latino lingo

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Hispanic advertising grows 4.7%

The Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA) sent out a release announcing that Hispanic advertising spending in 2004 grew 4.7 percent from 2003, according to the 2004 Hispanic Media Spend study.

However, according to the release, despite this growth in Hispanic media spend, 1/3 of the top 250 national advertisers still do not appear among the top 250 Hispanic advertisers. Que pasa?

The release says that despite the fact the U.S. Hispanic population growth outpace overall growth in every age demographic, many industry sectors like technology, pharmaceuticals and travel and entertainment aren’t keeping pace. They also mention recognized brands such as Hallmark, Bose, Philips, as lagging far behind.

I like the fact that in the release AHAA didn't hold back on those who they say are lagging behind. Consider this quote in the release from Carl Kravetz:

“Our new study confirms what AHAA agencies have known for years, Hispanic marketing is flourishing. Yet still more than 100 of the top 250 television and print advertisers are allocating less than one percent of their total budgets in these media to reaching the influential U.S. Hispanic consumer. Some of America ’s most iconic brands -- like Apple, Maytag and Nike -- are missing in action. Others are doing the barest minimum: Mattel, for example, showed 0.1% spending in the Hispanic market in 2004 according to study findings. Considering that nearly a quarter of all children in America are Latino, it just doesn’t make good business sense.”

Way to call them out on the alfombra, Carl!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

From DC to "la DF"

Mexicana de Aviacion, the first airline of Mexico and who are celebrating their 84th birthday this year, announced it is launching a new service this week with daily, nonstop service between Mexico City International Airport and Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport, according to the Associated Press.

Each flight will seat 12 in executive class and 88 in the main cabin.

The article had an interesting quote from Emilio Romano, chief executive office of Mexicana, who said, "We believe this route will be popular with both business and leisure travelers alike. It is an enormous timesaver to business travelers who would rather fly nonstop than connect in a southern U.S. city ... At the same time, we will attract substantial leisure travel, particularly from the fast-growing Hispanic community residing in the East Coast."

Certainly, Romano recognizes the growing business market traveling to/from our Nation's Capital and La Ciudad de Esperanza.

Previously passengers could not get a nonstop flight to Mexico and they would have to go through a commercial airline, said Cheryl Stewart, a BWI spokeswoman, in the article.

It will be interesting to see how the airline will market and promote this route.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Marketing to "ilegales"

President Bush is on the road this week to border towns to pitch his immigration strategy, which combines a guest worker program for foreigners with border security enforcement. An article on describes this approach as an attempt to satisfy both his business supporters, who believe illegals boost the economy, and conservatives, who take a hard line on illegal immigration.

From a marketing perspective, businesses also have to tread a thin line when marketing themselves to illegals. On one end, they don't want backlash by overtly offering services to those who are here illegally, and on the other they want to appear "inclusive" and "sensitive" to the unique needs of the illegal population.

There is no doubt businesses want a piece of the illegal immigrant market. Here are some brief statistics on the illegal immigrant population:

-- Estimated at 11 million, mainly Latinos from Central and South America (U.S. Census)
-- Add 700,000 consumers a year, mainly ages 18-44, to the work force (Pew Hispanic Center)
-- Conventional mortgages could hit $60 billion in the next half decade (National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals)

Banks, for example, tread this line by communicating the "alternative" identification they will accept to open an account. In 2001, the U.S. Treasury allowed banks to use the matricula consular card, a piece of identification issued by Mexican consulates, as a basis for the undocumented to open accounts, according to an article in the New Haven Register.

Smart banks recognize they have to first get them in the puerta before they can start advertising their rates on mortgages, CDs, business loans, etc.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Happy Pavo Day

OK, I know that's not what it's called, but have a Happy Thanksgiving. This is my last posting until after the break. Be safe!

Friday, November 18, 2005

There's a method to my madness

Those who read my blog know I mix in some Spanish here and there.

Now, Marketing y Medios reports on Reebok promoting their new "Spanglish" website. The website, at, targets Hispanic boys and young men ages 12 to 24 who like Reebok products, in part because of Reebok's sponsorship with Mexican soccer team Chivas. The story says it has drawn more than 5,000 unique visitors since it launched Oct. 13.

Again, this outlines the sophistication of the market and why marketers need to be clear of not just their demographics from an age and gender perspective but they need to slice a little farther. Are they Mexican or Puerto Rican? Are they English or Spanish dominant or Bi-lingual?

