latino lingo

All things related to effective Hispanic marketing, Hispanic advertising and Hispanic public relations.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Obama snubs Spanish-language media for Syria interview

As part of making the case for action in Syria, The White House invited anchors from ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CNN and PBS who each got 6 minutes with the president.  Univision was notably snubbed despite having higher ratings than all the networks in the under 50 demographic in the July ratings.

Univision released a statement communicating its displeasure saying:

What happens in Syria is important to Univision News’ audience. As the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. the decisions that are made by our government on issues like this one have a direct impact in their lives and their future. The U.S. Hispanic community has the right to be well informed and receive all the news and information they need from the news source they trust the most. It’s disappointing to see the lack of interest to reach our audience on this important issue.

Univision anchor Jorge Ramos tweeted several comments about the snub.

While many Hispanics do watch the English-language networks, far more watch Spanish-language news.  The Pew Hispanic center in August released a study showing the Spanish is the most spoken foreign language in U.S. homes, even among-non-Hispanics.

The White House needs to get into the habit of including Spanish language media -- notably TV with Univision and Telemundo -- in its standard approach to the president's availability.  Hispanics will see this as a snub and this type of treatment is what Hispanics typically see when it comes to taking them for granted or being an after-thought.

Read more here:

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

In the English v. Spanish language debate, don't lose sight of what's most important: cultural relevance

On the heels of Univision reporting that it was number one for two consecutive weeks among adults 18-34 and 18-49 comes news from the Pew Hispanic Center that a growing share of Latino adults are consuming news in English from television, print, radio and internet outlets, and a declining share are doing so in Spanish.

Naturally, many marketers are going debate whether they should try to connect with Latinos in English or Spanish.  Many advertisers might feel relief that they can run their general market campaigns and not have to worry about a Spanish-language one.

So what language should you select?  The answer is both.  However, what shouldn't be lost in the discussion is the issue of cultural relevance.  That is above and beyond language selection. While English-language ads may REACH Latinos, they won't necessarily CONNECT with them if the message is not relevant to them.

Marketing in general is cultural, even within the same ethnic and racial group.  Don't think so?  Doesn't a White teenage girl differ culturally from her White grandfather? Of course.  So, brands develop specific and tailored messages to reach either the teenage girl or her grandfather because they understand that what motivates them to consume a product or service is often shaped by their beliefs, experiences, interpersonal orientation among other factors.

Why then do many want to take a short cut and assume their English-language campaigns will connect with Hispanics -- or worse, translate their ads to reach Hispanics in Spanish?  There are no short cuts. 

As Latinos continue their rapid population and purchasing power growth, understand that campaigns must be developed with them in mind from the start.  Otherwise, you're stuck trying to fit a round peg into a square hole.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Ad Age Releases 2013 Fact Pack

 Ad Age released its Hispanic Fact Pack that includes information about the Hispanic market including the the top 50 Hispanic advertisers, the 50 largest Hispanic agencies and all agencies with media-services revenue above $3 million.

It also includes data about marketers, 2012 ad spending and demographic trends as well as rankings of top properties in TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, online media and social networking.

The digital edition of the Hispanic Fact Pack will be available free to viewthrough Aug. 21, 2013, and then for $29 after that.

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Connecticut Hispanic Population Over 500,000 for first time

The Census released its latest annual population estimates today that showed that the Latino population in Connecticut increased to more than 500,000 for the first time.

The Census report also showed – among other things – that for the first time, White non-Hispanic deaths are higher than White non-Hispanic births, that ethnic minorities now make up about half of the under-5 age group and that groups considered “minorities” today will be the “majority” in the U.S. as of 2043.

What is also interesting, though not unknown, is that 76 percent of the Hispanic population growth reported in this report came from “natural increase” or births minus deaths. This is in sharp contract to Asians, now the fastest growing in terms of percentage and who the Census report indicates 60 percent of population growth came from international migration.

