WALT WHITE, meet Walter Blanco. The meth cook/criminal mastermind/chemistry teacher will live again, as Sony and Teleset remake Breaking Bad in Spanish for audiences in Latin American and the United States. Mainstream producers are waking up to something multicultural media have known for quite a while: Hispanics love video. Advertisers are hungry for this audience, and content creators can barely keep up. If you produce premium video that appeals to Hispanics, life is good.

If you can reach Hispanics across multiple devices, life is even better. In October, Telemundo released Telemundo NOW, a digital portal and mobile app that let cable subscribers watch full episodes of Telemundo’s programs in HD on any device. Telemundo NOW is just the latest step in Telemundo’s bold move into digital. Last year, it broke new ground with Mia Mundo, its bilingual web series with brand integrations for Verizon and Chevy.

This year, it upped the digital ante by featuring Mia Mundo content of all kinds on nearly every medium. The novella – along with Chevy car brands – was featured in trailers on Telemundo, as well as on the station’s morning show; and alternative endings were put up for a vote on and social media, with the winning ending revealed on TV.

In addition to the actual episodes, bonus scenes, actor interview and bios, photo galleries and music packages appeared online and on mobile via and

Because Telemundo produces its own programming, “We have a tremendous amount of content that can play out on TV, mobile or gaming devices,” says Peter Blacker, executive vice president of Telemundo Digital Media and Emerging Businesses Division, Telemundo. “It allows us a chance to get our audience even further connected with our content.” It also allows Telemundo to offer custom video content and deep integration across platforms for sponsors like Chevy.

Blacker says, “We are taking our video to market across multiple platforms. We will work with ad partners to sponsor the television show, website video, mobile, VOD, as well as our TelemundoMas video. Consumers can have one consistent relationship with that content.”

Another online video fan is Gabriel Sama, Managing Editor of CNET en Español, the recently launched Spanish-language sister site to CNET, the tech media website that publishes reviews, news and podcasts on technology and consumer electronics. “Video has played a big role at CNET throughout the years and Español is going to leverage that experience, offering the best quality Spanish-language tech reviews and information,” Sama tells Portada®.

Filling the Breach
Content like Telemundo’s and CNET en español is gold for advertisers trying to reach Hispanic consumers. “When it comes to really relevant content, whether in Spanish or English, there definitely has been a lack,” says Marla Skiko, EVP and director of digital innovation for SMG Multicultural, a unit of StarcomMediaVest. “The biggest fact marketers need to realize is that there is such a strong overconsumption of video among these consumers. The indices are astounding – the propensity for not only viewing but also sharing.”

Those 50 million Hispanics living in the United States spend 68% more time watching video on the Internet and 20% more time watching video on their mobile phones than the general population, according to Nielsen. Even better, they are more likely to purchase everything from apparel to stocks using mobile devices, according to Experian.

“Match the dearth of content to the desirability of this audience, and you get premium prices for Hispanic video content,” says Jorg Nowak, head of Latin America and US Hispanic for YuMe. “CPMs are very strong, and I predict they will become even stronger. It’s a great problem to have.”

‘CPM’s on video are going for double the price of traditional banner ads.’

John Trainor, general manager and publisher at Hoy Chicago, agrees: “In very simple terms, CPM’s on video are going for double the price of traditional banner ads however the real business plan comes from building capabilities that enable traditional newsrooms to build engaged audiences through multiple formats with only marginal increments in cost structures by incorporating video into the production flow. It’s not about pre-rolls, its much more than that.”

Market analysis by one automotive company found that perception of three brands was lower among His- panic consumers than among the general population. That hurt, especially since sales of new vehicles grew 28% year-over-year from 2011 to 2012. In June, the auto maker launched pre-roll video campaigns on a custom Hispanic channel on YuMe’s Connected Audience Network, with impressive results. (YuMe isn’t authorized to name the brand.)

“When Hispanics buy a car, it’s a family decision. The entire family comes to the lot and experiences the car. We wanted to replicate that and transfer that to our ad business,” says Nowak. “[The advertiser’s] problem was that the public perceived the brand as being lower in quality, so the campaign objective was to use digital video to create an engaging experience to bring to life the virtues that the car had.”

The video advertising platform created three custom channels for the car maker. On selected sites, video ads for one brand targeted Hispanics aged 25 to 54 with children in the household; second targeted Hispanic consumers aged 18 to 49; the third targeted Hispanics aged 25 to 54. The campaigns garnered a 91% video completion rate, which is 20% higher than the category’s 76% norm, according to YuMe.

