latino lingo

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

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Merry Christmas

I am off tomorrow, thinking about going to NYC if the MTA strike allows it, so I'm wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Yahoo! en español new site headed by veteran newsman

Yahoo! en español announced that Hiram Enriquez will serve as the company’s product manager for “Noticias” (News), where he will spearhead the expansion of Yahoo! en español’s Noticias site.

Enriquez was previously the host and producer of “Zona Digital,” a show he created for CNN en español which focuses on the Internet and personal technology.

Read the release on Hispanic PR Wire ...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Neilsen to include Univision in national ratings

In a move that is expected to better measure the nation's growing Latino audience, Nielsen Media Research announced it will include Univision shows in its national ratings sample starting next week, according to a story in the LA Times.

Nielsen has been criticized for a long time for not giving a complete picture of television viewership by using a system that excludes the preferences of millions of Spanish-speaking Latinos when it calculates the size of TV audiences and the most popular shows, the story reports.

In a nutshell, this means Univision will now be measured directly against its main competitors and against the major networks of CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox.

If audiences for prime-time shows broadcast by Univision in the past had been measured against the networks, Univision often would be the fifth-most popular network among viewers under age 50. However, among the 18-to-34-year-olds, Univision frequently would finish second, behind only Fox, the story says.

This is a major development in the media world and could likely result in advertising rate changes. Stay tuned.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Hispanic toy spending booming

Good article in the Associated Press today regarding the growth of toys in the Hispanic market ... and their appeal to the general market.

Those of you with young kids know the popularity of toys like Dora's Talking Playhouse and Dora's Talking Kitchen I was fortunate to grab one for my little one for Christmas.

Hispanic-themed toys and games on increasingly being marketed as manufacturers compete for Hispanic, but toy companies are also counting on the crossover effect, as American children nationwide begin to add these toys and games to their holiday wish lists, the article says.

Hispanics, however, are a "sweet spot" to focus on as we typically come from larger families and are younger. About 15 percent of Hispanics are under 14 and under, compared to about 9 percent of people of the general market. Read the story on the WXIA-TV web site.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Just when I say something nice ...

Torn between his loyalties to the "mother land" of the U.S., and his Dominican upbringing, A-Rod has instead decided to duck out of the World Baseball Classic next year, it is reported on

"After thoughtful deliberations with my family, I am announcing my decision to withdraw from the World Baseball Classic," A-Rod told The New York Post. "When faced with the decision to choose between my country, the United States of America, and my Dominican heritage, I decided I will not dishonor either."

This sounds like it was written by the guy who wrote TO's apology.

Come on A-Rod. Mike Piazza, born in Pennsylvania, is playing for Italy. Last time I checked we celebrate people's heritage in this country. If I ever see you dancing merengue at a club, you'd better be eating a piece of apple pie as well!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A-Rod to play with Dominican team

Born and raised in New York city to Dominican parents, Alex Rodriguez announced he will likely play for the Dominican Republic in next year’s inaugural World Baseball Classic.

This is a good example of how we Latinos associate with our home country, even if we weren't born there. This sense of pride or nationalism is very prominent, and is an effective emotion to tap into for marketers seeking to target specific Latinos. I've already mentioned the World Cup next year, which we will no doubt go crazy over like we always do.

What am I talking about? Heed this quote from A-Rod in the AP story picked up by

“I think the Latino teams are going to have a major advantage. I think that American team might take it more like an exhibition and these guys are kind of playing for their religion down there, the pride of their country.”

Citibank jumps on the low-cost remittances bandwagon

The remittance industry has now exceeded $30 billion and banks are increasingly looking to offer low cost (or free in Bank of America's case) transfers as a way to lure Hispanics, who often have a lower propensity to use banks than non-Hispanics.

Citibank just announced their program. For example, they partnered with a bank from Ecuador and is offering transfers of up to $3,000 for a flat fee of $5. Using Western Union can cost that much just to send $100.

The article is in today's New York Sun.