While numerous news sites chose to cover the announcement from angles such as how White deaths outpacing White Births (New York Times) or that half of children under 5 are ethnic minorities (Associated Press) the Hartford Courant decided to remind people that cops in New London don’t ask about Hispanics’ immigration status.

The lead from the story written by Denise Buffa reads:

"In New London, town officials have instructed their police to refrain from inquiring about a suspect's immigration status and are encouraging more Latinos to get involved in education and politics."
Troubling especially in light that about 60 percent of the Hispanic population in the state in Puerto Rican and, again, that the growth is fueled by births and not immigration. Is there an undocumented population in the Constitution State? Yes, of course. But it’s somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of the total population according to the Connecticut Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission, who has worked tirelessly for Dreamers and the recent passage of legislation to allow driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.

We know from studies that vast majority of non-Latino Americans have highly skewed and racist perceptions of U.S. Latinos. For example, one-third think that more than half of the country’s Latinos are undocumented and nearly 80% of non-Latino Americans think Latinos are involved in crime and gang activity.  You can also read the comments at the bottom of the Courant article.

The Hartford Courant lead and article focus unfortunately only contributes to this perception. Except for a great input from Nelson J. Rodriguez, the president of the Connecticut Chapter of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs, the article blatantly omits the value this 500,000 strong population provides to the state. Better is expected from the oldest, continuously published newspaper in the United States.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Whole Foods reviewing English-only language policy

Whole Foods was quick to respond to the growing social media and traditional media rumblings after 2 workers claimed they were suspended for speaking Spanish on the job.  In a statement (sent in English and Spanish), Whole Foods said it was their behavior in reporting the incident and not the fact they were speaking Spanish that got them suspended.

However, in light of the situation, Whole Foods is reviewing their language policy after an executive in Colorado indicated the policy was that all employees must speak English to customers and other employees while on the clock unless the customer speaks another language and all parties agree that a different language is the preferred method to communicate.

The pressure is on as the New Mexico League of the League of United Latin American Citizens says they are giving Whole Foods a week to respond before they advocate for a nationwide boycott.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ethnicity influences brand decisions

Great graphic in Adweek that outlines, among other things, that nearly half of 2nd generation Hispanics don't think ads target them.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

New studies show Latinos driving box office sales and coffee consumption

Two separate, recent studies demonstrate the continued influence and purchasing power of Latinos. 

The first, was the annual theatrical statistics report released today by the Motion Picture Assn. of America reporting that global box office sales grew to a record $34.7 billion in 2012, with domestic totals reaching a benchmark $10.8 billion.  In the U.S. market, a steady four-year decline in teen attendance per capita was offset by a surge in attendance from Hispanics and moviegoers aged 40-49.

The second, from the National Coffee Association, showed that coffee consumption is much stronger among U.S. Hispanics than non-Hispanic counterparts. In fact, 74 percent of U.S. Hispanics drink coffee daily, fully 12 percentage points ahead of non-Hispanics.

Further, Hispanics appear to drink more premium coffee types than non-Hispanics, with 46 percent saying they drink gourmet coffee beverages daily versus 29 percent of non-Hispanics and, for daily espresso consumption, 32 percent versus 11 percent.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I'm drinking a latte as I write this :-)

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Thursday, March 07, 2013

Heineken understands that Spanish to English translations don't work either

AdAge just published an article reporting that Heineken USA has shifted its advertising for Tecate from Mexican-based Olabuenaga Chemistri to Inspire Dallas. 

The reason?

"We realized that when a Mexican agency tries to develop English creative, it feels translated," Mr. Palau told Ad Age. "So in all honesty, we were not comfortable with the delivery."

My question is why don't general market brands say the same thing about their creative being translated from English to Spanish to reach U.S. Hispanics? 

While great strides have been made and there are great examples of culturally-relevant transcreations of brands to reach U.S. Hispanics, there are many more examples of brands happy to go the translation route.  And, there is certainly no shortage of general market agencies that recommend that route or Hispanic media outlets eager to translate campaigns just to sell a spot or a space.

