give us immediate access to Hispanics as we know that certain DMA’s and zip codes have a high concentration of Hispanics from various countries of origin.

Demographics – Facebook allows us to target age and gender. We could choose younger cohorts in order to reach a large number of Hispanics, but for our campaign, let’s go with both men and women over 18.

Languages – Here is where it gets cool, Facebook advertising can be targeted to people in the United States who have chosen to use Facebook in Spanish. By selecting language = Spanish, we are able to reach almost 4 million Spanish-preferring Hispanics in the U.S.  

Interests –Interest based targeting allows marketers to reach Facebook users based on the pages they like. This allows us to zero in on bilingual Hispanics, those that “like” Spanish language pages but use Facebook in English. Targeting those who use Facebook in English but like the pages of Spanish language media companies such as Univision, Telemundo, Televisa, CNN en Español and Azteca América yields an audience of nearly 700,000. If we add the Facebook pages of artists who predominantly cater to Latinos such as Wisin & Yandel, Don Omar, Ricardo Arjona, Juanes, Maná and Alejandro Fernandez, the audience grows to 1.2 million bilingual Hispanics.

Create relevant ads

Good ads are as important as targeting on Facebook. Facebook ads consist of a thumbnail image, a headline and a block of body copy. Make sure your ads are clear, compelling and call-to-action oriented. In our example above, we would use Spanish in the ads that would be targeted to the users who use Facebook in Spanish. For the bilingual group, we would likely test both Spanish and English ads. In terms of images, we have found that pictures of people tend to work best.

Launch and optimize

Once you have defined your objectives, established your target audience and developed your ads, you are good to go, but once you launch your campaign you are only getting started.  As with any online advertising tactic, Facebook advertising provides real time statistics on campaign performance. Be sure to monitor this closely and optimize your campaign to drive your objectives.

November 9, 2011   No Comments

Hispanic Marketers (and Agencies) Need to Put Language War Behind Them

By: David Morse

It has finally happened. According to none other than the distinguished Pew Hispanic Center, births have surpassed immigration as the main driver of growth in the U.S. Hispanic market. In other words, since 2000, the proverbial exponential growth in the Hispanic population has been (and will continue to be) mostly driven by kids born in the U.S. — a majority of whom are second generation — and not by the so-called unacculturated.

It’s no surprise. The Pew Center and others have been predicting this development for years. But it is likely to reignite what has been the subject of much debate. Or better said, hostility. The question of how a brand most effectively markets to Hispanics who were born in the U.S.

Until now, most of the discussion has focused on language. On one side have been those that argue in favor of Hispanic exceptionalism. The argument goes that Hispanics, unlike other immigrants to the U.S., have a unique relationship with their native tongue and that they will hold on to it longer than other immigrants. This point of view has been the darling of Univision, many Hispanic advertising agencies and, on the other side of the fence, some right-wing extremists like Samuel Huntington and Patrick Buchanan. The other argument is that the children of Latin-American immigrants will be either English dominant or bilingual, their grandchildren will be English dominant and their great-grandchildren will be English speaking “monoglots.”

The two arguments are not necessarily contradictory. According to a 2005 study published by the University of Albany’s Mumford Center, Hispanics are generationally retaining their Spanish longer than earlier European immigrants and Asian immigrants of today. However, the study concludes that English monolingualism is the predominant pattern by the third generation.

In the world of Hispanic marketing, the Language Wars have dominated the discourse for at least the 10 years that I have been in this business. They were bloody. Because if the way to reach U.S. born Hispanics is in English, the Hispanic agencies would lose their advantage; they could be beaten out by the dreaded general-market agency. I’ve come out pretty strongly in my belief — bolstered by research I’ve seen and conducted — that most U.S.-born Hispanics prefer English, at least by the time they finish high school. And I’ve made some enemies in the process.

The problem is that so much of the debate has focused on language and not enough on the “how to” of reaching U.S.-born Hispanics. What does being Hispanic mean to them? Do they appreciate cultural cues? How do you touch them on an emotional level without being stereotypical?

These are complex questions that are too easily ignored — or too easily obscured in the argument over language. The more I study the questions, the more ready I am to admit that I don’t know the answer. But I’m convinced that the solution does live in the realm of culture, likely in mainstream advertising. It’s what I call “the wink.”

The wink is a private communication of camaraderie and recognition — between advertiser and consumer — with an embedded culturally relevant message that doesn’t hit the consumer over the head. It’s an insider reference to Hispanic culture that an outsider would miss. It appeals to a mainstream audience but hits the target consumer’s sweet spot. General Mills got it right a few years back with a general market commercial that showed a “typical” American family eating breakfast together, the kids speaking English, the parents speaking Spanish. By making that American family Hispanic and bilingual — like millions of American households today — every Hispanic person watching that ad likely got the wink.

The hostility of the Language Wars appears to be simmering down. More and more marketers seem to get that it’s not an “either-or,” that language is often situational-dependent. Maybe it’s soccer and telenovelas in Spanish, reality TV and hip-hop music videos in English. And like everything else, everyone is different — there is no “one size fits all.” Still, with the dominance of U.S.-born Hispanics now a reality, there needs to be more-constructive and less-defensive discussion as to how to reach this group.

In the words of immigration scholar Peter Salins, “I do not think that most Americans really understand the historic changes happening before their very eyes. What are we going to become? Who are we? How do the newcomers fit in — and how do the natives handle it — this is the great unknown.” Nowhere are these questions more relevant than in Hispanic marketing. If we are to win at this multicultural game, it behooves all of us to take a step back and make the effort to understand what it is that drives these new Americans to buy.

November 9, 2011   No Comments

Brands use Color and Scent to Target Latina Shoppers

By Maggie Galehouse

You don’t have to be Hispanic to enjoy a little lime in your mayonnaise. But that’s one manufacturer’s attempt – Kraft, as it happens – to appeal to Hispanic consumers. And it’s working.

“In Mexico, base mayo has lime juice in it, and often, Hispanics add even more lime juice themselves,” notes Karmen Conrad, a senior brand manager at Kraft Foods. “We wanted to offer an authentic mayonesa to the Hispanic population in the U.S.”

For the first time, nearly half of Kraft Mayo’s advertising is targeted toward the Hispanic community. Today, more than ever, Hispanics are the buyers to court – Latina moms, in particular.

Hispanics make up 38 percent of the population in Texas, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Nationwide, Hispanics account for more than half the total U.S. population growth since 2000.

The median age of Hispanics in the U.S. is 27, notes Felipe Korzenny, founder of the Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication at Florida State University. “Because the market is young, many Hispanics are still acquiring brand loyalties,” he says. “It’s a good opportunity for marketers to establish themselves while consumers are beginning to understand what they want.”

Product positioning doesn’t have to include imagery that looks Hispanic – that’s the misconception many American marketers have, Korzenny notes.

“It’s not the external imagery or physical imagery that is the most powerful,” he says, “but the understanding of an idea that is dear to the culture.”

Scent is one way to grab hold of a culture’s collective consciousness.

“Smell is one of the most powerful triggers of memory,” Korzenny says. “It’s a funny thing how it works. It’s hard to recall a scent, but once you do, the smell of lime, mango, papaya … all those scents you grew up with trigger an emotional memory.”

Korzenny has worked closely with Procter & Gamble, which has spent decades marketing to Hispanics in the United States. Some of the company’s carefully selected new scents from Febreze include Apple Mango Tango, Brazilian Carnaval, and Sweet Citrus & Zest.

Latinos purchase more air-freshener products than general consumers, company research shows, which is why Procter & Gamble is careful to offer scents that resonate with this group.

“Febreze Air Effects is one of the top sellers, and the Lavender Vanilla & Comfort scent tops the list for Latinas,” notes Felisa Insignares, an external relations manager at Procter & Gamble.

Latinos are also more demanding when it comes to dishwashing liquid, she adds. Citrus Splash – a strong-smelling dishwashing liquid from Gain – also tests well with this group.

Procter & Gamble’s most obvious appeals to Latinas are the celebrity spokespeople chosen to represent products. Eva Mendes flaunts her locks for Pantene and Sofia Vergara has loaned her nearly 40-year-old face to Cover Girl makeup.

“Latina women hold the purse strings to close to $1 trillion every year,” Insignares says.

And while language used to be a major barrier in product sales, it is less of an issue these days.

Since most Hispanics are capable of communicating in English, marketing is no longer a matter of translating English words to Spanish, Korzenny says. Instead, a few well-placed Spanish words might be used to evoke a mood or connection.

A good example is, Procter & Gamble’s new website targeted to young Latinas.

Orgullosa means “pride,” and the website “aims to celebrate the bicultural Latina,” Insignares explains. “Typically, we see her as having been in the country for seven years or more. She lives in two cultures but defines herself as 100 percent Latina.”

The site is written in English, peppered with Spanish words and phrases: “Learn more about the movement that celebrates everything that makes you fabulosamente Latina …”

Kraft, which launched its Hispanic website 10 years ago, has a different approach., which is packed with recipes and menu suggestions, is targeted to Latina moms who prefer to receive communication in Spanish.

“They could be bilingual,” notes Tania Cameron, who plans and develops consumer relationship marketing for Kraft Foods’ Hispanic segment. “On the website, there’s a button that let’s you see the recipe in English.” helped launch a magazine, a mobile website, an SMS club, YouTube and Facebook pages.

“With the Kraft Mobile Club, people sign up and receive texts from Kraft every week,” Cameron says. “Hispanics are interested in mobile and social media. These platforms have become bridges to connect the Latina mom’s culture of origin to her new reality.”

Of course, sometimes American companies respond to Hispanic consumers and create something non-Hispanics love, as well.

“Mexican Coca-Cola was being made with cane sugar and bottled in small, traditional bottles,” Korzenny explains. “These bottles were being smuggled, at first, from Mexico into the U.S. Then Coca-Cola said, ‘We’re missing an opportunity; let’s import it legally and make it available.’ The company started importing it, and all Americans responded to the old-fashioned bottles and the taste of real sugar.”