Reaching Hispanic consumers is complicated by several things, according to Skiko, including their use of both mainstream and targeted video content, as well as the increasing number of Hispanics for whom English is the preferred or only language. “Because how do I know you’re Hispanic? You know who the user is but how do you know their ethnicity. It’s a bit of a data quandary,” she says.

For example, among the most popular YouTube channels among Hispanics, only one, Machinima, is overtly Hispanic-centric.

Content Targeting
Simply providing content Hispanics will like is one solution to finding them online. Hispanics’ favorite YouTube channel, VEVO, reaches them with a simple, targeted-content approach. It works.

“Music is important to the Hispanic community. Typically we are targeting according to the content itself,” says Jonathan Carson, chief revenue officer. VEVO has a content channel structure that lets brands focus ads on those that skew toward Hispanic audiences; they can also choose to sponsor specific artists.

VEVO also creates custom content tailored to a specific brand’s interests, notably in its Go Shows, which marry live events with digital video. GO Shows are unannounced concert performances in intimate venues; the music video site records the shows for replay on-demand. Its GO Show with Belinda at Los Angeles’ Skybar, sponsored by T-Mobile, drew more than 3 million views between April and June of this year. T-Mobile had a presence at the concert, and its video ads were delivered as pre-rolls when the more than 3 million viewers watch online.

Coors Light sponsored a two-part, behind-the-scenes video promoting Prince Royce’s “Darte un Beso,” while Chivas partnered on a live concert series featuring Café Tacvba. Each garnered more than 1 million views.

These are sold similarly to traditional media sponsorship packages that include a broader media buy across VEVO, according to Carson. “Brands often want to deeply associate themselves with content that means something to consumers. When they try to create that content on their own, it’s often difficult to generate a large audience,” he notes.

YuMe’s targeting is another approach to reaching Hispanics: Its ad network includes 1,500 different sites, including many Hispanic publishers, and its January 2013 acquisition of Crowd Science lets it combine survey, behavioral and contextual data to better understand consumers. YuMe says its Household Targeting solution lets advertisers reach all members of a house- hold across all of their connected screens.

Videology’s Addressable Audience Platform lets advertisers target consumer segments by demographics, psychographics and behavior. It uses contextual targeting technology to determine browser language and the content viewed, mixing that with demographic data from more than 25 data providers to identify users by ethnicity. “Some of them can get as granular as targeting bilingual users,” says Chad Schulte, VP of strategic sales for the Americas.

Most advertisers want to get even more granular, he adds, targeting according to consumers’ diverse interests and buying patterns – and this is another place all those data sources can help. For example, a consumer packaged-goods company might want to reach Hispanic moms with kids under five years old. “We might have one data provider identifying that user as Hispanic, and another that matches that same user as a mother,” he explains.

Crossing Platforms
U.S. Hispanics are 20% more likely to watch video on their mobile phone than non-Hispanics, according to Nielsen. But in search of reach, most advertisers want to be able to use the same creative across devices.

In fact, media planning and buying is increasingly video agnostic. Tapestry’s Lia Silkworth notes that there are substantial changes taking place in the broadcast advertising area. “Many agencies are looking at video agnostic planning and buying. Upfronts are no longer a TV team only affair.” Marla Skiko agreed: “The discussion changed. It starts from a totally different place. It used to be we are buying a 30-second TV spot. Now it’s much more about content and measurability.” The game changer has been the emergence of online video and mobile as well as the increased measurability of digital advertising.

Bob McNeill, CEO of IMAGES USA, says he uses online video in almost every online ad program. “We have found it to be three to four times more effective in unaided recall. I cannot think of a single occasion when the broadcast repurpose does not work for us.”

‘The emergence of online and mobile video and the measurability of digital advertising are game changers.’

Companies including Adobe, Videology, Yume, Adap. TV and Tremor Video provide mathematically driven analyses and allocation of data that allows advertisers to target precise consumer segments – at scale – by demographics, psychographics and behavioral segments through video advertising on multiple screens (connected TV’s, mobile, tablets, PCs).

“If someone starts to engage with more digital properties, it continues to enrich the data set. Maybe they came to the website, filled out a form or visited a retailer with a point of sale card. We can capture all of that, connect it together and create a higher resolution view of any consumer,” says Nate Smith, product marketing manager, Adobe Analytics.