In some cases, a little of both might be the right approach as depicted by this Reebok campaign.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Hispanic marketing saves Apprentice?

One of my co-workers, Rebecca, informed me that on last night's Apprentice (Martha version), Marcela saved her behind by making the case that she could help Martha break into the Hispanic market. I don't watch the Martha version so I missed it. I'd need a separate blog to explain all the reasons why!

Martha, in her wisdom (read $$$$$ i.e. dinero), evidently was intrigued. I just Marcela's solution isn't to have Martha translate her magazine to Spanish! None the less, she saved her Mexican butt for another week.

The re-cap is on the MSNBC web site in case you also missed it.

Se habla English here?

Business & Legal Reports, Inc. released a survey about the number of different languages that are spoken among employees in the workplace. About 75% of the 493 respondents reported that at least 2 languages were spoken, 38% reported 3-to-6 languages, and only 24 percent reported a one-language workforce.

BLR, which produces compliance and training resources for safety, environmental, HR, and compensation managers, evidently used the survey to launch their new "Spanish Resources Center."

Pretty smart approach.

First, BLR clearly saw a market to offer their products to Hispanics as a whole new demographic. They're marketing the Spanish Resource Center directly to HR managers and safety managers, who are likely the purchasing decision-makers, in a manner that speaks directly to a challenge that they have likely already identified (how do we ensure the safety of our multi-language workforce?).

Second, surveys are a very effective way to generate earned media results (i.e. "news clips"). The media love to report on surveys. Getting ink in strategic publications (such as HR and Safety trade magazines for example) can then serve to position the company as leaders in their industry.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Television es muy importante for us

Multicultural Marketing Resources released a new study that says Hispanic Americans are 2-to 3 times more likely than the general population to turn to TV as their primary source for entertainment-related information, and that Hispanics prefer to watch news magazines and sitcoms over other primetime television formats.

According to the study, conducted by GfK NOP's Hispanic OmniTel Media and Entertainment Study, 64% of Hispanics say they consider TV the best source of info for things of leisure. The release has this breakdown on the percentage of Hispanics that turn to TV when planning activities as compared to the general population (GP):

-New Movies Coming to the Theater: Hispanics: 64%; GP: 34%
-Planning a Trip/Vacation: Hispanics: 30%; GP: 10%
-Attending Concerts/Sports Events: Hispanics: 48%; GP: 16%

Data is based on an August 2005 survey of 500 Hispanic Americans 18 and up, according to the release.

The survey also found that the viewing patterns of Hispanics are generally very similar to the general population, with some clear exceptions.

SIMILARITIES: Comedies/sitcoms were consistently high between both groups (64% for Hispanics and 67% for GP), and reality shows were consistently low (with only 37% of either group saying they routinely watch these shows).

DIFFERENCES: Almost two thirds (65%) of Hispanics regularly or occasionally watch primetime TV news magazine shows, compared to only 57% for GP. Also 54% of Hispanics regularly tune in to view primetime TV dramas, compared to 64% for GP. I'm no statistician, but this doesn't seem like a huge reportable difference to me, especially not knowing the margin of error.

The release wasn't clear on whether Spanish-language programming (i.e. Spanish or English sitcoms?) was considered or just English-language TV shows. Additionally, I assume they interviewed English-dominant Hispanics. I also wish the release had indicated what type of programs rated higher for each group than others. For instance on the sitcoms, I watch George Lopez but wouldn't be caught dead watching Friends (there are no amigos there as far as I can tell!)

This is still a good study, however, and if nothing else clearly demonstrates the assimilation of English-dominant Hispanics into the mainstream, and proves why a marketers can't target Hispanics blindly.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Somebody call Ryan Seacrest

A Wal-Mart in Puerto Rico had a near riot during the release of "LO MEJOR DE OBJETIVO FAMA Y LO NUNCA ANTES VISTO," Univision's first TV show on DVD, according to a PR News Wire release.

The release was coupled with an appearance and DVD signing by Objetivo Fama winner Anais, and runners up Esteban, Rosangela, and Jayro.

In case you're not aware, Objetivo Fama is an American Idol-like reality music show that pits 20 contestants against each other for a recording contract and $25,000 cash. It goes a bit further in that contestants live in isolation together for 14 weeks in an academy in Puerto Rico. The best part is that there's no annoying Ryan Seacrest to deal with!