Speaking Spanish in School Student Sues

Lorenzo Rubio, the father of Zachariah who was suspended for speaking Spanish in school has sued the school district and its officials for violating his Zach's civil rights, according to an article in the Kansas City Star.

In the article, Chuck Chionuma, who is representing the Rubios, said Zach's constitutional rights under federal and state laws were violated when he was suspended.

“Zach was punished for being Hispanic,” Chionuma said. “He was suspended from school and lost two days of his education. His only offense was being Hispanic and speaking his native language.”

Buena suerte Zach!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Diabetes curbed through the "lottery"

Here is a good example of considering cultural relevance and not just language when developing something for the Hispanic community ...

An educational board game called Lotería de Diabetes, or Diabetes Bingo, and designed to help Latino children and adults learn about diabetes prevention has won the 2005 National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Communications Award for creative excellence, according to an article on Jackson County

Lotería de Diabetes is based on a traditional Mexican game of chance called Lotería - similar to Bingo - and was developed by the Oregon State University Extension Service.

Diabetes is the fifth-deadliest disease in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that 21 million people in the United States have the disease, which disproportionately affects Latinos. More than 8 percent of Latinos over 20 - about 2 million people in that demographic alone - have diabetes.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Immigration hits 5-year high just ran an Associated Press article about the boom in immigration -- legal and illegal -- based on a new report by the Center for Immigration Studies, the nation's only think tank devoted exclusively to research and policy analysis of the economic, social, demographic, fiscal, and other impacts of immigration.

The report found that 7.9 million people moved to the United States in the past five years, the highest five-year period of immigration on record. The report comes as the U.S. House of Representatives looks at a bill to curb illegal immigration by boosting border security and requiring workplace enforcement of immigration laws.

Of the 35.2 million foreign-born people in the United States, based on the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey from March, an estimated 9 million to 13 million are here illegally.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Daddy Yankee signs with Reebok

Reebok announced it has signed reggaeton artist Daddy Yankee to a multi-year partnership that includes a signature collection of athletic footwear, apparel and accessories called DY. Daddy Yankee joins Reebok's other performers like Jay-Z, 50 Cent and Nelly. DY launches in the spring of 2006 and be available at athletic specialty retailers.

I've written about the growth of reggaeton and how it has become a way for brands to reach the youth. It's just great to see how far hip-hop music and now reggaeton have come; since just 15 years ago you would have been considered a "sell out" and certainly not "keeping it real" if you signed an endorsement deal. Just ask MC Hammer. Good for you Daddy Yankee!

Spanish now cause for suspension

The Washington Post today releases a story about a 16-year old who was suspended from school in Kansas City for speaking Spanish. A teacher overheard him and another boy to the office, where Principal Jennifer Watts ordered him to call his father and leave the school.

The boy's father, stunned that his suspension had to do with language and not a disciplinary issue, asked the school to show him the policy. It doesn't exist. Fortunately, the superintendent reversed the suspension.

Legal action hasn't been ruled out. The boy's father in the article said, "I'm mainly doing this for other Mexican families, where the legal status is kind of shaky and they are afraid to speak up. Punished for speaking Spanish? Somebody has to stand up and say: This is wrong."

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Me, bitter?

NEWS FLASH ... even though Colombia failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup, FIFA announced it will still allow the global tournament to take place ...

The final draw, or sorteo, will air tomorrow around the world at 2:30 including on Univision. The tournament again promises to be a huge global event and will again be a great avenue for companies to catch the attention of key demographics.

To put into context, more than 35 million in the U.S. watched the 2002 tournament from Japan and Korea even though most games took place in the middle of the night, according to an article in Marketing y Medios. The benefit for the 2006 tournament, which will be held in Germany, is most games will air on Univision during the day. In addition, the "game of the day"will rebroadcasted during primetime on their sister station Telefutura .