Telemundo is also working to expand its insights across platforms. To better understand Hispanics behavior consuming TV, online mobile and social media, Telemundo and Vision Critical have teamed up to create two “insight communities,” AKA panels. Mi Telemundo, for Spanish-dominant consumers, and Tu Pulso Latino, for bilingual Millennials, will use surveys and consumption tracking to give advertisers a handle on the influences, behaviors and desires of these groups.

More such efforts are needed. As video continues its march to dominance of digital content, the challenge, according to Telemundo’s Blacker, will be for content companies to keep pace with new connected devices and technologies. He says, “Today, it’s tablets and phablets and cell phones. What’s the next frontier? The audience will decide where they want to see our content.” And advertisers will have to follow them.


What are bloggers and what should their role be? More specifically what is the role of bloggers in Hispanic Media? Unfortunately many bloggers are not only players in the content space but also in the marketing space.

In the age of Content Marketing and Social Media bloggers play a very important role for brand marketers. They produce and repurpose content to strengthen brand marketers’ messages in third party (earned) media and in corporate owned media (e.g custom websites).Often the content bloggers produce is biased. This is not surprising: Bloggers get paid in cash or with goods and services by their corporate sponsors. In fact, blogging is much more related to public relations than to traditional journalism. And that is where the problem lies: since blogging is a relatively new phenomenon readers give bloggers too much credibility. Readers think that bloggers produce unbiased content and that is not always the case.

Are some bloggers the only ones selling out to corporate interests? Of course not. Advertising and editorial departments of media properties constantly deal with the often conflicting goals of credible reporting and meeting advertisers’ demands. Advertisers have an influence on content when journalists allow their content to be driven by their desire to attract, or not repel, advertisers. Political critic Noam Chomsky described how corporate advertisers impact public opinion by influencing media properties in his popular book “Manufacturing Consent.”

The advent of digital media and so-called “native” advertising has blurred the line between editorial content and advertising even more. As Ben Kunz, VP of Strategic planning at Mediaassociates writes in Digiday, “Billions of banner ad impressions may annoy readers, but they don’t misdirect users by disguising the source of the message — and this is exactly what native advertising does. If publishers and marketers aren’t careful, they are going to poison the well of digital ad communications by breaking consumer trust.”

We welcome the guidelines for bloggers recently issued by the Federal Trade Commission. According to the new guidelines, bloggers must include the disclosure of their relationship with corporations at the bottom and the top of their posts. In addition, “any social media post that has been sponsored or obtained through free or discounted products, regardless of the channel or the poster, must also contain the words “ad,” or “sponsored.”

A regulated blogging environment will increase the credibility of both marketers and media targeting the Hispanic population.

The party was in New York City this month, where the TV Upfronts took place. Also in the Big Apple in late April the digital New- Fronts happened, the online industry’s answer to the upfronts. Says Carl Fremont, until recently EVP of Media at Digitas, the agency that put together the first Digitas NewFront six years ago, “We saw that there was no forum that brought together producers, distributors, buyers, sellers and researchers in the digital video content arena. Video was becoming a really viable medium for brand marketers.”That first event featured Vuguru, Michael Eisner’s year-old web content production company, MySpace TV and MTV New Media, and Third Act, Digitas’ new digital brand content practice. In 2012, AOL, Google, Hulu, MSFT AD, and Yahoo joined Digitas in an extended event rebranded the Digital Content NewFronts.

This year, the Interactive Advertising Bureau took over leadership of the event, with 12 content companies participating, including AOL, Disney Interactive, The Wall Street Journal and, for the first time, Univision.

“Our participation in the NewFront is a reflection of the success we have had with our digital expansion efforts over the past 12 months and the appetite for digital content among the audience we serve,” says Steve Mandala, executive vice president, advertising sales, for Univision Communications. “Univision owns the intersection of the two growth opportunities in media – Hispanic and digital – and we are focused on delivering a Univision branded experience everywhere our audience is.” During its New- Front presentation Univision Communications unveiled plans to launch several web-only series; a new online destination for Hispanic millennials, and announced the addition of five new channels to its UVideos platform.