The press release has a line that reads: At this rate, it is likely that Spanish language reality DVD sales will outperform their English language counterparts. While there is no attribution or statistics to this statement, it is clear this release and the in-store promotion is a winner.

Camelo, out ... (Ok, I admit it doesn't sound as good as Seacrest, out, but I'm not as annoying)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Bye bye "Latino Heat"

Word came out today from the AP that WWE wrestler Eddie Guerrero was found dead Sunday in Minneapolis, where he was scheduled to wrestle. The 38 year-old is survived by his wife Vickie and daughters Shaul, 14, Sherilyn, 9, and Kaylie Marie, 3, according to the WWE website.

Eduardo Gory Guerrero, 38, didn't respond to a wake-up call Sunday morning, authorities said. No foul play is suspected, according to the article.

Last February, Guerrero became only the second Hispanic to be WWE champion (the first was Puerto Rican Pedro Morales who held the belt for two years in the early 70s). Unlike Morales, Guerrero held the title for only four months.

Guess somethings are too good to be true.

This reminds me of Gabrielle Solis from Desperate Housewives ... as soon as we get our first Latina "housewife," who with husband Carlos happen to be the rich family on the block with a white gardener (talk about reversal of roles!), Carlos gets thrown in jail -- typical, huh?

It's well known that WWE rates well with young Latinos and is an effective outlet for advertisers seeking this lucrative demo. Let's hope WWE introduces more Hispanic wrestlers (maybe a little less stereotypical). RIP, Eddie.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Speaking of "trabajadores"

My father turns 58 today. Born in Colombia in 1947, he did something I don't know if I could have ever done.

In his mid-20s, he set off to the "promise land" to build a better life for his wife and two young sons, both of whom were under 5 years old. For about 2 years he was here away from us working essentially two full-time jobs to save enough money to bring us to the States. When we finally joined him in 1974, he and my mother became factory workers at the same plant.

To ensure my brothers (Jeff came in 1976) and I always had a parent home to send us off to school, and a home-cooked meal to welcome us back, they worked separate shifts at the factory. One worked second shift and the other the dreaded third shift for many years. I still remember my father waking us up at 11:30 PM to drive with him to the factory. At about 1 minute before midnight, he'd leave us in the car to go "punch in." By 12:01 my mom was in the car ready to drive us back home. Today, they'd call that child abuse or abandonment, and I'd likely been taken away from my careless parents to be raised in foster homes.

We realized the American dream when we moved into our first home in the 80s. It wasn't the biggest house on the block but it was our casa and we were proud. We always had a family vacation, always had nice gifts as Christmas and always had what we needed. When we needed supplemental income, my dad got a job driving school buses on field trips. He was that "cool" bus driver everyone wanted, and the first to have speakers and a tape player in the bus. Granted what he often played was "Proud Mary" from Creedence Clearwater Revival, but it was fun.

He and my mom were pretty strict with us. We were spanked oh, my God, call DCF! deservingly-so, and taught discipline and respect. I remember telling him when I grew up I wasn't going to be like him.

Today, as a husband and father, I thank God that I am a lot like him, save for the corny jokes. For an immigrant, I'm not doing too bad. My brothers are doing pretty good, too.

All we have, we owe to him and my mother for having the courage to leave their homeland, separate for 2 years, and working their butts off so I can be here comfortably writing a blog from my corner office.

Gracias, papi.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go

Hispanic Business Magazine reports Hispanics gained 212,000 jobs in October and as a result Hispanic unemployment rate dropped to 5.8 percent in October from 6.5 percent in September, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The overall U.S. unemployment rate also dropped, but only by 0.1 percent to 5.0 percent in October, thereby shrinking the Hispanic unemployment gap to 0.8 percentage points.

The article cites hurricane reconstruction as a factor for creating jobs that have been filled disproportionately by Hispanics, though the impact of this year's hurricanes have had less impact on labor markets than analysts have expected.

Interestingly, the report states that Hispanic men (20 years and over) tend to have the lowest rates of unemployment in the Hispanic population with a 4.4 percent unemployment rate in October (down from 4.8 percent in September).

According to the U.S. Census, the median income for Hispanic households was $34,241 in 2004, compared to Blacks with a median income of $30,134 (the lowest among race groups) and $48,977 for non-Hispanic white households.

Si somos trabajadores!

Monday, November 07, 2005

See, we told you so!

The Latin Grammys, done entirely in Spanish this year, attracted 1.8 million more viewers than last year's English version, according to a hot-off-the-press Univision press release on Hispanic PR Wire.