November 9, 2011   No Comments

Increased Spending on Hispanic Ads Boosts Marketers’ Revenue, AHAA Survey Says

By: Laurel Wentz

Marketers who spend heavily on Hispanic media are seeing their revenue grow faster than those that don’t, according to a new analysis by the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies. For advertisers who allocated 14.2%–the percentage of adults who are Hispanic in the U.S.—or more of their ad budgets to Hispanic marketing, that Hispanic allocation explains about half of the variance in their revenue growth over the last five years, the study found (

But those are rare marketers. The AHAA study found that 57% of the top 500 advertisers spent less than 1% of their ad budgets on Hispanic advertising in 2010. AHAA refers to that group, which includes Fedex, Southwest Airlines, Hasbro and Mattel, as “in denial.”

The study, conducted by Santiago Solutions Group, split the top 500 advertisers into five tiers. Just above the “in denial” group, the “laggards” — 16% of all advertisers — spent up to 3.5% of their budgets on Hispanic advertising and the “followers” — 11% of advertisers — spent up to 6.3. At the top of the pyramid, just 5% of the top 500 marketers spent more than 14.2% of their 2010 ad budgets on Hispanic media, and 11%, dubbed “leaders,” spent between 6.4% and 14.2%.

Carlos Santiago, president and chief strategist, said that on average about 5% of the total print, radio, and TV budgets of the top 500 advertisers are dedicated to the Hispanic market.

“Brands with a Hispanic market focus with determination and discipline are going to see more rapid growth,” he said. “Companies cannot just pop in and out of the Hispanic market and see benefits.”

Robb High, an agency new business consultant who spoke at AHAA’s annual conference this week in Miami, urged Hispanic agencies to compete for general market assignments, just as general market agencies are trying to move into the Hispanic space. “It requires a perception change,” he said.

Some Hispanic agencies are already getting there. General Mills, ranked in the “leaders” category in AHAA’s study, uses its Hispanic agencies for some general market work for certain brands. Casanova Pendrill, for instance, is both the general market and Hispanic agency for FUN da-middles, a new cupcake mix with a creamy filling. Three videos debuted last week featuring elaborately decorated cupcakes in awe of a plain cupcake with delicious filling.

And Bromley does general market work for Yoplait Delights and Totino’s. Bromley is re-positioning itself through a new tool based on values and culture, said Jessica Pantinini, Bromley’s chief operating officer. “We found we could segment the total market against values,” she said. The four segments range from “Stagnatives” who aren’t open to outside cultural influences to “Eye to Infinities” who want to share and experiment, she said.

McDonald’s Corp, which ranks in AHAA’s top tier of Hispanic advertisers, even uses its Hispanic TV ads in the general market rotation. This year 15% of McDonald’s general market rotation is devoted to Hispanic spots, done by Alma DDB, up from 10% last year.

November 9, 2011   No Comments

Five Tips for Communicating Health Messages to Latinos

By Luis A. Garcia

Read a few days’ worth of articles about Latino health issues and you’ll end up depressed:  “Latinos are more likely to start HIV care later in the course of illness than blacks or whites.” “One-third of Hispanic women are obese.” “Diabetes seems to be deadlier for Mexican-Americans than for Anglos.”

While individuals often don’t have much control over their health (genetics and socioeconomic, language and education factors all enter in), education initiatives can be effective at changing behaviors that hinder healthy lifestyles.

To reach Latinos with health-education messages, social marketers first must understand how culture shapes beliefs and behaviors. Culture is at the heart of successful Latino-targeted health-communications campaigns.

Here are five tips to communicating health messages to Latinos:

1. Make culture – rather than language – the key.

The Latino community is tremendously diverse, from country of origin, to level of acculturation, to language preference.  Don’t assume all Hispanics speak Spanish; at the same time, remember that English-preferred Latinos don’t necessarily behave just like the “total market.”

Still, cultural ties bind us.  Messages and material for Latinos should be culturally relevant first and then “in language,” depending on the target.

For example, the Latino community often sees obesity as an endearing characteristic, rather than a physical flaw, blogger Marisa Treviño remarks.  For many Latina moms, preparing dinner for their families equals love.

2. Involve the whole family — and the community around it.

Family is the cornerstone of Latino culture.  Hispanic health campaigns must involve the family and the community, and must surround the target with engaging messages where they live, study, work and play.

Research for the CDC’s VERB campaign to combat obesity indicated that Latinos did not connect being physically active with being healthy.  Instead, for Latina moms, “good” nutrition and lack of illness were the chief indicators of health.  And, their children were expected to spend more time at home.

So, the Ponte las Pilas (“get up and get moving”) campaign identified opportunities for kids to get out and play, at home and at school.  To get parental buy-in, the Niños Activos. Familias Sanas (Active Kids. Healthy Families) relied heavily on PR and experiential efforts to educate parents about the connection between physical activity and healthy children.

3. Deliver the message where the target needs it most.

A manufacturer of OTC medications wanted to increase sales to Spanish-speaking Latina moms while addressing confusion about drug varieties and dosages.  Since Latina moms spend a lot of time in the supermarket, an easy-to-use Spanish-language “symptom wheel” helped moms identify the right medication their child needed based on symptoms – while she was actually standing in the store aisle.  Research showed that other moms were the most believable “spokespersons” for this target and message, so real-life Latina moms at in-store kiosks answered questions about the product.

4. Provide easy-to-follow actionable messages.

Latino parents care about their children’s health, just as non-Latino parents do.  But, language barriers, immigration status or educational attainment may prevent them from having all the information they need to keep their children healthy.  In fact, sometimes the kids are put in the position of translating doctor’s and pharmacist’s instructions for their non-English-speaking parents.

Create easy-to-follow actionable messages that help break through the clutter and provide solutions – testimonials from trusted sources, “promotoras,” media interviews with Spanish-speaking health experts, activity charts, parents’ and teachers’ guides, etc.

5. Latinos stay connected across communications platforms.

Latinos are the ultimate “social networkers” (think “comadres” and compadres”). They stay connected on a personal level through family, friends and church, and with the greater world through traditional media, the Internet and social media.

In fact, more Latinos get health information from the media – mostly television – than from their doctors (83% vs. 71%), the Pew Hispanic Center says. But, family, friends, church and community groups are as vital as doctors in the Latino health-information chain.

One-third of all Latinos, regardless of acculturation and life stage, view the Internet as a “key component in building a better life”.  Yet, while “Hispanics tend to agree that the Internet is a helpful resource for health information,” they use it less to seek health information.  Why? The health information Spanish-speaking Hispanics find on the Internet is less accurate or complete than what their English-speaking counterparts encounter.

Spanish-language health information on the Internet must be correct, clear and complete.  The “look and feel” should be culturally appropriate.  Strengthen content, update it regularly, and make sure the Spanish is 100% correct.

So, any media plan you design for Latino-targeted health communications should be multiplatform and should take into account how Latinos interact with media and with their social networks, including social media.

Follow these simple guidelines to successfully engage Latinos with health information and you could help change tomorrow’s health headlines.

September 30, 2011   No Comments

Census Bureau Reports Hispanic Voter Turnout Reaches Record High for Congressional Election

From: The U.S. Census Bureau Newsroom, September 28, 2011

Hispanics made up 7 percent of voters in the 2010 congressional election, the highest percentage for a nonpresidential election since the U.S. Census Bureau began collecting this information in 1974. Hispanics comprised 6 percent of voters in 2006.

Blacks also increased their share of the electorate, going from 11 percent in 2006 to 12 percent in 2010 (a figure not statistically different from the record high in 1998).

These numbers come from Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2010, a set of tables that compares voting and registration patterns by demographic, social and geographic characteristics. They also include state figures on voting and registration.

“These statistics show that the nation’s electorate is becoming increasingly diverse,” said Tiffany Julian, of the Census Bureau’s Education and Social Stratification Branch. “The electorate looks much different than when we first started collecting these data 37 years ago.”

The Asian share of the electorate in 2010 was not statistically different than the share in 2006 (2.5 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively). Non-Hispanic white voters decreased from 80.4 percent of the electorate in 2006 to 77.5 percent in 2010, a decline of 2.9 percentage points.

Other highlights from the tables:

  • Maine and Washington experienced voter turnout greater than 55 percent. Fewer than 40 percent of citizens in Texas reported voting.
  • The most common reason people did not vote was they were too busy (27 percent). Another 16 percent felt that their vote would not make a difference.
  • Homeowners were more likely to register and vote than renters; 74 percent of homeowners were registered to vote and 68 percent actually voted; 61 percent of renters were registered and 52 percent voted.
  • People with at least some college education made up 68 percent of voters. Individuals without a high school diploma comprised 6 percent of voters.
  • Veterans were more likely to vote (57 percent) than nonveterans (44 percent).
  • People living in families who earned $100,000 or more were more than twice as likely to vote as those who lived with families earning less than $20,000 (61 percent and 30 percent, respectively).

September 30, 2011   No Comments

Hispanic Education in Crisis

By: Steve Kingstone & Zoe Conway BBC News

Hispanics make up the fastest growing segment of the American population, but are lagging when it comes to education. The consequences are huge not just for individual families, but the entire American economy.

President Obama said last year that Hispanic school children faced “challenges of monumental proportions”. He was articulating what many in the United States have been worrying about for years – that Latinos – from kindergarten to university – are falling far behind.

A White House report published in April states that less than 50% of Latino children are enrolled in pre-school; just 50% earn their high school diploma on time and, those who do are only half as likely as their peers to be prepared for college. Just 13% have a degree.

‘Democracy in peril’

These percentages are troubling enough. What makes them truly alarming is the addition of another set of numbers – the demographics of Hispanic America. For they are the youngest and fastest growing group in the country. They make up 16% of the population now and will account for 29% of the population by 2050.