Although brief, the presentation included remarks by the company’s top executive brass, including César Conde, President, Univision Network; and Kevin Conroy, President, Digital and Enterprise Development. Also in attendance was Univision CEO Randy Falco. Among the new initiatives, Univision introduced Flama, a digital destination that promises “culturally relevant content” targeting Hispanic millennials. “This is the place for fun, irreverent content,” said Camila Jimenez, VP, Strategy at Univision, at the presentation. Series concepts include Salseras, and Back Home, a docuseries that “takes young Hispanics on a journey back to their ancestral homelands with a small budget and a list of challenges.” Flama is slated to launch in the fall. Univision also announced the addition of five new channels on UVideos, its bilingual digital video network: The Lifestyle, Cooking, Beauty and Fashion, Comedy and Behind the Scenes.

Univision´s strategy reflects the growing importance of digital video to Hispanic consumers. In Q4 2012, Hispanics spent an average of 9.58 hours per month watching video on the internet, and 5.58 hours watching video on a mobile phone, up year-over-year from 6.41 minutes and 5.46 minutes respectively. Smartphone penetration among Hispanics is also higher in general, at 68 percent, compared to 59 percent for the general U.S. population, Nielsen said.

Univision is also participating in the TV upfront. Mandala wouldn’t reveal details of his company’s offerings, but he said, “We will unveil a robust effort around made-for-web content and digital innovations that include customizable opportunities for our advertising partners.” He also promised that content partner Grupo Televisa will play a key role.

“The NewFronts are a great opportunity to see the new concepts coming from technology companies, as well as new formats, where you have content developed by Hulu and Amazon and Netflix,” says Steven Wolfe Pereira, executive vice president at Media- Vest and managing director of MediaVest Multicultural.

Zubi Advertising hasn’t participated in the New- Fronts yet, but Isabella Sanchez, vice president media integration for Zubi, was tempted by Univision’s invitation. She thinks the upfronts are a must in order to get clients space in top programs that sell out, like American Idol and the Latin GRAMMYs. “Networks obligate marketers to firm up a lot of their money months in advance via the upfronts,” Sanchez says. “If those same rules are applied to digital, the advertiser has to be given a strong advantage to do that, such as exclusive and premier content.” Because Hispanic digital is newer, she adds, it’s difficult to determine whether such valuable opportunities will be on offer.

Noting that Hispanics are much more likely to watch video on a tablet or mobile device than mainstream consumers, Marla Skiko, EVP/Director of Digital Innovation, SMG Multicultural, says that the NewFronts help her agency understand what content will be available. She’s especially interested to hear from YouTube what it will be offering on its Hispanic channels, launched last year. She says, “We love when bigger companies not completely invested in Hispanic media grow the space, like YouTube and Hulu. From the advertising agency’s standpoint, the more supply we have, all the better for us.”

The TV upfronts traditionally took place the first week in May; many saw the April NewFronts originally as a play to grab ad dollars away from TV. These days, with the proliferation of cable channels and digital video properties, now all of spring is open season on media buyers from February through Mid-May. The 2013 TV upfronts began with CMT (Country Music Television) and Fox Sports on March 5, and they end with The CW, USA Network and HTS on May 16. This year, the Digital Content NewFronts sat in the middle of the upfronts, with most events held the week of April 29. Below a roundup:

CNET to introduce Spanish-language version
CBS Interactive (CBSi) announced several Spanish-language initiatives, including a Spanish-language edition of CNET that will debut in the fall. Jim Lanzone, president of CBSi, said he wants to offer unique digital content for a Spanish-speaking audience of 50 million in the U.S., with more in Latin America and across the globe. The Spanish-language version of CNET “will not just be a machine translating our English content into Spanish,” Lanzone said, “it will be its own distinct site.” CBSi is also working on a Spanish-language version of GameSpot.

Hulu Latino
Hulu announced “East Los High”, the first English-language drama series produced by Hulu that specifically targets Hispanic audiences. “East Los High” will join the ten other Hulu Original Series and Hulu Exclusive Series that will be premiering as part of Hulu’s Summer Slate 2013,According to Hulu, “Dance, sex, romance and mystery are at the heart of this inner city school in East L.A. where two teenage cousins, Jessie, a 16-year-old virgin, and Maya, a troubled runaway with a violent past, fall in love with Jacob, a popular football player. With this forbidden love triangle, Maya, Jessie and Jacob, along with their close friends, must face true-to-life decisions throughout a turbulent year that will mark their lives forever. A Hulu Exclusive Series, “East Los High” features an all Latino cast, director, writers and creators—many hailing from East L.A. More than 15 leading public health organizations such as Advocates for Youth, Voto Latino, California Family Health Council and Legacy LA, among others, advised on the scripts and content to address teen issues related to relationships and sexuality in a meaningful way.