Other highlights mentioned in the release:

-- It was the most-watched broadcast in the history of the event among Adults 18-34
-- It made Univision the country’s #3 network, regardless of language.
-- It delivered 630% more Hispanic Adults 18-34 and 481% more Hispanic Adults 18-49.
-- In Los Angeles, the program was the #1 show in the key demos of Adults 18-34 and 18-49, beating all other stations in the market, regardless of language.
-- In Chicago, Adult 18-34 and 18-49 audiences increased an extraordinary 844% and 614% respectively.
-- In New York, Hispanic Adult 18-49 audiences saw a seven-fold increase over the previous year’s telecast.

Calling all cars ... calling all cars ...

be on the lookout for a tall, brown-skinned man about 20-30 years old ... don't rough him up, though... we want to recruit him for the police force ... over..

OK, well maybe this isn't the best way to recruit Latino police officers, but neither are some of the approaches I read in an AP story picked up by KARE 11 in Minnesota about the struggle town police forces are having in recruiting Hispanics.

Putting aside the fact that it's muy frio up there for a minute, why are these police departments surprised that advertising in Texas to come work up in the tundra was not effective? Let me guess, a group of Anglo cops were looking at which ad was best to translate to Spanish when Barney (as in Fife, not the purple dinosaur) said, "hum, where are there many Hispanics? I know, Texas! Let's advertise there!" Not a good example for college Marketing 101 text books to say the least.

How about speaking to Hispanics in their area (i.e. a focus group) to truly understand the barriers to joining the police, or their mindsets and motivations? They might discover something, perhaps, to build a campaign around. Find out what attracted Hispanics up there in the first place and what are their perceptions of the police.

Speaking of questions, I have one for these police departments: Are you prepared for a Hispanic to join your force? Put yourself in their shoes then look at the environment and culture at your police department. Is it inclusive to Hispanics? Why would they want to join your department?

The notion of Hispanic readiness is an important one, because many companies put the caballo before the carrito and start marketing and promoting themselves to Hispanics before they are prepared internally.

This isn't a case of "be careful what you ask for" as much as it is "look at what you're offering." Sometimes the best approach is to put your ducks in a row first and not just jump into an advertising campaign.

Also, what's up with use of the word "refugee" in the story, and a department appointing someone a "refugee liaison" officer? Where are we in Kosovo or Somalia? Maybe the first way to attract Latinos is to not insult them by calling them refugees.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

She's no Betty La Fea

No, not this "Betty" but rather Betty Crocker who is looking to shed her 1950s Anglo housewife image by appealing to younger people ... and the growing Hispanic population.

According to a Philadelphia Inquirer article, Betty is going bilingual, with Cocina Betty Crocker: Recetas Americanas Favoritas en Español e Inglés. This in direct response to a growing request by Spanish-speaking Hispanics to learn how to make americano favorites like meat loaf and spaghetti, the article mentions.

Geared to multigenerational families where grandparents may speak only Spanish while the grandchildren are primarily English-speaking, they chose to translate the book in the most common Mexican dialect, since Mexicans make up a majority of Hispanics in the U.S.

Somehow I'm not getting a visual of Mexican grandmothers making homemade tortillas on the wood stove while simultaneously boiling agua for macarrones con queso but, hey, what do I know?

The marketing strategy is sound, however, due to the high acculturation level of non-immigrant Hispanics. (Read my Oct. 13 "Acculturation, huh, what is good for" posting)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Huracán Wilma affects advertising

Hurricane Wilma swept across South Florida and now threatens November "sweeps" -- which starts tomorrow -- primarily because Nielsen Media Research can not obtain data from households who are still without power, it was reported in a story in the Miami Herald.

During November sweeps important demographic data about the viewers as well as raw numbers of how many people tuned in are recorded (particularly for the new Fall season). TV stations use that information to adjust their advertising rates (or boost the ratings of particular shows) and media buyers use details from the data to decide what types of commercials should air at particular times or in particular shows.

To accurately reflect the region's viewership habits and demographics, Neilson needs at least 435 households ... as of Tuesday they had more than 200, the story reports.

One item of interest is how many people watch the Latin Grammys, which was moved to tomorrow night from its usual September air date to take advantage of the start of November sweeps. Stay tuned!

Disclaimer -- both my brother and father work for Nielson. My brother installs the equipment and my father recruits households (particularly Spanish speaking) to participate in the sample.