“If we allow these trends to continue, it won’t just be one community that falls behind – we will all fall behind together.”-US President Barack Obama

The issue has essentially reached a tipping point. It’s harder to ignore the problems facing a minority group when they affect a third of the population. And there are economic reasons to care. How well Hispanic school children master their ABCs today will help determine the GDP of tomorrow.

At present, America can boast the best educated workforce in the world but in 50 years’ time, the majority of those workers will be Hispanic. If they are uneducated, what hope is there for American global competitiveness?

There are also fears about how poor educational outcomes could lead to greater inequality in America. In a 2009 book, The Latino Education Crisis, professors of education Patricia Gandara and Frances Contreras warn that: “Latino students today perform academically at levels that will consign them to live as members of a permanent underclass… their situation is projected to worsen over time.”

Later, they write: “If their situation is not reversed, democracy is in peril.”

Unique problems

Many of the problems facing Hispanics affect all minority groups – for example the difficulty of accessing high-quality schooling. But there are problems unique to this group. Consider the language barrier – four million Latino children struggle in class because they are still learning English, even though three quarters of them were born in the United States.

Hispanic mothers have far less education than their counterparts in other ethnic groups. According to Professors Gandara and Contreras, formal education is not as much of a priority in Latin America as it is in the US, so the parents may not be pushing their children to succeed or may feel intimidated by the school system.

Dr Veronica Garcia: ”It is critical that we as Americans wake up and let our politicians know that this achieve gap is not okay”

There is also the issue of immigration status. On average 1 million legal immigrants have been admitted to the US each year since 1990, while roughly 500,000 have come illegally or overstayed their visas. According to the Census bureau, 50% of immigrants are from Latin America.

Undocumented children and the US-born children of undocumented parents can be at a disadvantage because their parents may be reluctant to access the full range of support services available for their children.

Failed dreams

President Obama tried and failed in 2010 to pass the Dream Act – a law that would give undocumented Latino students, brought to the US as children, the right to US citizenship so they can attend University.

“This is not just a Latino problem; this is an American problem. We’ve got to solve it because if we allow these trends to continue, it won’t just be one community that falls behind – we will all fall behind together,” says President Obama.

The law is opposed by those who think that such an amnesty encourages illegal immigration.

Some states are working towards their own version of the Dream Act. The California state legislature passed a bill offering state-sponsored financial aid to non-resident students who attended state high schools for at least three years. The bill is currently awaiting the signature from the governor.

Gov Susana Martinez: ”We cannot concentrate on one race and not another”

Texas governor Rick Perry, who allowed children of illegal immigrants to qualify for in-state tuition rates at Texas’s state universities, now finds that position under attack as he runs for President.

There is much debate among politicians and policy makers about whether Hispanic children should get special attention or whether they should be treated like any other low income group in terms of educational inequity.

Whichever way that particular debate shakes out one thing is for certain – the political power of Hispanics is rising. Politicians cannot afford to ignore these challenges much longer.

September 30, 2011   No Comments

Few Marketers Target U.S. Hispanics With Spanish-Language Facebook Fan Pages

By: Laurel Wentz

U.S. Hispanics are known to be avid consumers of social media, but few marketers are using Spanish-language Facebook fan pages to reach out to them. And marketers that do try to engage Hispanics online often make mistakes, ranging from simply repurposing Spanish-language content from other countries to allowing stale content to remain online indefinitely, according to business network Latinum.

Latinum, which helps brands reach Hispanics, looked at 184 different brands and found that only 34 had any kind of Spanish-language presence on Facebook, said Andy Hasselwander, VP-professional service and product development for Latinum. That’s only 18%, and included Spanish-language pages from other countries, like a Heineken fan page from Mexico.

“We looked at Spanish-language fans vs. English-language fans, and there were 1.96 million Spanish-language fans and 106.4 million English language fans,” he said. That’s fewer than 2% as many Spanish-language Facebook fans as English-language ones.

“On Facebook there’s a big opportunity to engage,” he said. “For brands willing to put up Spanish-language Facebook pages, there’s a huge payoff.”

Some marketers are concerned that non-Spanish speakers will stumble upon their Spanish-language content on Facebook and set off a firestorm of complaints that people in the U.S. should use English. That happened to Best Buy when the consumer electronics marketer put up a Facebook page in Spanish a couple years ago. And just last month, when a post in Portuguese for Coca-Cola’s Brazilian Facebook fans appeared briefly to Americans due to a technical glitch, the comment thread turned into a depressing hotbed of xenophobia.

“We get the backlash question a lot,” Mr. Hasselwander said. When pressed, marketers concede that their general market sales haven’t dropped as a result of posting a Spanish-language Facebook page.

Separately, Mr. Hasselwander looked at about 100 websites across 13 different product categories, and came up with some do’s and don’ts for marketers trying to reach Spanish speakers online. His tips include:

Don’t just import Spanish-language content from your websites in other countries, like Mexico or Spain.

Use human translators. “It was amazing how many machine translations we found,” he said. And don’t just translate content from a general market site without changing the images, too.

Aim for parity in content with the English-language site. “A Spanish-language site that’s one-fifth as rich might [detract from the brand],” he said.

Have a URL strategy. While a packaged-goods marketer may have websites for different brands, an easy-to-remember multi-brand site could work better in Spanish. Kraft Foods has, and General Mills’ includes recipes, videos and separate product sections for 16 different brands from Cheerios to Yoplait. “It’s more affordable than creating in-culture sites for a bunch of different brands,” he said.

Don’t do partial translation, with some links in Spanish and some in English. And if there is a transition to English, such as contact details, make that clear with an option like a dialog box so the user can choose whether to switch languages.

Avoid stale content. Sometimes marketers want to do something Hispanic and decide ‘Let’s do a World Cup campaign’ and that becomes their Spanish-language site for the next year. “Just take it down,” he says.

Don’t put a Spanish-language site up, then neglect to monitor it and engage with users. And avoid orphaned social media that lacks links and easy navigation.

Marketers are at various stage of figuring out their online Spanish-language media strategy.

Home-improvement chain Lowe’s, for instance, finally launched a Spanish-language version of its website last month, but the link to Facebook is to an English-language fan page.

And Kmart, although lacking a Spanish-language website, is the first to work with Google to develop a Spanish-language video channel on YouTube. Kmart’s eight-part web series, launched last month, is called “Madres y Comadres” and features two close friends who are Hispanic moms and their daily dilemmas.

“We know the challenges Hispanic women face today, and the cultural push-pull of trying to raise your children here,” said Nydia Sahagun, Kmart’s director of multicultural marketing.

In one of the most popular YouTube episodes, one mother is outraged that after she spent days slaving over labor-intensive tamales in her kitchen, her son traded his lunch for a school friend’s tuna sandwich. In another episode, her young son decides he is too cool to be called by his given name, Rigoberto. In each episode, everyone is decked out in Kmart clothes and accessories, and some of the characters, including Rigoberto, appear in shoppable videos in which fashion expert Felix Mercado styles them in fall fashions from Kmart.

“This is one of the first projects we’re doing,” said Mark Lopez, who joined Google as head of U.S. Hispanic audience in November 2010. “We’re providing a platform and community.”

Procter & Gamble, the biggest advertiser to Hispanics, launched a bilingual website in mid-September aimed at Hispanic women with beauty and household tips and information about its brands. The site is called, the Spanish word for “proud.”

September 30, 2011   No Comments

Number of Hispanic TV Households Up 4.6%

From: Nielsen Wire

The number of Asian TV households in the U.S. for the 2011-2012 TV season will grow 9.6 percent (over 400,000 homes) compared to last year, according to Nielsen. Hispanic or Latino TV households will increase 4.6 percent (over 600,000). The TV Universe Estimate for the 2011-2012 season marks the first integration of the 2010 Census counts and adjusted TV penetrations, introducing a number of shifts nationally and within local markets.

2010-2011 Season TV HHs 2011-2012 TV HHs YOY Change
African-American or Black 14,072,950 14,277,840 1.5%
Hispanic or Latino 13,348,190 13,957,750 4.6%
Asian 4,812,310 5,273,450 9.6%

“The rapid growth of the Hispanic market has generated a number of headlines since the Census numbers were revealed, but the increase of Asian households should not be overlooked,” said Pat McDonough, Senior Vice President, Insights and Analysis, Nielsen. “The rate of change in Asian TV households outpaces that of Hispanic homes.”

Los Angeles remains the top market for both Hispanic and Asian TV households, while New York holds onto the top spot for African-American TV homes.

“We’re also seeing increased geographic diversity of Hispanic and Latino consumers. While Los Angeles, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale and Houston remain in the top five for Hispanic TV homes, we’re seeing growth in markets that defy conventional wisdom. Hartford & New Haven, Conn., Washington, D.C., Milwaukee, Raleigh and Minneapolis are all in the top 50 and saw a bump up in their rankings in the past year,” McDonough added.

These estimates are projected to January 1, 2012.

Calculating Universal Estimates
Nielsen’s total household and population estimates are based on the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau as well as auxiliary sources such as state governments and the U.S. postal service. The 2012 UEs were benchmarked to the 2010 Census results released earlier this year and growth to 2012 has been projected based on estimated growth rates.

September 30, 2011   No Comments

American Airlines Launches ‘Aprendi’ Spanish-Language Travel Community

By Katy Dutile

On Sept. 21, American Airlines launched, a first of its kind social media site that caters to Spanish-speaking travelers. Aprendi is based on user content. Visitors to the site start by creating a profile with a photo and short biography, then upload photos of destinations and write reviews based on activities and interests.

By clicking on a world map, other Aprendi users can explore the reviews in the form of postcards.  Similar to other online communities, interesting information can be linked to Facebook and Twitter.

In creating Aprendi, American Airlines is taking advantage of the increasing amount of Spanish speakers traveling, as well as the more than 30 million that participate on a different social media site. Latin America is also the region where American Airlines and its Oneworld Alliance partners excel, offering more flights and destinations than any other airline.