NBC Universal Telemundo
NBCUniversal’s Telemundo announced a partnership with The Weather Company to tailor weather coverage to a Hispanic audience. Telemundo hopes to increase interaction between its broadcasts and social media by partnering with Zeebox, a second-screen viewing app for tablets and smartphones.

Mundial Sports Network
Mundial Sports Network, a digital network catering to U.S. Hispanic sports fans, announced expanded digital video and branded content offerings at its New York City NewFront presentation. The network is offering branded audio content to advertisers through digital radio.

While the broadcasters make a stir by parading stars during their upfronts, the NewFronts are a bit more pragmatic, according to Skiko. In the New- Fronts, content companies lay out their content plans, explain their ad offerings and how they’ll scale. “The relationships they have with clients and agencies will play out after the fact,” she says. “When you have the sales conversation, some questions are already answered.”

There are two important trends evidenced in the TV upfronts and Digital Content New- Fronts: the blending of broadcast and digital, and the blending of multicultural with mainstream media.

Univision is a prime example of the blurring between broadcast and digital. In 2012, it combined the teams responsible for digital and broadcast brand engagement into a single unit, later adding UVideo, a cross-platform digital video distribution service. And it premiered its newest novela, Arranque de Pasion, on the web before broadcasting it. This year, it will hold both a TV upfront and a NewFront. “We look at the Newfront as a complement to the Upfront and an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the robust offering of digital innovations we are taking to market,” Mandala says.

Could the increase in cross-channel campaigns obviate the need for a separate Digital NewFront? Fremont, who recently was appointed Global Chief Digital Officer at MEC, thinks that the digital and broadcast marketplaces will remain separate for now. He says that while revenue from digital is very important to broadcasters, media buyers are not always well-equipped to evaluate them as a package. Moreover, he thinks they remain distinct media. “The worst thing that could happen would be to treat digital video like broadcast,” he says. “It’s a different medium with a different behavior set. Both are critical to the marketing mix but very distinct.”

Skiko agrees that broadcast producers are all in different stages of going digital. But she sees the marketplace blending already. “Some players are more steeped in broadcast now but are expanding to other screens. Even in the upfront, they won’t just talk about broadcast, they will talk about the totality. The New- Fronts are pure-play digital, but selling the same kind of story: strong content to bring in more users and viewers and not worry about what screen they’re watching on.”

At the same time, marketers realize they need to reach Hispanics everywhere they go. Anel Hooper, associate media director for Bromley Communications, buys both traditional and digital media (although she did not go to the upfronts nor the NewFronts this year). In her 15 years as a buyer, her agency has changed from its traditional focus on Hispanic media. “A lot of our clients want to reach the bilingual Hispanic, so they’re looking into English-language websites and media. We’re reaching Hispanics in a totally different form. It’s all about the content, whether in English or Spanish,” she says.

Wolfe Pereira says Mediavest calls this “total market buying. We don’t believe in putting Hispanic media in a corner,” he says. “It’s one plan, one flow chart for all the consumer touch points.”

In the age of real-time bidding and automated bid management, are the Digital NewFronts necessary? Aren’t they a throwback to old-fashioned media buying, when an advertiser could tell that half of his ad investment paid off but not which half? Absolutely not, says Skiko. While programmatic buying can be useful for digital prerolls and interstitials, “You want to know how the brand can be integrated and how you can be more relevant. That takes more than just spots,” she says. For digital video publishers looking to get her clients’ dollars, “The basics have to be there, but they want to illustrate what else they can do to have the brand involved at a deeper level.”

Zubi’s Sanchez concurs. “One could call it old-fashioned, but there’s still a need to talk about objectives and making it customizable for clients, as opposed to just making it cost-based. It’s about quality, not always about quantity.”

