latino lingo

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

Monday, October 31, 2005

Mija, done vamos for dinner?

Hispanics spend an average of $71 a week eating out or having food delivered, while non-Hispanics spend only $59. Acculturated Hispanics spend even more: $108 a week, which is about 83 percent more than the general-market consumer.

This according to a Nation's Restaurant News story today reporting on a new study called "El Mercado Restaurante" conducted by Woelfel Research.

In my "Where do I get good Mondogo" posting about supermarket marketing on 10/21 I spoke about how food isa major part of the Hispanic culture, and I mentioned that Hispanics come from larger families (3.6 per household compared to about 2.6 for non-Hispanics to be more precise) thus we spend more.

Hold on restaurant marketers ... before you go start seasoning your food with sofrito or putting pineapple chunks on your tuna casserole and start marketing yourself as Hispanic-friendly, heed some of the key findings of the study:

1) While cleanliness, taste and value are important attributes when choosing a restaurant, Hispanics consider certain "family-oriented" attributes more important than general-market consumers. Hispanics view dining out as a family affair in which the menu variety, low prices and a friendly atmosphere for children are top-of-mind when deciding where and what to eat.

2) By a 2-to-1 margin, Hispanic respondents said coupons for a particular restaurant drove their most recent restaurant choice. We get less mail and therefore look at everything with more detail and have higher recall rates, the study said. Except for me, I get a lot of mail and remember nothing so don't send any more, please!

3) Hispanic use carryout and delivery service more often (53 percent) than general-market consumers (44 percent).

4) Respondents said they'd prefer bilingual advertising and marketing materials that are culturally relevant and address their traditions and lifestyles.

You go girl (part dos)

NOW WE CAN SAY WE HAVE MADE IT AS A PEOPLE!!! Ok, I'm stretching a bit here, but today there's news on PR Newswire that after 79 years we now have our first Hispanic character in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parage. A 54-foot, helium filled Dora the Explorer will make her way from Central Park to 34th Street in front of 2 million people and a national TV audience.

I last told you about Dora's ventures in my Oct. 9 post.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Chevy "Nova"? I beg to differ

Watching the Latino White Sox (I mean Chicago) beat up on Houston the other night I almost fell out of my seat when a Chevrolet commercial completamente en Spanish aired on my local Fox channel (I often flip between Fox in Spanish and the Fox regular so I had to double check which channel I had at the time).

Back in February, Marketing y Medios wrote about Chevy doing this during last year's World Series in an article entitled, "Spanish Ads in English TV? Some Say 'No Way'" Evidently, according to the article, Fox received a lot of backlash from the English-speaking population.

Not sure about comments this year. But, as someone reminded me recently, as Carlos Santana once said, "You're in America now. Speak Spanish!"

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Speaking of Diabetes

In my last posting I wrote:

"That's why it's often tough to get mami or papi or better yet abuela
to see the doctor with frequency or to take preventative measures to
control ailments that affect us disproportionately like diabetes. "
Now comes word in today's Atlanta Journal Constitution of the 14.3% increase in diabetes since 2003 -- diabetes now affects 7 of the population. -- with rates for Hispanics about twice as high as Anglos.

This comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and their newly released National Diabetes Fact Sheet 2005. In it, the CDC estimates that 1 out of every 3 Americans born in 2000 will develop the disease, including 2 out of every 5 African-Americans and 1 out of every 2 Hispanic females born that year.
A concerted effort (and effective communication strategies and messages) is needed to ensure this doesn't occur ... because of the cost to human life and because we all end up paying mucho dinero for it in the end.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

What are you wearing for "Day of the Dead"?

While little Johnny and little Chelsea prepare to dress up as action figures and princesses to trick or treat their way to some goodies, little Juanito and little Celia are getting ready to make sugar skulls as a way to embrace death as a natural part of their existence. Called Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and around for thousands of years, it sits in stark contrast to Halloween. Read BellaOnline's article by Rebecca M. Cuevas De Caissie for more.