I hope this serves at least in part as a wake up call to brands that it doesn't work in any direction.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Hispanics demonstrate importance at voting booth and at cash register

The hype about the importance of the Hispanic vote became a reality during the 2012 elections, where Hispanics were 10 percent of the overall voting block and significantly more in key swing states like Florida, Colorado and Nevada.  Latinos voted for President Barak Obama 71 to 27, a gap of 44 percentage points – larger than the 36 point gap the president had over John McCain in the last election.

While there is understandable attention being given to this important voting bloc on the heels of the election, the results of the election should serve as a wake up that this demographic will be influential for the long term – both at the ballot box and at the cash register.

And, the clock is ticking as by 2042, Whites will be the minority in the United States, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.
The influence is also not limited to population growth.  Economically, Latinos account for more than $1.3 trillion in economic purchasing power, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth.  In terms of industries, Hispanics are expected to account for 40 percent of the net new households in the next 10 years, Hispanics spend more at supermarkets, outpace non-Hispanics on smart phone and table purchases and Spanish-language TV networks consistently outperform English-language ones among key demographics.   Add to this the fact that Hispanic-owned businesses grew 43.7 percent compared to the national rate increase of 18 percent and that Hispanics are now largest minority group among U.S. 4-year university students, the case for Hispanics’ long-term economic importance begins to take shape.
The market is there and the numbers are compelling, but many companies continue to put Hispanic marketing on the back burner, say they don't have a budget to do Hispanic marketing or think they are already reaching Hispanics through their English-language campaigns.
Let me be clear.  There is a major difference between reaching Hispanics and connecting with Hispanics. Connecting with Hispanics requires a credible and culturally-relevant approach.  Trusting relationships must be established and cultivated, and approaches cannot focus solely on language. Hispanics see straight through lackluster efforts such as translations, asking for our vote the last two weeks before an election or remembering us only during Hispanic Heritage Month.
The key is in transcreating rather than translating. Transcreation is the cultural-adaptation of marketing and sales messages to reach Hispanics in a language they understand both literally and metaphorically.  Transcreation focuses on what motivates Hispanics to purchase or consume goods and services rather than on whether they speak Spanish or English. In other words, knowledge of how culture influences a Hispanic’s decisions is more important than language preference.
Success also requires adequately allocating budgets to reach this important segment. The Hispanic market must be integrated into an overall market strategy and not treated just as a niche market.  There are no easy short cuts.
Now is the time to begin.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Latinos key to Obama re-election

All the hype about the importance of the Latino vote came to fruition last night as Barack Obama was re-elected to a second term. Details are now starting to emerge.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, Latinos made up 10% of the electorate, as indicated by the national exit poll, up from 9% in 2008 and 8% in 2004. The Center's exit poll analysis also shows that as a group, non-white voters made up 28% of the nation's electorate, up from 26% in 2008.

Latinos voted for President Obama over Republican Mitt Romney 71% to 27%, and Obama's national vote share among Hispanic voters is the highest seen by a Democratic candidate since 1996, when President Bill Clinton won 72% of the Hispanic vote.

Moreover, Latinos were critical in key battleground states like Florida, Colorado and Nevada.
  • They were 17% of the electorate in Florida, up from 14% in 2008. Obama carried Florida's Hispanic vote 60% to 39%.
  • In Colorado, Latinos made up 14% of voters, up from 13% in 2008. Obama carried the Hispanic vote there 75% to 23%.
  • In Nevada, the Hispanic share was 18%, up from 15% in 2008. Obama won Nevada's Hispanic vote 70% to 25%. Obama's Hispanic vote was up from 2008 in Florida and Colorado, but down in Nevada.
Among Latino voters, support for Obama was strong among all major demographic sub-groups. However, there was a gender gap among Hispanics as there was among the electorate as a whole. Obama carried Hispanic women with 76% of the vote and Hispanic males with 65%.

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