Tablet media may turn out to be a big help for newspapers and magazines. A recent comScore study shows that “in the case of online newspapers, tablets are now driving 7% of total page views, an impressive figure considering the relative infancy of the tablet space” says Mark Donovan, comScore SVP of Mobile. Donovan adds that “Publishers that understand how these devices are shifting consumption dynamics will be best positioned to leverage this platform to not only drive incremental engagement among current subscribers but also attract new readers.”
The study found that nearly 2 in 5 U.S. tablet owners read newspapers and/or magazines on their device in August, with 1 in 10 reading publications almost daily. Analysis of readership activities across platforms revealed that Kindle Fire users displayed the strongest propensity for reading newspapers and magazines on their device.
In the three-month average period ending August 2012, 37.1% of tablet owners read a newspaper on their device at least once during the month, with 11.5% of tablet owners reading newspapers almost every day. Kindle Fire users demonstrated the greatest tendency to read newspapers, with 39.2% doing so in August, slightly edging out iPad at 38.3%. Nook Tablet owners boasted the greatest % of high-frequency newspaper readers with 13.4% doing so on a near daily basis.
Magazines/periodicals showed even higher readership rates than newspapers with 39.6% of tablet owners reading
magazines on their device during the month. Kindle Fire owners once again showed the highest readership rate at 43.9%, followed by iPad users at 40.3 %.

Analysis into readership demographics revealed that newspaper and magazine tablet audiences closely resembled one another in gender, age and household income distribution. Across both newspapers and magazines, readers were significantly more likely to be male. Newspaper audiences were 17% more likely to be male compared to an average tablet owner (index of 117), while magazine audiences were 11% more likely to be male (index of 111).
People between the ages of 25-34 represented the highest share of readers, accounting for 27.4% of newspaper
consumers and 28.2% of magazine/periodical consumers, while people age 35-44 accounted for 1 in 5 readers in both categories. More than half of readers had a household income of $75k or greater, while those in the highest income segment of $100k or greater skewed most heavily toward readership. .

Using Facebook’s advertising segmentation tools, we were able to identify the number of users on the social network
by country. For example, Brazil has the largest number of users, but not the highest percentage of social network
penetration for Facebook (which is higher in several other countries). However, it has to be taken into account that
Brazil’s social networking leader is Google’s Orkut and not Facebook. Marketing efforts of various brands
are focused not so much on entire countries, but rather specific cities. With this in mind, we measured the Facebook
user population of 10 major cities in Latin America (see box below). Surprisingly, the fourth most populous
country on Facebook – Colombia – is first in the rankings by city, thanks to Bogota (where according to data from
Facebook itself, the penetration rate is very high).

The recent news that Tecate and Tecate Light will consolidate all of their advertising with Mexico-based Olabuenaga
Chemistri continues to make waves, with U.S. Hispanic shops fearing other marketers will take their business elsewhere, mostly motivated by a cost-cutting mandate. Tecate (distributed in the United States by Heineken)  decided to leave its U.S. agency Ramona de Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners, for its Mexican agency,
Olabuenaga Chemistri. This means that all advertising for Tecate and Tecate Light (traditional and digital) in the
United States will be handled now from Mexico City, with new campaigns created both in Spanish (for their main consumers) and English (to target the rest of the U.S. market and English-dominant Hispanics (see page 12 of this
issue). With this move, Olabuenaga Chemistri enters the U.S. market, and with accounts such as Bacardi and
General Motors in Mexico, it would not be surprising if it soon added new clients to its roster in the United States.

Mexican companies continue to set their sights on Hispanics in the U.S., with several of them investing in advertising to reach this market segment. The first Mexican companies, although not the only ones, to have established a presence in the U.S. are Mexico’s most global companies, led by America Movil, Cemex, FEMSA/Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma (Heineken) and Grupo Bimbo. With 31.7 million potential consumers at stake, other companies joining this list are: Gruma, Alfa, Grupo Modelo, Herdez, Chedraui, Famsa and Genomma Lab. Geo-location is allowing
digital media properties to monetize their content with countryspecific ads for its users. This is also serving as a gateway for Mexican companies, seeking to target the U.S. Hispanic market. Grupo Liverpool (Liverpool department stores), Grupo Elektra (Elektra, Salinas and Rocha stores, among others) and Grupo Posadas (Fiesta Americana Hotels and others) are good examples. Even without having a U.S. presence, the three groups are now targeting Hispanics of Mexican descent in the United States with media campaigns aimed at that market. Considering that 65% of Hispanics are of Mexican origin (according to the U.S. Census Bureau), Liverpool, Elektra and Grupo Posadas’ interest in this market is understandable. These Hispanics are likely to return to Mexico to visit and spend money on their companies’ goods and services. The two department store chains also have e-commerce sites that enable any Hispanic in the U.S. to buy products that offer direct delivery to Mexico. In an interview with Portada, Gabriel Richaud (the new Managing Director of IAB Mexico) said: “We have a great opportunity because geographical barriers no longer exist in terms of commerce or communication. We are getting campaigns in Mexico for products that are not even being distributed, but which are in demand because geographical barriers no longer exist. We will see more Mexican companies seeking to reach Latino consumers on a more emotional level and from a closer perspective, taking advantage of digital platforms to encourage not only sales and leads, but also brand presence. We’ll be seeing Mexican companies entering the U.S. Hispanic market, which already represents the largest minority group in the country and has increasing economic and political power. “Richaud identified three main areas with the greatest opportunity: “There will be great opportunity in terms of airlines, hotels and products related to the Latin culture lifestyle, which will have a major impact in terms of business opportunity.”