Rather than don Power Ranger costumes, people wear wooden skull masks, dance to honor dead loved ones and decorate altars. The sugar skulls are marked with the name of the deceased and then are eaten by a relative or friend. Grave sites are decked out with marigold flowers and candles. The favorite food of the deceased are eaten at the grave site, and toys are brought for dead children. People also bring bottles of tequila or cigarettes for the dead adults depending on their fancy on this side of the grass.

While Dia de los Muertos is celebrated by primarily Mexicans (though it is celebrated in Central and South America), I can't help but think about the notion of fatalism, which is a characteristic found in nearly all Latino countries. And, thus, in most first-generation immigrants here in the U.S. "Sí Dios Quire" (If God wants/If God Permits) is something most of us grew up hearing from our parents and grandparents. The notion that Sí­­­ Dios Quire or if los espiritus or la virgen dictate, things will happen -- good and bad -- runs rampant.

This is an important distinction for companies marketing health or life insurance, for example, to first generation Hispanics; many of whom may think their death is out of their hands for the most part. That's why it's often tough to get mami or papi or better yet abuela to see the doctor with frequency or to take preventative measures to control ailments that affect us disproportionately like diabetes. Thus, recent initiatives in the industry like consumer-driven health care or direct to consumer pharmaceutical advertisement can be a tough nuts to pitch if using the same pitch being given to the Anglo (or even the assimilated Hispanic) market.

So, have the candy corn and Snickers on hand, but maybe have some Fruit Atole on hand in case little Juanito is thirsty.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Latino e-comercio on the rise

"Although most Spanish-speaking Internet users in the U.S. have been online for less time than their non-Spanish speaking counterparts, many expect to increase their online shopping in the coming year," says a report in e-Marketer.

It further says "Hispanic Americans represent an attractive demographic for online sellers, as they are more likely to be in a prime age group for active consumers (18-35 years-old) and have families with younger children, according to a study by Roper Public Affairs for AOL."

First-to-market advantages abound for companies looking for Latinos to "haz click" on links to their goods and services.

Thanks, Jack Nork, The Mason Technologist, for sending this to me ... good looking out!

'Cuz it's Root, root, root for the Latino team ...

The season the Chicago White Sox have put together has been a bit surprising to those of us who follow béisbol. What's not surprising is the way Latinos have rallied around the team with their deep roster of Latino players, and of course Venezuelan-born manager Ozzie Guillen -- the first Latino to manage a team into the World Series. With 30 percent of the roster of some Latino origin (11 of the 37 active players) "Las Medias Blancas" exceed the Major League average, where Latinos make up of 26% of the league (by comparison, African Americans make up 9%), according to Diversity and Ethics in Sports.

Even though we come from many different countries, we do love to root for "our own" in instances like these. Especially with baseball since most Latinos are very knowledgeable about game and the Latino pioneers. After all, the first minority to play baseball was not the great Jackie Robinson, but Colombian-born Louis Castro who played in 1902. Read Chris Cornell's excellent story in Sports Central about the history of Latinos in the game.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Dale mas gasolina

MediaWeek reports on the first round of ratings from the Arbitron summer survey (covering the period June 30 to Sept. 21) that showed "Hurban" stations (combo format of Hispanic/Urban music that includes a healthy dose of the music mami and papi can't stand: reggaeton) picking up significant market share. In Los Angeles, they report, newly "Hurban" station KXOL-FM jumped from a 2.0 to a 4.2 overall rating share, tying for No. 2 with Univision’s Romantica KLVE-FM.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Where do I get good mondongo?

Supermarket News recently wrote about how sampling has become an effective way for brands to gain loyal Hispanic customers. They reference the 2005 Food Marketing Institute's study that Hispanic household spend 20% more on in-home foods than other households. They also discussed how Latinos will spend to maintain loyal to certain brands.

Sampling was an effective way Hostess helped to reach Hispanics during last weekend's Feria de la Familia that I attended with my familia. They sampled their new "Las Delicias de Hostess" brands I love the guava puffs, by the way at the event organized by Telemundo.