Some companies, like McDonald's, have not only jumped on the bandwagon, but their actually steering it. This is a great opportunity for them to do local store marketing, promote their healthy menu items and focus on fitness/health, and their new coffee.

If you're not a global or U.S. sponsor, don't fret. There are plenty of ways to promote your goods and services with some creative and strategic thinking. Opportunities about for those that want to hitch on to the fever or seek ways to fuse many cultures together. By this I don't imply restaurants should start offering adobo-flavored wienerschnitzels

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Como se dice "Politically Correct" in Spanish?

With the war between "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" in full affect in the general market, the same is not seen with marketing in the Hispanic market. While it's true there's been a growth of Hispanics who are Jewish or Muslim, the vast majority celebrate navidad.

Somehow, in Spanish, they are still called Christmas trees and not holiday trees. Speaking of which, I have always wondered why a company would sell a "holiday" tree ... after all, who else would want to put a live tree in the middle of their living room in December?

In fact, the word holiday is a dicey one to translate to Spanish since it would literally translate as vacation.

One thing is for sure, marketers are, for the most part, missing a huge opportunity that occurs 12 days after Christmas ... no it's not the day that your true love gave to you 12 drummers drumming ... it's the start of 3 King's Day.

Called "la Fiesta de Reyes," or "el Dia de los Tres Reyes," or "el Dia de los Reyes Magos" it is widely celebrated among many Hispanics, especially Puerto Ricans and Mexicans, and is a much bigger holiday than Christmas. Instead of cookies and milk for Santa, it's grass and water for the camels.

Done correctly, 3 King's Day can be a marketer's dream since the days following all the Christmas shopping, the after Christmas sales, and New Year's, there is usually a lull. Other than starting on our New Year's Resolutions like joining a health club and never stepping foot in it after February there is a wide window of opportunity for smart marketers who want to speak to the heart and spirit of the Hispanic population.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Hispanic oral health

Univision and Colgate-Palmolive Company recently announced that they have renewed their oral health education partnership that is part of Univision's Peabody Award-winning health campaign, "Salud es Vida...!Enterate!" It will feature PSAs, informative oral care vignettes, news health segments and special televised reports. In addition, the Enterate website pages throughout will continue have extensive information about the importance of oral care.

According to Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis, (D) California, who is quoted in the press release, Latino preschoolers - the fastest growing child population in the country - experience 2.5 times more tooth decay than the general population.

What they don't mention in the release is the link between poor oral hygiene and more serious and chronic problems down the road. Research has identified disease as a risk factor for heart and lung disease; diabetes; pre-mature, and low-birthweight babies, according to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association.

Some of these ailments, like diabetes, disproportionately affects Latinos.

So, this partnership is good news for Latinos and another tangible way Univision and Colgate are showing leadership in the Hispanic market. It's no wonder when asked of the brands you know, which are the best brands, Hispanics chose Colgate as #2 nationally, according to a survey by Encuesta, Inc. The full list is in the issue of Marketing y Medios.

Monday, December 05, 2005

ABC = America's Brownpeople Channel?

Word just hit that Elizabeth Vargas will join Bob Woodruff as anchors of ABC's “World News Tonight.”

This is the latest in a long line of moves the network has made to "Latinize" itself including Hispanic charters on shows like "Lost," "Desperate Housewives," "Hot Properties" with my mamacita Sophia Vergara "Freddie" (which features his all-Spanish speaking grandmother in subtitles) and "The George Lopez Show."

Hispanic Business Magazine recently had an article called Latin Kings about ABC's moves, and how it's allowed them to cut into Fox's lead in this demographic. The article had two good quotes from ABC entertainment president Stephen McPherson I wanted to pass on:

1) On Diversity: "The idea of diversity … has been put under the category of 'the right thing to do,' but I look at it as a business decision. There's a gigantic Hispanic audience out there. If you're in the broadcasting business and you're not looking to reach the broadest audience, I think you're making a mistake."