The Spanish language and the Latin culture are enormous assets for the U.S. economy. In this regard, the U.S.  marketing, media and cultural industries, have a lot to contribute to the mid and long term growth of the U.S. economy. For this reason, the cover article of this issue is devoted to the role of language in marketing to the U.S. Hispanic population.
Below are some thoughts on the current and future role that the Spanish-language and the Latin culture will play in the U.S.:
Mother Tongue and Foreign Tongue
Nevada, Colorado, Florida, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara…There are countless Spanish-derived names for U.S. cities and locations. In other words, Spanish has never been a foreign language in the U.S. In fact, with the Guadalupe-Hidalgo Treaty (1848) between the United States and Mexico, more than half of the former Mexican territory, home to millions of Spanish-speakers, was given to the United States: That is no less than all or part of the territory of the following states: Texas, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Oklahoma and New Mexico. And the number of Spanish-speakers has increased even more with the arrival of many millions of Mexicans and other Latin American immigrants. In the U.S., Spanish is both a mother tongue and a foreign language. That is what makes its role so important and interesting.
The Center of Gravity shifts toward the U.S.
As Eduardo Lago, a writer and former director of the Instituto Cervantes in New York says: “The Spanish language achieved its full potential when it crossed the Atlantic from Spain to the Americas and became the common language of 20 different Latin American states.” According to demographic forecasts, during this century the Hispanic
population in the United States will get to be larger than the Spanish-speaking population in any other country of the world. (Currently Mexico holds the number one position with a Spanish-speaking population of 108 million.) In other words, during the next decades the center of gravity of the Spanish – language will shift northward to the U.S.
A homogenizing and strengthening effect
Another aspect that will strengthen the role of Spanish in the U.S. is that immigration has a homogenizing effect on the type of Spanish used in the U.S. The Romance languages developed from Latin in the fifth to ninth centuries
of the Christian calendar. The main Romance languages are Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Italian and French, but also Catalan, Galician, Sicilian and many others. In contrast to the way romance languages developed in Europe, where they grew out of the adaptation of Latin to very different and distant local cultures, different Latin American types of Spanish are now converging in a largely shared U.S. culture. The Spanish spoken in the U.S. will tend to be a mix of the different types of Spanish spoken in the immigrants’ home countries. It is likely that one type of Spanish, of course also integrating English words, will develop and prevail rather than many different types. It might be called a “pan Latin,” or more homogeneous variety of Spanish.

Spanish language and Latin culture
The above described demographic and linguistic trends will—and already are—making the United States a major promulgator of Latin culture (through media, entertainment, Language classes, etc), not only related to the Spanish-language but to Latin culture expressed in English. Tied with the enormous infrastructure of “cultural goods and services” existing in the U.S. (e.g. Film industry, Technological Infrastructure, Universities), the Spanish-language and Latin culture can make a major contribution to economic growth. Demand for “Latin Culture” is not only growing in the U.S. but also in fast growing Latin American countries and the Iberian Peninsula.

What defines good creative in the Hispanic market is the same as in any other market. And it’s often difficult to define. Everyone agrees that it cannot be reduced to specific design elements, colors or images. “The quickest way to offend any audience is to reduce it to a stereotype. No one will connect with a Hispanic audience by standardizing
on swirly typefaces and bright color palettes that seem to ‘look’ Hispanic,” explains Ronnie Lipton, multi-cultural marketing consultant and author of Designing Across Cultures (How Design Books, 2002). “Such symbols and elements will fail in most cases because they show the advertiser didn’t even try to understand the market’s depth and diversity.”