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Cynthia Barnes, America Airlines’ Director of Diversity Markets and Advertising, explained the idea behind Aprendi.

“We know Hispanic travel behavior is evolving and that one of the reasons to travel is to be inspired, learn about new cultures and live richer, fuller lives,” she said in American Airlines’ press release.

“We want them to share those travel experiences and trade stories with others in their communities. And we want to be the airline they choose as they visit the most exciting destinations around the world.”

To promote the Web site, Aprendi is launching a competition where four lucky travelers will be named the Ambassador to their region (North America, South American, Caribbean, or Europe). The best part of being an Ambassador is winning a free two-week trip for yourself and a guest anywhere within the four regions. The contest deadline is Oct.14, at which point twelve contestants will be selected to move on to round two. The semi-finalists will then create a video that Aprendi users will vote on.

Zubi Advertising created the site after the success of an initial Aprendi campaign. The Web site will continue to get better as more users join and give a larger range of destinations to explore. The only drawback of the site is that the postcard layout lacks detail on destinations, which would be helpful in planning a trip. It will be interesting to see the public’s response to a corporate-sponsored travel community.

September 30, 2011   No Comments

Study: Largest U.S. group of poor kids is now Hispanic

By Zohreen Adamjee and Michael Martinez

For the first time in U.S. history, the largest single group of poor children in any racial or ethnic category is Hispanic, according to a new survey. Calling it “a negative milestone” in Hispanics’ explosive growth in the United States, the Pew Hispanic Center study said in 2010, 37.3% of poor children in the U.S. were Hispanic, compared with 30.5% white and 26.6% black.

The Pew analysis of new census data put the number of Hispanic children in poverty at 6.1 million in 2010. This negative trend has emerged as the 2010 census confirmed for the first time that Hispanics are the nation’s No. 2 group, surpassing African-Americans. Hispanics now make up 16.3% of the total American population — but in the youth demographic, Hispanic kids comprise an even bigger share — 23.1% of U.S. children are Latino, the study said.

See how Hispanics drove the growth of the white population

The study found there are 6.1 million Latino children living in poverty, and more than two-thirds of them — 4.1 million — are children of immigrant parents. Of those 4.1 million, 86% were born in America, the study said. The remaining 2 million poor Latino children have U.S.-born parents, the study said.

Prior to the recession, more white children lived in poverty than Latino kids, but since the recession began in 2007, those positions reversed, and the number of poor Hispanic children grew by 36.3% between 2007 and 2010, or 1.6 million, the study said. The number of white and black children in poverty also grew, but not as big, the study found.

See how the white population changed in relation to minorities

The recession hit Latino families hard: the unemployment rate among Hispanic workers is 11.1%, compared with a national rate of 9.1%, and the household wealth for Latinos fell more sharply than for white or black families between 2005 and 2009, the study said.

Food insecurity also grew among Latinos, with one-third of households facing the problem in 2008, up from 23.8% the prior year, the study said. Leaders of programs serving the poor said Thursday their experiences match the study’s findings, which was released Wednesday.

In his twice-a-month acts of charity, Reverend Carlos Paiva has noticed the increasing number of Latino youngsters who arrive with their families at his Angelica Lutheran Church near downtown Los Angeles. The church gives free rice, beans, potatoes, onions and fruits to needy families, he said.

“The numbers are growing,” Paiva said about Latino kids who show up at the church with their families. “The average age of the people who come here for food is 10 years old.” Michael Flood, CEO of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, said his group’s recent summer lunch program for poor children saw “a lot more kids from the Latino community.” “It worries us,” Flood said. “Given the fact that the economy hasn’t turned around, it’s a more desperate deal.”

Victor Martinez, director of programming at Bienestar, a nonprofit that runs nine health community centers in southern California for Latinos, said he was “sad and disappointed to see that my community is facing these problems.”

“Especially for the more recent immigrants, they have more limited resources to work. We have more requests to go to the food bank and housing,” Martinez said.

September 30, 2011   No Comments

ADHD Rates Low Among Latinos

By Patricia Wen

Johanny Hernandez is alone among her Latino relatives and friends to have a child diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Growing up in the Dominican Republic, the 30-year-old mother of four had never heard of this condition – until her son’s kindergarten teacher suggested that he be evaluated. The boy struggled to comply with school rules, sometimes racing out of the classroom and climbing on tabletops.

Many of her friends seemed skeptical about ADHD, insisting that her son was just very active, sometimes mischievous, but not “loco,’’ the Spanish word for crazy. She had to agree that her son, 9, would probably never have this diagnosis in her native country. Still, her son’s classroom behavior has improved since he started therapy and taking ADHD medication, and Hernandez tries to block out what she hears from others.

Among Latinos, said the Mattapan mother, “there’s an unfair prejudice against the illness.’’ Hernandez’s experience may offer some insight into a statistic that has stumped public health researchers: Latino children in the United States are diagnosed with ADHD at roughly half the rate of non-Latino black and white children. Even among Latino children diagnosed with this neurobehavioral condition, Latino youngsters are medicated at a significantly lower rate.

Statistics released this year by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that roughly 3.9 percent of Latino children over the past decade were reported by their parents to have been diagnosed with ADHD, compared with 7.8 percent among white children and 6.3 percent among black children. Another major federal study, analyzing the most current data, from 2007, found a typical American child has a 9.5 percent chance of ever being diagnosed with ADHD, but the rate for Latino children was 5.6 percent.

The strikingly low ADHD rates for Latino youth add to a longstanding controversy over this common behavioral disorder, identified through marked impulsivity and inattention. Some clinicians see uneven diagnosis patterns as reflecting the broad subjectivity of this condition, which they say is overdiagnosed in some groups, particularly boys. Others, however, say it is a disorder with a biological basis that is generally accurately diagnosed. They speculate that low Latino rates may reflect some genetic advantage, or that they either choose against – or cannot afford – medical care for these behaviors.

“I’m not sure what to conclude from the different rates for Hispanic and non-Hispanic children,’’ said Susanna Visser, a lead epidemiologist for the CDC and coauthor of the two major studies this year on ADHD. “But it suggests we have much more to learn.’’

September 30, 2011   No Comments

Brands That Prevail Will Target the Changing Multicultural Market

By: Yuri Radzievsky

When I fled the USSR for the United States nearly four decades ago, all I wanted was to fit in with Americans. I tried to speak the language (with a New York accent, of course) and even adopted the impatient, heads-up walk of New Yorkers rather than the doleful, Soviet-weighted gait of my ex-countrymen.

 But this process, called “acculturation,” has multiple facets. On the surface you learn to walk and talk like a native; you start to project the image. Beneath the exterior, however, is a deeper part of yourself — the cultural part of your psyche –that remains attached to your country of origin. You see yourself a child of parents born elsewhere and seek to retain a connection to this heritage even as you fashion your identity as a mainstream American. That’s the dimension called “affiliation.”

As multicultural consumers edge closer and closer to becoming the majority in America — they already represent the greatest growth opportunity for brands -– the desire to assimilate is being overtaken by an interest in cultural heritage. This is happening not just among more recent arrivals, but among younger, second- and third-generation multicultural consumers raised in the United States. Here we see a trend of “retro-acculturation,” as people become increasingly interested in knowing more about their roots.

This is not really surprising. Our children and grandchildren live in a country that is far more multicultural than in the past. In school and at play, many classrooms and sports teams have become a mixing bowl of cultures, all interacting and influencing one another. Many ethnic neighborhoods, once fortress-like in their cultural insularity, are becoming increasingly integrated –with Indians living next to Chinese, next to Russians, next to Japanese and so on. This pattern tends to increase people’s desire to identify with their own culture.

For multicultural marketers, the next five years are likely to see momentous changes. A recent Brookings Institution report showed that Hispanics and Asians produced the largest population gains in America’s 100 largest metropolitan areas in the decade since 2000. Hispanics, especially, are not only growing faster — they are also younger. About 70% of Hispanics are under the age of 40, as opposed to 51% of non-Hispanics.

Forward-thinking brands are changing their marketing strategies accordingly. Coca-Cola’s CMO told the annual Nielsen Conference in June that 86% of its growth within the youth market will come from multicultural consumers. Customers who were once regarded as a niche marketing opportunity now represent the majority of spending growth in the United States. Brands that are failing to focus a significant portion of their attention and marketing budgets on understanding and appealing to these audiences — especially Hispanics — are behind the curve. They will fall to competitors who do.

Mobile devices and social media are fast becoming the central hubs of connection. Younger Hispanics use smartphones nearly twice as much as non-Hispanic whites — and they are three times as likely to create online content, according to research by Geoscape. Brands that are not talking to multicultural consumers in digital forms are missing the conversation.

For brands the challenge of this new era will revolve around understanding and leveraging how today’s form of multiculturalism is redefining the marketplace of tomorrow.

September 23, 2011   No Comments

Study on Hispanic Moms

From HispanicPRblog: Discovery Familia Unveils Landmark Hispanic Mom Study

Discovery Familia released the results of its informative Mom Study at the “Esa Soy Yo – Soy Latina” awards ceremony held Thursday, September 15 on Capitol Hill. This extensive study was conducted in partnership with C+R Research and Latino Eyes in order to develop clearer insights into the evolving needs and expectations of the Hispanic Mom from healthcare, purchasing habits to education.

Latinas in the United States comprise over 48% of the Hispanic population and 20% of the projected 24 million women in the nation. This study surveyed over 1,000 moms, who self-identified as Hispanic, between 18 to 49 years of age with children age two to 18. Data collected from the research will allow Discovery Familia to continue to shape a network devoted to her and touch on important issues that are priorities to Hispanic women and their children.

Through its rich and varied programming, Discovery Familia serves as a resource for Hispanic mothers and their preschool children. The network’s goal is to support Hispanic women in educating their children, caring for their household and taking time out for themselves. The network also aims to educate others about Hispanic women, their attitudes, behaviors and insights.