2) On not pandering to Hispanics: "It's one thing to say, 'OK, we're growing our Hispanic audience. We'd love to get that audience to watch ABC.' It's another thing to make sure that programming is something they're going to respond to. You just don't want to put people of Hispanic heritage on the air. There are all different angles in how to approach our audience, as opposed to the forced 'do-good' way as it was in the past: 'We've got a show with all white males - let's put in a black guy!' The audience is very sophisticated; people are going to respond to that kind of broad, multicultural look in TV shows ... When it feels organic and truthful, people will respond. If it's being forced or 'managed,' they really won't."

Red cross or cruz blanca?

The Red Cross, accused of being "too white," has launched an aggressive effort to reach out to racial and ethnic minorities as a way to add more of them as volunteers, according to an article in today's Washington Post.

Much of the latest attacks on the global charity come in response to criticism that it treated minorities callously, they didn't have translators and overlooked cultural sensitivities as it responded to the Hurricane Katrina destruction, the story reports. Some examples:

- Some minority groups complained that shelters were set up in white neighborhoods
- Black people said they were offended that Red Cross volunteers in the Houston Astrodome wore latex gloves.
- In Oklahoma, Hispanic community group volunteers who wanted to help translate were turned about because they didn't have Red Cross training

The Red Cross countered that most problems were issues of perception and not cultural insensitivity or racism. However, it's moving forward to change the "perception," for which they should be commended.

There is a formula of 1N = 3P in crisis communication This means 1 negative needs 3 positives just to neutralize it. I'm not suggesting we need 3 hurricanes where the Red Cross offers great support to minorities to overcome the perceived negatives of Katrina.

What I am suggesting is that they have a long way to go just to over come the perception ... because the other formula is that perception= reality.

I just hope they take a little time to strategize about how best to launch this marketing campaign and not just jump in head first. For example, they need to first understand the racial make ups of the areas they want to target for volunteers and study what motivates people of different ethnicities to volunteer. Only then can they launch a campaign that is not only relevant, but effective.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Esta noche quiero hacerle ...

... Rakata, rakata ...

Those of you who listen older folks might say tolerate Reggaeton will recognize this lyric from the Wisin and Yandel song on their Mas Flow album whom coincidently will be on the bill of the Victor Mannuelle and Andy Andy concert I'm going to next Sunday at the Mohegan Sun Casino.

The power and growth of Reggaeton is well documented. Some equate the movement and influence to the rock n roll movement of the 1950s. In my "Dale mas gasolina" post I mentioned the flipping of radio stations to formats that play this music popular with the youth.

Companies are jumping head first into using Reggaeton in their marketing to Hispanic youth. For instance, Verizon recently announced it joined forces with Univsion Verizon to exclusively sponsor "Estrellas del Futuro/Reggaeton," a weekly talent competition that will air on Sabado Gigante.

There's an article on Reggaeton in this week's edition of Newsweek. And, while Daddy Yankee isn't among the finalists for Time's Person of the Year, the influence he's had on culture, youth and purchasing decisions can not be underestimated.

So, put on those dancing shoes and get up to speed on Reggaeton and consider it in your marketing mix for products and services aimed at youth.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Más on Hispanic advertising growth

The December issue of Hispanic Business Magazine has a few articles on the growth of Hispanic advertising, both on and off-line.

In the article, "Corner Office: The Future Clicks for Hispanic Media," Jesus Chavarria writes about the Hispanic market simultaneously confronting two profound shifts: Hispanic consumers moving from Spanish to English, and at the same time from traditional media to the Internet. He writes, "Hispanics' progress in education, income, English-language usage, and product sophistication makes the conventional Spanish-only media strategy of the past 30 years seem inadequate.

The article, "Surfing in two Worlds," examines the importance of the Hispanic online market further. A good measure is that, writer Joel Russel says, is that Hispanic advertisement reached $100 million in 2005, according to estimates by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), up 33 percent from 2004.

Other articles discuss outdoor advertising, the top 50 advertisers, and one on the publishing industry. Definitely a recommended read.