In addition to the sampling and their associated promotions and events, retailers who are serious about marketing to the Hispanic consumer are going way beyond this tactic. An IGA near where I grew up offers a nice selection of cabeza (pig's head) for the many Mexican consumers. In case you're wondering, Mexicans make tacos from the meat and skin in the face. There's not much of the pig we don't consume.

A September cover story in The Progressive Grocer also outlines other ways to get serious about the market and, no, a Goya aisle and putting Ortega products on sale during Cinco de Mayo doesn't really count.

What these articles highlight is marketing 101 material ... know your audience and define messages and means to reach them. These supermarkets have realized that they can either 1) keep fighting the weekly battles to take market share from competitors while trying to retain their customers or 2) go after the mainly untapped Hispanic population, a demographic which come from bigger families and spend more on food.

Food and eating are part of the culture. The take away is Hispanics will go to those that cater to them in a relevant manner and pay more for products ... after all, we have to get our cabeza from someone ...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Honey .. pass the Control Remoto

Buried under the 6 billion Hurricane Wilma stories, the Miami Herald has a story today about the growth of Hispanic specialty/niche paid channels. Reporting on the Hispanic TV Summit, writer Christina Hoag quotes Leland Westerfield, managing director of Harris Nesbitt, who says more Hispanics will sign up for cable and satellite because, ''there's a hunger for culturally-relevant programming. There is ample demand among viewers for choice of programming.''

He added that advertiser support for these channels is likely to be concentrated in the nation's major media markets where Nielsen Media Research operates its Local People Meter.

As a viewer of specialty progamming like Caracol (de Colombia) and Wapa America (even though La Comay drives me crazy), this further illustrates the point that the Hispanic market is very nuanced and Hispanics can't be marketed to as a homogeneous group.

OK, I know I've beat the "you can't just translate English messages to Spanish" horse to death, but there's an important analogy here. Namely, if cable and satellite companies followed this logic that many marketers take in trying to reach Hispanics, wouldn't they simply offer English programming with subtitles? Instead, they are becoming more sophisticated in what they offer; and will continue to see an increase in viewership as a result.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Hunt for Educated Latinos

Colleges and Universities from as far as North Carolina, Colorado, Illinois, Connecticut and Ohio are recruiting Hispanics in Texas as a way to "diversify" their campuses, according to a Houston Chronicle story. That fact was covered in a Hispanic Business story, that also mentions Ohio State University trying to up its Hispanic enrollment to 3 percent by 2010 ... up from 1.75 percent in 1999 ... by recruiting in Texas.

This begs the question ... are these schools doing enough to recruit Hispanics in their own states? In North Carolina, for example, Charlotte and Greensboro were among the cities with the highest reported population increases in the 2000 Census. So, what's the excusa North Carolina?

Hispanic Business also did a piece this week about an International Demographics, Inc. audit that showed there is an increasing number of college graduates. From 2002 to 2004 the Hispanic population increased 16 percent in 87 markets they audited while Hispanic graduates increased by 22 percent in those markets (4.4 million graduates, including more than 1.3 million with advanced degrees).

Lack of knowledge is part of it. Take for instance a Mason-Dixon survey commissioned by The Sallie Mae Fund found that 95 percent of Hispanics (and 80 percent of African Americans) in Florida not in college said they would have been more likely to attend if they had better information about how to pay for it. The fund is spending $1 million in Florida on educating students and parents about financial aid to help close this knowledge gap.

While it's a complicated subject, it seems universities and community colleges can improve their Hispanic applicants within their own state borders with some effective marketing communication. Looking to areas of traditionally high Hispanic populations to recruit seems like the easy way out to me.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Latino USA Today?

"Tiempos del Mundo" (World Times) is on a quest to become the "USA Today" for the Americas through an overhaul to its design and content, so reports The Miami Herald.

Tiempos del Mundo is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has bureaus in Miami, Bogota, San Jose (Costa Rica), Mexico City and Santiago. The 9-year-old newspaper has a circulation of 105,025 in three U.S. cities and 17 Latin American countries (according to an audit by BPA Worldwide).