Some of the Study Highlights:

On Empowerment: Seeing her own personal achievement is not exclusive from being a great mother for the Hispanic mom. 82% say that one of their greatest goals is to be a successful career person.  76% want to graduate from college and 79% look to be an inspiration for her children. When she speaks about herself, the Hispanic mom says: “I am confident. I have a positive self-image. I have control of my life.”

On Health: Hispanic women have misconceptions about health and diet according to the study. Obesity prevalence among pre-school aged children ranks high among Hispanic children at 18.5%. Almost half of Hispanic moms perceive their children to be at a healthy weight, while in fact when calculating their Body Mass Index they are actually overweight. While these moms are familiar with the food pyramid, less than 1 in 2 believes she has enough information on health and nutrition to help her make good choices about food and diet.

On Media: Hispanic women believe that Spanish TV has not been evolving with her. There are too many novelas. The Hispanic mom would like to see more shows related to: Parenting (50%), Health and Nutrition (46%), Fitness (43%) and Do It Yourself (40%).

On America: 75% feel the U.S. has the best opportunities for her children and family. However, 44.6% feel that there is more racial tension now than five years ago and 54.6% are concerned about their husband or themselves losing their jobs.

On Culture: In addition to her desire for her children to get the best possible education, she is also planting cultural roots within her children with Spanish language books, radio and TV. 79% want their kids to be proud of being Hispanic and 74% feel it is important to be fluent in Spanish and maintain the Spanish language as a part of their culture.

September 23, 2011   No Comments

Survey: How Do Multicultural Employees Feel About Adland, Agencies?

By: Ken Wheaton from

It’s no secret that the state of diversity in the advertising industry is abysmal. But what’s been harder to get at is how minority employees toiling in adland feel about the industry as a whole and what they think of agencies in particular. The Tangerine-Watson Impact Study, a national survey being launched today, aims to get a better understanding of the ad industry’s multicultural community.

The story has been written repeatedly. In the general-market realm, minority hiring figures have changed so little in three decades that New York City has been investigating hiring practices and there has been repeated talk of a lawsuit. And according to a study commissioned by Cyrus Mehri’s Madison Avenue Project, African-Americans in the industry are paid less.

And while multicultural or ethnic shops are home to diverse work forces, the agencies once spent a fair amount of their time convincing marketers that the constituencies they represented were worth targeting. Now, they find themselves arguing that as the U.S. approaches a “majority-minority,” the old concept of a white general-market is becoming outdates.

So how do multicultural employees, whether they work at general-market agencies or ethnic agencies, feel about the industry they work in? How are they finding out about the industry? Of the internship and outreach programs initiated by trade groups and holding companies, which are working? Which agencies have the best reputation for hiring and mentoring?

Over the years, Carol Watson, founder and CEO of cross-cultural talent consultancy Tangerine-Watson, has fielded calls from the agencies she works with and the media looking for answers to just these questions. Now she hopes to find out the answers to those questions and more with the Tangerine-Watson Impact Study, being done with the help of market research firm Zebra Strategies.

“What’s been missing is an industry-wide benchmark that can help fuel some of the diversity initiatives that are already taking place, while offering concrete data and recommendations on where agencies can allocate resources in the future.”

Among other things, she said, “We want to measure the difference by ethnicity in the access to internal advocates, informal mentoring and the importance of relationships. We want to learn which agencies offer the best corporate culture for multicultural talent.”

The survey will also include questions aimed at finding out why multicultural professionals leave agencies or the industry as a whole. The survey is open to all current and former ad professionals, regardless of ethnicity. To take the survey now, visit All responses are anonymous.

It “aims to provide the advertising industry with an annual benchmark by obtaining perspective and opinions directly from diverse professionals about their unique experiences in the advertising business.”Findings, as well as a ranking of Best Agencies for multicultural professionals, will be released in 2012.

Of course, the survey will be more valuable if more people participate. Tangerine-Watson is getting support from the American Association of Advertising Agencies, American Advertising Federation and ADCOLOR to help drive participation in the survey

“As the face of America changes, it’s clear that engaging and valuing diverse talent is imperative to the future success of advertising,” said Connie Frazier, Chief Operating Officer at the AAF. “We hope our agency partners will encourage their employees to participate in the survey, and we look forward to leveraging new insights gleaned from the study.”

September 23, 2011   No Comments

Expansion of Hispanic Shoppers

By: Ellen Byron from The Wall Street Journal

Procter & Gamble Co., looking for ways to boost its sluggish U.S. business, is accelerating its efforts to win over Hispanic shoppers. Using insights turned out by its army of researchers, P&G is tweaking products, retargeting its marketing, changing its mix of celebrity spokeswomen and making greater use of Spanish on its products.

The motivation is simple: Hispanics accounted for more than half of the gains in the U.S. population from 2000 to 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and their younger, bigger families are a good fit for the maker of Pampers diapers and Tide detergent.

But P&G has some catching up to do. Its penetration of that growing group of buyers lags in key areas like toothpaste, where rival Colgate-Palmolive Co. has leveraged its strength in Latin American markets to build a dominant position in the U.S.

“You’ve got to consistently shift your business model to target where the growth is,” says Melanie Healey, P&G’s group president of North America.

The U.S. has been the bane of the P&G’s results lately. More American shoppers remain reluctant to spend, hampering sales growth for P&G’s brands and the overall household-products industry. Sales in emerging markets, where P&G is aggressively expanding, are growing briskly, but it still depends on the U.S. to deliver the biggest share of its sales and profit.

Sales in the U.S. Hispanic population, however, are showing better growth. In the past decade, the demographic’s spending on laundry, household-cleaning supplies and personal-care products grew nearly three times faster than non-Hispanics’ outlays, according to market-research firm Packaged Facts.

Hispanic households tend to spend more on cleaning and beauty products and are more loyal to the brands they like than the average U.S. consumer, industry analysts say. P&G’s researchers have found that while generally frugal spenders, Hispanics are also willing to splurge on the types of premium household goods that P&G makes, subscribing to the phrase “lo barato sale caro,” meaning that cheap things may ultimately prove costly.

“She’s not necessarily going for the least expensive option all the time, because that can be more expensive in the long run,” Alexandra Vegas, P&G’s multicultural marketing director, says of the Hispanic consumer.

Hispanics spent about $1 trillion last year, accounting for some 9% of total consumer buying power in the U.S., and are expected to shell out $1.5 billion by 2015, outpacing growth in spending by non-Hispanic consumers, according to estimates by the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth.

Households with children appeal to P&G because those families will need more diapers, wash more clothes and use more personal-care items. Marketers of household staples try to hook consumers at a young age, believing they will be loyal to their brands for life.

P&G has increasingly targeted Hispanic shoppers in recent years, designing products and marketing to appeal to the demographic. The company has found Hispanic consumers are more likely to be fans of using fragrances in their homes. To capture that preference, P&G has rolled out products including Febreze’s “Destinations Collection” of air fresheners featuring scents like Brazilian Carnaval and Hawaiian Aloha. Likewise, its new Gain dish soap features fragrances like “Apple Mango Tango.”

Meanwhile, P&G’s Pantene shampoo and Gillette Venus razors now include actress Eva Mendes as well as singer and actress Jennifer Lopez, respectively, as spokeswomen.

Other changes are more subtle. Most of the products on a new website that P&G will roll out Thursday to promote its products to Hispanic consumers have no obvious ethnic affiliation. They include Downy fabric softener—but scented with lavender, which P&G research shows Hispanic consumers favor.

The products P&G chose not to include on the site are also revealing. Many Hispanic consumers, according to company research, don’t think dishwashers do a good job of cleaning. So Gain dish soap makes the cut, but P&G’s blockbuster Cascade dishwasher detergent is out.

The company soon expects to import more of the products that it developed for Latin American markets. It wouldn’t be more specific, because plans are still developing. Already, independent distributors have been importing such products informally to stock supermarkets in Hispanic neighborhoods with P&G goods that aren’t usually sold in the U.S.

Also on the agenda is greater use of Spanish on P&G products and coupons. Such moves rankled some shareholders who complained at the company’s annual meeting last October that most Americans spoke English.

Ms. Healey is undeterred. “We declared about a year ago that we would be doing more trilingual packaging everywhere we possibly could,” she says, covering Spanish, English and French, for Canadian consumers.

September 23, 2011   No Comments

Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration in DFW

By Mercedes Olivera

Some people are posting rousing mariachi videos on social networking sites. Others are attending ballet folklorico programs that recount the history of Mexico through song and dance.

As we approach the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month across the country on Sept. 15, it’s clear Latinos are celebrating Hispanic culture and history in far more different ways than ever before.

Up until about five years ago, the proliferation of parades and fiestas throughout North Texas was hard to miss – at Pike Park on the fringes of downtown Dallas, in Oak Cliff on Jefferson Boulevard, in Pleasant Grove or Garland.

In 2005, the Mexican Consulate in Dallas decided to get into the fiesta business, attracted large corporate sponsors, and essentially put some of the home-grown Mexican-American celebrations out of business.

Many local Hispanic organizations resented it, but it was hard to compete with the fiestas patrias officially sanctioned by the Mexican government and promoted locally by the largest Spanish-language network in the country.

This year, the consulate’s fiesta is focusing on the 200th anniversary of Mexico’s struggle for independence from Spain and will hold its celebration Sept. 15 at the Dallas Convention Center. Some local organizations have followed suit.

Teatro Dallas is holding its 25th anniversary and observing the bicentennial with a fund-raising performance Sept. 16 at the Latino Cultural Center. Mexico 2000 Ballet Folklorico will hold its production, The Bicentennial Sept. 26 at the Granville Arts Center in Garland.

The New Philharmonic Orchestra of Irving will observe the bicentennial by presenting a concert by Mexican composers, including a Dallas premiere by a contemporary composer, Oct. 2 at the Latino Cultural Center.