Many advertisers and publishers talk about cultural insight or understanding as the most important element of good creative. According to Alex Pallette, Vice President and Director of Account Planning at The Vidal Partnership, ads do not need to be visually Hispanic, but the strategy and thinking behind the ads has to come from an understanding of the Hispanic consumer. “The creative we did for Nissan has nothing visually to suggest that it is an advertisement targeting Hispanics. Its ability to reach Hispanics comes from an understanding of the Hispanic consumer that is conveyed in the advertisement,” explains Pallette. The Vidal Partnership looked at what ownership means to a Hispanic consumer, which is very different from what it means in the general market, and used that understanding to create an ad that speaks to Hispanics. “Ownership is a much bigger deal to the Hispanic consumer, it means more. That has to come through in the ad,” explains Pallette.

Felipe Korzenny, Ph.D., Professor and Director of the Center for Hispanic Marketing Communications at Florida State University, also emphasizes the importance of gaining cultural insight when it comes to good creative. He gives the example of coffee. “Americans use coffee to wake up in the morning, to get themselves going, but for Hispanics it’s more a way to welcome the morning and celebrate the new day. So you are going to create very different ads to speak to these two understandings or uses of coffee,” explains Korzenny.

However, an ad based on a specific insight into Hispanic culture, or some segment of the Hispanic market, often requires educating the client on more subtle cultural differences. In the absence of symbols or elements that are identifiably Hispanic, clients have difficultly recognizing good creative when they see it. Rochelle Newman-Carrasco, CEO and Principal of Enlace Communications, a full-service ad agency specializing in the U.S. Hispanic market, says it’s not uncommon to present an ad to a client and hear “What’s Hispanic about it?”

Some argue that an advertisement that is both specific to Hispanic culture, and at the same time universal enough to be understood by general market consumers (and clients) is ideal. Newman says she can argue it both ways. “If something is that universal it may not really reach the specific target audience,” she explains.

Good creative is creative that sells product

Great cultural insight and design are just parts of the equation. When it comes down to it, good creative is creative that gets people to take action. “If an ad doesn’t get the consumer to buy the product, it’s not a good ad,” says Ruth Gaviria, Publisher and Executive Director of Hispanic Ventures at Meredith. Rochelle Newman-Carrasco says that direct mail is “good creative” in this respect. “Direct mail is known for being tacky and not very artistically designed, but it is really good at what it does,” says Newman. “They’ve figured out how to get the response they want. And it is measurable, so if it’s not working they know it and can make changes.” Newman says that she sees the more results oriented direct mail advertising and the more idea and creative oriented print and broadcast advertising incorporating the strengths of the other into their own medium. So direct mail is becoming more visually appealing and well-designed and print and broadcast becoming more results oriented.

What gets in the way of good creative?

According to Ernie Pino, director of Producciones Pino in Los Angeles, lack of time and budget restrictions often make it more difficult to produce great creative for the Hispanic market. “There have been times when an Anglo campaign is ready to launch, but at the 11th hour, a creative director is given an order to have us design the campaign for Hispanic distribution,” explains Pino. “At that point there’s little time to engage in a good creative process and the job must be done on a rush basis or not at all.” Pino says the same thing happens with budgeting.

Meredith’s Ruth Gaviria agrees that lack of investment is one of the biggest obstacles to good creative in the Hispanic market, especially when it comes to print. “Hispanic agencies’ bread and butter has typically come from TV, so print has been less important.” Gaviria says that agencies have focused mostly on hiring and developing talented TV creatives and have neglected print. However, as interest in the Hispanic market in general, and print in particular, increases Gaviria sees this changing. “Hispanic agencies have had to hire new people who really know print.”

What makes good creative possible?

Great concepts and cutting edge design are not just about talent. Good creative needs the proper environment within which to grow. According to Ruth Gaviria, what really allows good creative to happen is a combination of good insights and openness to risk. “In the end, it is all about the relationship that exists between the agency and the client. If there is trust and open communication the creative process can flourish,” says Gaviria. “The companies that are really open to that dialogue, who want their agencies to push them, to make them a little bit uncomfortable, those are the companies that are really going to come out with great creative that sells.” Multicultural marketing consultant Ronnie Lipton points out that the more companies advertise to Hispanics, the better ads have to be. “Increased clutter means that advertising that’s just there isn’t enough. More than ever advertising has to be good – has to connect – to even be noticed.”

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