The article also discusses a recent readership audit showing their typical reader is upscale Latino professional ... which should "bolster advertising sales and shape editorial content..."

¡Buena suerte!

Monday, October 17, 2005

¿Como se dice "Schwarzenegger" en español?

California State Controller Steve Westly announced he's running commercials of him speaking entirely in Spanish as he looks to woo the Hispanic vote in the gubernatorial race against el terminator. The article in the San Jose Mercury News cites the negatives (Latinos potentially thinking he's pandering for their vote) and the positives (we give more leeway to Anglo politicians speaking Spanish than to a Latino who suddenly finds his or her roots for an election run).

It does tend to work in most cases. One of memories growing up was listening to Frank Purdue talk about his fresh and moist chickens on the radio. My mom loved Frank because she felt he was speaking to her on her terms. As a result we certainly put away our share of his pollos.

Listening to Arnold speak English is tough enough ... let's just hope he doesn't follow suit.

Friday, October 14, 2005

You go Girl ..

The adventurous Latina Dora the Explorer released her latest CD the Associated Press reports. She's even singing a duet with Carlos Santana! Her "Super Babies" movie is up to #4 from #8 last week on Billboards list of top VHS rentals. What's next, telenovelas?

Nickelodeon is scoring big with the Latino characters, and recently spun off "Go Diego Go" from Dora the Explorer. Not quite like the Jefferson's spinning off from All in the Family, but, hey, it's something.

Others are jumping in the mix in hopes of luring the bilingual and assimilated Latino audience. Kids are only learning words like "vamonos" and "mochila" but at least they're not just learning the swear words from their friends at school. (C'mon, I'm sure you know how to say the "F" word in at least 3 languages). "Jay Jay the Jetplane" from PBS is adding a Latina character this month, Marketing y Medios reported.

All I can say is at least they're not being typecast as cleaning people or gardeners!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Acculturation, huh, what is it good for …

… absolutely everything!

I read a nice article from Kathleen Megan in the October 11 Hartford Courant about Latino families striking a balance between tradition and culture. The article profiles a few families trying to maintain their roots while raising children in an Anglo society. The article also mentions a new book by Carmen Inoa Vazquez called “Parenting with Pride – Latino Style: How to Help Your Child Cherish Your Cultural Values and Succeed in Today’s World.” A good read I’m sure for those of us who can related to raising little Latinos and Latinas.

The take away for marketers is that acculturation is a critically important consideration. About 22 percent of Hispanics speak only English, and about 9 percent speak only Spanish.

So, for those of you inteligente marketers who love to simply translate your existing English materials to Spanish take note. Ask yourself, how is this approach effectively reaching the other 60 percent of us that are bi-lingual to some degree?

Latino Lingo Launches!

Welcome to the first blog post for Latino Lingo! Wilson Camelo of Mason y Bauzá here with commentary and postings on all things dealing with marketing to the Latin, Latino, Hispanic, Hispanic American (What ever!) population. Regardless of how we are identified … we are fast becoming a coveted market segment for more and more general market (i.e. mainstream) companies looking to get a little bit of our dinero.

This blog addresses the importance of marketing to Hispanics, the subtleties of the culture and outlines why just because you took 2 years of Spanish in High School or had a semester abroad doesn’t make you an expert!

Despite being 40 million strong and growing (and these are just the ones that “count” if you know what I mean), and coming from 21 different countries, we are still marketed to as a single entity. Why? Primarily because our common language is Spanish (don’t e-mail me if you’re from Brazil or Portugal … I know what you speak!). You tell a Puerto Rican that he or she should be spoken to like a Mexican or tell a Cuban they are no different than a Guatemalan because each speaks a form of Spanish. Just let me know when you do it so I can get some popcorn to watch the fireworks show.

So, sit back, buckle your seatbelt and let’s enjoy the ride of going where no brown man has gone before …

Thanks to Jack Nork, The Mason Technologist, for turning me onto the world of blogs!