The anti-immigration sentiment has dampened some of the festivities these days, and Latinos have became a little more subdued in their expression of cultural pride during this month. But celebrating their parents’ or grandparents’ culture is, for many U.S.-born Latinos, still a matter of inspiration and identity. Indeed, for some, it is an issue of solidarity.

Dallas resident Patty Estrada, a freelance writer born in Mexico, has begun posting YouTube videos on Facebook this month of one of Mexico’s most popular musical traditions – the mariachi. She believes it’s “a small way of celebrating our heritage and showing how Mexican culture has transcended borders.”

Other Latinos have seen this month traditionally as an opportunity to reflect on the past and focus on the future. But they see the current immigration debate as resuscitating the struggles of the past instead of celebrating the achievements.

Edwin Flores, a Dallas schools trustee, said Latinos are being diverted from addressing challenges of today, largely due to political reasons, at a time when everyone needs to be prepared to compete on a global playing field.

“While our economic might as a community is readily apparent, our political might is practically non-existent,” he said. “We must begin to demand real change from our leaders, or find new leaders.”

Dallas attorney Jason Villalba said he prefers to reflect on “how far Hispanics have come in America and how much our community has achieved.” “We are proud of our Latino heritage but value most our status as Americans,” Villalba said. Fort Worth City Council member Sal Espino reminds us that, ultimately, this month should be about history.

“And individuals with last names like García and Rodríguez are just as American as those with last names of Smith and Jones,” he said. “We are a diverse nation but united in the shared ideals of liberty, freedom and opportunity.”

September 23, 2011   No Comments

On Television, Latino Children See More Unhealthy Food Ads

By Rosa Ramirez

Watching television makes 5-year-old Giovany Guerra hungry. “When he watches a McDonald’s commercial, he tells me, ‘take me to McDonald’s,’” said the boy’s mother, Sandra Guerra, 38. The stay-at-home mom keeps a bowl of fruit where Giovany can reach when he gets cravings while watching “Pinky Dinky Doo,” a Spanish language television show on Univision. But she says her round-cheeked son does not want fruit. He wants cold cereal and hamburgers.

In other words, he wants the food he sees in the television commercials. “He asks me for everything he sees,” Guerra said. She believes television commercials are fueling his appetite for unhealthy foods.

Latino preschoolers like Giovany see 20 percent more ads for fast food and 20 percent fewer ads for fruits and vegetables than non-Latino preschoolers, according to research done at Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. Children’s advocates worry that exposure to unhealthy foods, such as sugary cold cereals, sodas and fast foods, are contributing to childhood obesity, particularly among Latino children.

“The food ads that appear on Spanish-language children’s programming are much more likely to be for poor nutritional quality foods,” said Dale Kunkel, a professor at the University of Arizona, whose research suggests that more than 80 percent of the ads Latino children see in Spanish are for “unhealthy” food.

Meanwhile some 17 percent of all children and adolescents in the U.S. are now obese—triple the rate of that from a generation ago. Obesity rates in Latino children are even higher. Twenty seven percent of adolescent Mexican-American boys are obese, close to double the rate of Caucasian boys, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

This trend concerns researchers, but it also concerns mothers like Guerra. She tries to feed her son fresh vegetables, and limits the amount of hours her son can watch television. “I know he’s gaining weight,” she said in Spanish. The family’s pediatrician has already enrolled Guerra’s two older children, ages 12 and 17, in a weight loss and nutrition program for obese and overweight youth, and Guerra does not want to see her youngest son follow his siblings’ weight gain. There are many causes for rising obesity rates in children, but researchers are beginning to look more closely at the link between what foods kids see on television, what foods they crave, and how that relates to their growing waistlines. A child typically sees 1,500 ads per year for fast food and full-service restaurants, and about 80 ads for fresh fruits and vegetables, according to Yale’s Rudd Center.

A group of elementary school children shown 100 television ads for soft drinks by Yale researchers consumed nearly 10 percent more of them, including sodas, sports drinks, and sweet drinks that don’t contain 100 percent real fruit juice like Kool-Aid than children who had not watched the ads.

“We know that children, after watching food advertising, request specific food,” said Darcy Thompson, a pediatrician at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. “They can nag their parents for those foods and perhaps convince those parents they should go out and buy that specific type of food.”

There is mounting evidence that children are particularly susceptible to advertising. A 2001 Stanford University study of low-income preschoolers in Northern California showed that ads are so effective that even a single exposure to an advertisement can have an impact on a child’s brand preference. Stanford researchers also found that children between 2 and 6 years old recognized brand names, packaging, logos and characters associated with food products, and that some children preferred the taste of foods — including milk, apple juice and carrots — if they believed the food was from McDonald’s.

That companies are paying more attention to the Latino market is no surprise. There are now an estimated 48 million Latinos living in the U.S. with buying power estimated to reach $1.3 trillion by 2015, according to an industry report by Packaged Facts, a market-research company.

McDonald’s has a Spanish language website,, which features content and advertising aimed specifically at Latinos. Burger King rolled out an advertising campaign called Fútbol Kingdom in 2008 in eight Latino-heavy cities, including Dallas, Miami and San Jose, Calif. A 2009 Jack in the Box television ad for a “Mini Buffalo Ranch Chicken Sandwich” featured dwarf cowboys, the mascot Jack, and others dancing to a catchy Spanish tune that goes, “Si tu quieres un sandwhichito, chiquito pero picoso. Los mini búfalo ranch!

General Mills — producers of such cereals as Trix, Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch — spent $72 million on advertising on Hispanic media in 2009, up from up from $42 million in 2008, according to data from Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies.

“Marketers like to talk about the Hispanic market as a huge opportunity for them to grow their business, and that’s not a bad thing normally,” said Jennifer Harris, the director of marketing initiatives at Yale’s Rudd Center. “But when they’re growing their business by selling products that are damaging to people’s health, that’s a problem.”

Federal regulators have tried to crack down on advertising junk food to children. In 2009, Congress directed four federal agencies to establish an Interagency Working Group on Food Marketing to Children to create a set of guidelines to quell unhealthy food advertising to children. Earlier this year, the Interagency came out with preliminary guidelines that called for less sodium and sugar on foods marketed to kids.

But the guidelines allow food companies to regulate themselves, and that has sparked criticism. “There’s no one way the companies define what qualifies as healthy food,” Kunkel said.

In 2006, more than a dozen of the largest food and beverage food companies entered a voluntary agreement to market only healthful food to children. The so-called Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative issued guidelines in July suggesting that companies must lower levels of sodium, saturated fats and calories, or else they will not be able to advertise to children after December 2013.

Still, Latino advocates are concerned. In July, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, held a webinar with some of the key health advocates and food marketing researchers to strategize how best to publicize the effects of advertising junk food to Latino children.

“Marketing to kids doesn’t just happen on television,” said Claudine Karasik, a consultant for the child obesity project with MALDEF. “It happens when companies market their products in print, on the Internet with prizes and contests, and through the use of licensed characters.”

And Guerra sees the link between the ads she sees during her son’s programming and what brands he recognizes and craves. When she takes her son to the grocery store, he always goes straight to the cereal aisle to grab a box of chocolate Rice Krispies. “Whenever we’re at the store,” Guerra said, “he wants me to buy it for him.”

September 23, 2011   No Comments

Multicultural is the Wave of the Future

By: Stephen Palacios

At the fictional Sterling Cooper ad agency in “Mad Men,” Pete Campbell urges a client to “take a look at the Negro market.” In the TV show the year is 1961. It’s a reminder that the push to understand and target consumers on the basis of their ethnic identity goes back decades.

Throughout that history, multicultural marketing advocates were hamstrung by the relatively small number of minority consumers and media outlets with national reach, as well as a lack of corporate expertise. There was little infrastructure for execution or metrics of evaluation and, of course, there was the issue of discrimination.

These issues remain, but to a far lesser degree. Changes in demographics, marketing tools and corporate expertise have made multicultural marketing more relevant than ever. In fact, multicultural marketing, particularly targeting Hispanics, has grown at a faster rate than overall marketing in the past 10 years .

Consider the contributing factors of the last decade:

  • A whopping 80+ percent of all population growth in the United States came from Hispanics, African Americans and Asians, with Hispanics making up 54 percent of total growth, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.
  • National media targeting minorities has exploded, from People en Espanol, Univision, Telemundo and BET to digital portals like Black Planet, AOL Latino and others.
  • We have more consumer research, more sophisticated data analysis and better systems of evaluating multicultural marketing efforts. Examples include Nielson panels, Simmons syndicated research and customer research from TNS, Milliard Brown and my firm, Cheskin Added Value.
  • Companies such as Pepsi, Coke, P&G, Ford, Wells Fargo, Disney (yes, Disney) and many others have accumulated 10 more years of experience in addressing ethnic consumers.
  • Attitudes have shifted in the general population, leading to a greater degree of cultural openness among American adults. A 2011 study by Cheskin with the Futures Company confirmed this trend.

So why is multicultural marketing finding itself once again in a highly visible defensive posture? Two factors make the traditional multicultural approach seem outdated and possibly unnecessary: 1) We know much more about the nuances of ethnic identity and 2) We are reaching a tipping point where such a large proportion of the “true” American consumer is African American, Hispanic or Asian that “minority-majority” is an oxymoron.

The multicultural argument has centered on the premise that ethnic identity is core to consumer attitudes and behaviors in commercial decisions. Being Hispanic is the most important dimension for a consumer buying Oreos, for example. But with more sophisticated market tools and analysis, we understand the need to sub-segment ethnic identity consumers into more specific groups. Less acculturated vs. more acculturated, African American single head of household women decision-makers vs. African American young influencers, Cantonese vs. Mandarin (let alone Vietnamese, Thai, Korean). A study of People en Espanol conducted by Cheskin in 2010 showed, for example, how reliant Latinas are on their Hispanic identity in their fluid roles of mother, daughter, lover and friend.

Some read this nuance as either too complicated to deal with, or as justification to subvert multicultural marketing entirely. This is a lowest-common-denominator approach, tempting for mass marketers but ultimately heading on the wrong track. The necessity is to know your customer more deeply, to use customization on a grand scale. Market-leading companies like McDonalds have institutionalized this philosophy by having all marketing filtered by Asian, African American and Hispanic consumer segment leaders.

With over half of all U.S. economic activity coming from the top 15 Designated Market Areas (according to the Federal Reserve) and most of the organic growth (new customers) coming from ethnic consumer segments, marketers more and more recognize that “getting ethnic consumers” is vitally important.

How, then, do you shift your general market strategy to be more culturally relevant? Several approaches are developing:

  • The multi-agency reconciliation model: Companies like Walmart are revamping processes so ethnic agencies can weigh in on their overall marketing strategy.
  • The general market co-option model: General market agencies, like Ogilvy and Euro RSG, have co-opted or created a multicultural competency to serve the “total market” – new terminology intended to replace “general market” and reflect ethnic consumers. Burger King and Home Depot have bought in.
  • The ethnic agency inversion model: Ethnic agencies, competing on their deeper consumer knowledge, are going after the “big boys” (general market agencies).

Is multicultural marketing dead? Hardly. An updated version, call it cultural marketing, with a more refined understanding of identity fluidity and underlying values, is the future of marketing.

September 23, 2011   No Comments

Knowing Our Consumers Through Their Own Stories: Hispanics & Content Creation


Content production and distribution are now accessible to most people everywhere. Thanks to modern communication technologies, those who used to be passive spectators are now becoming active creators. In the U.S., Hispanics are driving this change.

According to 2010 Forrester’s report, “Social Media is Mainstream for Hispanics,” this population is ahead of the curve in what it calls high-order activities.

This means that Hispanics are more likely than their counterparts to be Creators: to publish a blog or webpage, upload videos or songs they’ve created, and write articles or stories and post them. Hispanics are also ahead of the game as Critics, posting ratings/reviews of product or services, commenting on someone else’s blog, and contributing to online forums. Finally, Hispanics are more engaged than other groups as Collectors using RSS feeds, voting for Web sites online, and adding tags to Web pages or photos.

This is heaven for us curious investigators of the Hispanic consumer. We now have access to this never-ending mine of information coming straight from those we want to understand.

With the content they create, Hispanics are feeding us with their stories, vision of the world, emotions, memories, aspirations, contradictions and, of course, what they want from products, services, and brands.

Consider, a blog written by a young Latina in Los Angeles. She writes in native Spanglish (not the made-up Spanglish that we sometimes see out there.) By reading her blog I have learned about her fashion style and the exact products she wants from Target’s Missoni Fall collection. Now I know which places she considers cool to hang out in because she showed me her favorite corners in Downtown L.A. (with great pictures taken by her).

I also know why she thinks “A Better Life” is a must-see movie, which New York Times columnist she reads, what political issues matter to her, and what makes her feel nostalgic about Mexico (Cantinflas!). I left her blog feeling I had talked for hours with an interesting woman. I’m sure I’ll be going back to her blog looking for more insights about bicultural Latinas.

But insight chasers and digital anthropologists are not the only ones who can benefit from keeping an eye on prolific Hispanic Creators. Look, for instance, at Kmart’s Latina Smart Facebook platform or Todobebe’s These smart marketers are already winning the digital space by partnering with Latino writers and providing them with platforms to share their stories and create community.

Every marketer can now build a stronger online dialogue with the Hispanic consumer. Some small steps can include contacting targeted Hispanics who love to create, collect, and share content, inviting them to try products and create original content (videos, photographs, stories, etc.) based on their experience. Similarly to what they would do off-line, marketers can reach out to the new breed of digital influencers who will spread the word through their own communities.

And you, Creators, keep up the good work and thanks for helping us see things we might otherwise never see!

September 23, 2011   No Comments

Multigenerational Homes Surge

By Christopher Palmeri and Frank Bass

The U.S. is experiencing a surge in the multigenerational households that were once a common feature of American life, and Hispanic and Asian families are driving the trend, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released this month. The number of such households, defined as those with three or more generations living under one roof, grew to almost 5.1 million in 2010, a 30 percent increase from 3.9 million in 2000, the data show.

They hit 2.9 million in 1950 and didn’t top that again until four decades later, according to the Washington-based Pew Research Center. At the 1980 low, multiple-generation homes represented just 2.9 percent of all U.S. households, down from 7.8 percent in 1900.

Transforming Suburbs

Although the term multigenerational invokes images of grandma churning butter on a pioneer farm or turn-of-the-century immigrants crammed into tenements, today’s extended families are more likely to live in suburbs. Among large cities, the one with the highest percentage of multigenerational households, at 16 percent, is Norwalk, California, a collection of largely single- family homes 15 miles (25 kilometers) south of Los Angeles.

“Many conservatives are locked into this 1950s paradigm of the nuclear family,” said Joel Kotkin, author of “The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050,” a book about demographics. “Boomers are aging in place. Immigrants move in with their cousins. The suburbs are changing.”

Job losses and the difficulty of purchasing a home make young people more likely to live with their parents, according to D’Vera Cohn, a senior writer with Pew who has studied the trend. Longer life spans and growth in the Hispanic and Asian populations keep older folks in the house.

The nation’s two fastest-growing ethnic groups are 50 percent more likely to live in multigenerational families than are whites, according to Pew research.

“Among immigrants, it’s the way their lives were lived in their home countries,” Cohn said in an interview.

Marketing Challenge

Corporate America is figuring out ways to create products for, and market to, these multi-income, multifaceted families, Gallegos said.

Home builder KB Home (KBH) is seeing increased demand for what it calls double master suites, two large bedrooms with attached bathrooms to accommodate parents living with their adult children, according to Cara Kane, a spokeswoman for the company, which is based in Los Angeles. All 10 of the largest communities in the U.S. ranked by their percentage of multigenerational households were within an hour’s drive of the nation’s second- largest city. All had populations over 100,000.

At the National Council of La Raza’s National Latino Family Expo held in Washington, D.C., last month, businesses tried to reach as broad an audience as possible, according to Georgina Salguero, director of sponsorship for the event. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)’s booth featured everything from its namesake baby oil to Aveeno anti-aging creams. ConAgra Foods Inc. (CAG) demonstrated modern takes on classic ethnic recipes, Salguero said.

September 23, 2011   No Comments

Social Media Is Broadening Latina’s Image

By Angélica Pérez

The “Latin doll” stereotype is getting a makeover, and although stilettos might be part of the new outfit, the smartphone and laptop are essential items.

The digital Latina is taking social media by storm, over-indexing other demographic groups in the growth and use of social media, from twitter to social network sites. Around 2009, the blogosphere witnessed an explosion of Latina bloggers. Today, Blogs by Latina, a blog directory, has over 1,600 entries, since launching in 2009.

This proliferation of Latina blogs makes total sense. Historically, Latinas have been silenced by circumstances or lack of a socialcultural podium. Who she is and what she wants have been defined by caricature archetypes constructed by traditional mass media. She has no diversity on television and print, often existing as either a sexy, loud and passionate girl or an older, submissive, heavy-accented woman.

But the emergence of social media has offered fertile grounds to Latina women craving to self-express and redefine her image. It’s become an effective platform to amplify her voice, thoughts, opinions and views. She’s creating her own content and writing her own story. Through blogging and online publishing, she’s producing a collective of digital voices that is honest, real, smart and empowering. The result? An illumination of the pluralistic identify of Latinas.

Viviana Hurtado, a freelance writer with a PhD from Yale and a Masters from Stanford, is the blogger behind The Wise Latina Club. She created her blog to “insert a MIA Hispanic female perspective on current events, trends and pop culture.” Likewise, Veronica I. Arreola, an assistant director of a women’s research center, is the writer behind her blog, Viva La Feminista. She blogs to “navigate and understand the intersection between feminism, motherhood and her Latinadad.” Both Viviana and Veronica represent the emerging faces and stories that are providing a deeper and more transparent understanding of Latinas — a glass window into “all” that Latinas are.

To appease the growing impatience with the distorted images of Latina women and irrelevant content, both in traditional and new media, online platforms like New Latina have been created to defy these stereotypes and celebrate Latina women. But there’s more work to be done. While there is some comfort in the possibility that Sofía Vergara’s typecast (as a hot Latin babe with a heavy accent) is satirical in nature, we demand more. We want a Latina voice on The View, on Oprah’s OWN network, and on leading news television programming. And, no, the Latina token will not suffice. We want her to be a host or commentator that happens to be Latina.

While social media affords tremendous opportunities to redefine the new Latina and give credence to her voice, we need to infiltrate mainstream media, where opinions play an important role in the political, social and economic discourse that affects this country. With this goal in mind, The Art of Politics, a multipronged initiative, was recently launched to address the absence of Latino voices in news and public affairs television programming, where hosts, journalists and guests are primarily male and White.

As we continue to emerge via social media, a growing number of Latina thought leaders are giving voice to an empowered image of who we are. Despite the progress, however, the promise of new media has not been fulfilled. The challenge will lie in how well we promote ourselves individually, and the demands we place in spaces where doors have been traditionally closed to us.

September 16, 2011   No Comments

Minorities Reach for Bottled Water Over Tap

By Nadia Arumugam

Research has shown that minorities consume bottled water more often than white Americans, and spend a greater proportion of their income (about 1%, compared to the 0.4% white Americans dole out) on this superfluous commodity every year. A recent study in the Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine confirmed this trend – finding that Latino and black parents were three times more likely to sate their children’s thirst with bottled water, compared with white parents. What sets this study apart from previous ones, is that it pinpoints the reasons why minority parents perceive bottled water to be superior, and thus a necessary expense. Thy genuinely believe it to be cleaner, safer, healthier, and more convenient than the stuff that pours out of the spigot (virtually) gratis. Health experts and tap water advocates heartily disagree and will produce reams of data revealing tap water  to be pure, healthful, and entirely sanitary. In fact, authors of the recent study note that the reliance on bottled water may contribute to dental issues in minority children who don’t benefit from the fluoride purposefully added to tap water to maintain the nation’s oral health. What’s more, a National Resources Defense Council investigation discovered the 17% of bottled waters contained unsafe levels of bacterial loads, and 22% were contaminated with chemicals, including arsenic.

Still, with 10 billion gallons of bottled water imbibed annually in the US, bottled water brands have been actively courting the minority market.

Latino-specific Bottled Water Brands

What better way to attract the attention of a minority group than by putting out a product that is aimed directly, if not almost exclusively, at them. Paul Kurkulis founder and president of Las Oleadas, an Aspen-based company, has been hawking a brand of mineral -enhanced bottled water called Oleada in Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and California, with his focus being the Hispanic market. Loosely translated Las Oleadas means “the momentum that drives a wave.” The text on the labels were originally only in Spanish, but they now also feature English, since Kurkulis found he had inadvertently garnered some non-Spanish speaking customers. In 2006, Ravinia Partners, launched AguaBlue. After years of research, they put out the bottled water that sought to pull at the emotional heartstrings of the Latino consumer. The striking, full color label features the flags of Latin American countries, and bilingual production information. Perusing the water aisle, the Guatamalan, Columbian or Puerto Rican shopper spots his or her flag, and swells with pride and warm feelings. Naturally, this makes him or him opt for a bottle of AguaBlue over another generic brand.

Targeting Minority Moms

Over the last two years ago, Coca Cola and Nestle have both rolled out campaigns aimed at minority moms. According to Miriam Muley,  author of The 85% Niche: The Power of Women of All Colors—Latina, Black and Asian, 46% of all mothers in the US are Latina, Black or Asian. In April, 2009, Dasani enlisted R&B star Chilli from the Grammy award winning group TLC to deliver its message of health and hydration to African American mothers in a special Mother’s Day program. Via radio, print and in-store advertising, black women were sold on how drinking Dasani was just one step to a happier, more beautiful, more fulfilled, and more balanced them. By visiting the Dasani website, moms could see the latest fashion trends, elicit health and beauty tips and enter contests to win spa-cations. “Among African American consumers, African American moms are the gatekeeper to the household,” said Yolanda White, assistant vice president, African American Marketing, Coca-Cola North America, in an Ad Age interview. “We over-index in single-family households, and so reaching Mom is critical.”

Summer and fall of 2010 saw Nestle’s Pure Life water campaign, “Better Habits for a Better Life”, played out with a vengeance. This time it was Latina moms who were being canvassed, and this time, the campaign wasn’t so much about their health and well-being, but rather those of their families. At the heart of the campaign was a challenge titled “La Promesa Nestle Pure Life,” and it basically called upon mothers to pledge to replace one sugary drink in their family’s day with water, or rather, a bottle of Pure Life. Once her pledge was registered, mom was in the running to win over $20,000 worth of prizes, and a trip for four to Miami.

Celebrity Endorsements

Brands have long since recognized the value of celebrity endorsements to increase sales. But, it wasn’t until the mid-90’s that advertisers really started to take the African American market seriously and realized the profits to be cultivated if they started to use black stars. Remember what Tina Turner  did for Hanes hosiery? Well, the bottled water industry certainly does. Coca Cola’s enlisting of TLC’s Chili, a 38 year-old-old actress, singer, and single mother to promote Dasani’s Mother’s Day campaign, was perfectly executed. The star embraces independence, strong family principles and a commitment to health, and, well, looking good – values integral to today’s black mother. “Chilli embodies the struggles and the balance we see in our target audience,” said Yolanda White of Coca Cola, as reported in “She gives reassurance to moms that you can still be a great mom, take care of yourself and look beautiful.”

Nestle had their own superstar mom in Hispanic TV host Cristina Saralegui to serve as the brand’s spokeswoman, as well as to appear in TV commercials. In one such ad, a mother is seen in a supermarket deciding between a sugary drink or water as she runs into Saralegui, who conveys to her the importance of water. Between 2008 and 2010 when Hispanic commericals featuring Salalegui were aired on TV, the awareness of Pure Life water, and purchase intent levels quadrupled among Hispanics.

All this isn’t to suggest that the boys are neglected. Black comedian and actor Daman Wayans, once endorsed PepsiCo’s Aquafina in the early noughties, now the brand is endorsed by Domenican football player Luis Castillo of the San Diego Chargers.

Playing the “Purity” Game

In 2008, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) investigated the quality of bottled water. It tested 10 major brands, and found an array of chemical contaminants in all of them at levels no different than routinely found in tap water. Despite this, the cornerstone of ad campaigns of many bottled water brands is  the apparent unmatched purity of their products, which intentionally plays up to the concerns of consumers worried that tap water is contaminated, polluted or simply unclean.

Unknown to many, municipal tap water is the source for 47.8%of bottled water, according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation’s annual report for 2009. Aquafina draws on the same water that you do in your kitchen, whereas Nestle gets most of its water for its regional North American brands from spring sources. Despite this distinction, Aquafina nonsensically features a mountain landscape on the label. Moreover, its slogans harp on about purity left, right and center: “Nothing but pure refreshment,” ”So pure, we promise nothing,” and “Aquafina bottled water. Purity Guaranteed”. Nestle’s Poland  Spring is big on purity too, but the real focus is on the “naturalness” of its water source. The brand’s advertising is potent with images of verdant, lush forested landscapes, rolling hills and clear blue skies.

In this ad here, the tagline reads “Born Better,” and the accompanying text says: “Every drop of Poland Spring’s 100% Natural Spring Water comes from carefully selected natural springs. When you start with something better, you get something better.” Better than tap water, Nestle insinuates. Really?

Ever wonder where the water from your faucet comes from? Lakes, rivers and groundwater that accumulates in underground wells from rain, melted snow and sleet. Sounds pretty “natural”, doesn’t it?

September 16, 2011   No Comments

Dallas Morning News Reports on Hispanic Consumers


In the latest U.S. Census, the Hispanic population reached 50 million and, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, Latinos represented more than half of U.S. population growth in the last decade.Pew projects that by 2050, the Hispanic population will reach about 130 million. Today Hispanic  buying power is more than $1 trillion of the $11 trillion U.S. market. It’s expected to reach $1.3 trillion in 2015, according to market research firm Packaged Facts.

September 16, 2011   No Comments

Top 10 Industries that Benefit the Hispanic Market

By Business Wire

By 2016, the Hispanic demographic will comprise 17.8 percent of US residents and, while the nation’s buying power is projected to grow 27.5 percent to $14.7 trillion, the Hispanic population’s buying power is forecast to grow a whopping 48.1 percent to $1.6 trillion. Industry research firm IBISWorld analyzed the Hispanic population’s contribution to numerous industries between 2011 and 2016 and identified the top 10 US industries in which Hispanic market share is growing the fastest.

“Despite difficulties during and following the recession of 2009, buying power among Hispanics continues to escalate steeply,” explained IBISWorld analyst Brian Bueno. “Companies across all sectors are eager to claim a piece of this pie.”

Retail industries are some of the main beneficiaries of growing Hispanic buying power. Hispanics are major purchasers of children’s and infants’ clothing, accounting for about 19.2 percent of industry sales in 2011. Moreover, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Hispanic men spend 7.0 percent more than non-Hispanic men on clothing on a per capita basis. In terms of consumer electronics, Hispanics are 7.0 percent more likely than the general population to own a smartphone, download music online, utilize mobile video, use e-mail and send or receive text messages.

Additionally, Hispanics encompass a quickly-expanding share of the market for automobiles. By 2016, Hispanics will contribute roughly $14.0 billion to the car and automobile manufacturing industry, representing annualized growth of 7.4 percent from 2011 to 2016.

Restaurants across all food types have also benefited from the growing Hispanic population. Social factors, such as the tendency to dine out with the entire family, give this group a substantial 11.4 percent share of the single location full-service restaurants industry.

From 2011 to 2016, Hispanic contribution to the credit card processing and money transferring industries will grow at an annualized rate of 7.2 percent, faster than the industry’s revenue growth. Credit cards and checking and savings accounts are increasingly being opened by the demographic, thanks to major promotional and development efforts by banks.

Hispanics are leading higher-education enrollment growth among racial groups, according to the Pew Research Center. With a large share of the Hispanic population that has yet to enter college age, the group’s contribution to the education sector is projected to grow rapidly over the coming years.

Entertainment providers have long been catering to the Hispanic market, but there is still a lot of room for industries, like sports franchises, to grow. Also, as companies expand their investments in attracting the market, advertising agencies are set to benefit substantially.

Source: IBISWorld, Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Pew Hispanic Research Center and industry surveys

Industry Hispanic Contribution2011 ($ million) Hispanic Market Share 2011 (%) Hispanic Market Share2016 (%) Absolute Change In Market Share 2011-2016 (%)
1. Consumer Electronics Stores $9,671 12.1 15.0 2.9
2. Men’s Clothing Stores $1,168 12.9 15.2 2.3
3. Children’s & Infants’ Clothing Stores $1,869 19.2 21.2 2.0
4. Car & Automobile Manufacturing $9,787 11.8 13.7 1.9
5. Advertising Agencies $2,979 10.2 12.1 1.9
6. Single Location Full Service Restaurants $10,406 11.4 13.1 1.7
7. Credit Card Processing & Money Transferring $5,243 12.0 13.7 1.7
8. Trade & Technical Schools $2,059 12.4 14.1 1.7
9. Department Stores $22,131 11.5 13.1 1.6
10. Sports Franchises $1,862 7.7 9.2 1.5

September 16, 2011   No Comments