latino lingo

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

Friday, January 27, 2006

Fox Sports Launches Spanish Magazine

Marketing y Medios is reporting that on Monday Fox Sports will announce the launch of a monthly magazine called "Fox Sports en Español" ... you'd think they could be a little more creative, huh?

The publication debuts with the April issue and will target Latinos from 18-55 plus. It will have an initial circulation of 750,000, and will be available through distribution agreements with Spanish newspapers in the top Hispanic DMAs and nationally via paid subscription, the article says.

Additionally, the magazine will be produced in 2 editions, one that caters to the Caribbean Latino who is a baseball fan and the other edition with a stronger focus on soccer. While the name is boring this is an interesting strategy. But, what happens to guys like me who love soccer from our home countries but also love baseball?

Buena suerte

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I no ezpeek eengleesh in Hernando County

If you're Latino who speaks Spanish and has a medical condition, I recommend you don't move to Hernando County, Florida.

Last night, the county commissioners indefinitely put of approving a Spanish version of its Health and Human Services Department web site, according to an article in today's St. Petersburg Times.

"We are all immigrants of this nation, but we are an English-speaking country," Commissioner Jeff Stabins is quoted as saying.

Yes, Jeff, you are right. And I, too, advocate we all learn English. My mom hired us a tutor when I was a kid and that, in addition to my personal drive, helped get me out of bi-lingual education by the third grade. And I was dropped on my head a lot as a kid my mom tells me; so, there is no reason we all can't learn English if we try.

The reality, however, is new immigrants don't come here already mastering the Queen's English but they do often come here with medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease. In addition, as Hispanics, we are pre-disposed to certain medical conditions at higher rates than Whites. Add that the growing numbers of Hispanics, and the current disparity in access to quality healthcare, which I've written about in several posts, and there is a real case for serving Hispanics in their native language when it comes to health care information and services.

While I commend the proponents of the web site for trying to take an active first step, the proposed solution of running a translation on the Web site is not one I would advocate since translations alone will not resonate with Hispanics. There are other factors besides language that we must address in our health communication to Hispanics. If they really want to serve their community, as they intend, the county should do so in a culturally relevant manner as well. The county should also elect commissioners who understand the changing nature of their constituency.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Forrester Research releases report on Hispanic technology purchase decisions

Forrester Research, the analyst firm that specializes on technology's implications on business, recently released a study that describes the three critical factors it says determines how Hispanics buy and use technology.

In a Business Wire release, Forrester says they found that Hispanics embrace technology, but prefer portable communication and music devices over PCs, home theaters, and video game systems. While fewer Hispanics are online compared to non-Hispanics, those who do go online are more likely than other groups to engage in entertainment activities like listening to Internet radio or downloading music and movies.

Based on the survey results Forrester concluded that the Hispanics are more likely to consider buying technology that is culturally relevant, accommodates both Spanish and English, and is affordable.

Tamara Barber, the researcher who wrote the report, says in the release, "Ideally, technology marketers, retailers and manufacturers will fine tune their marketing messages, cater to language differences, and when appropriate, offer low-price alternatives. All three recommendations should be employed to successfully engage the Hispanic customer."

Monday, January 23, 2006

Country of origin more important than primary language?

AIM Tell-A-Vision Group is planning to attend the National Association of Television Program Executives in part to continue its efforts to have Nielsen Media Research begin measuring Hispanic TV viewing based on country of origin rather than language spoken in the home.

An article in Media Week says the dispute between AIM-TV and Nielsen surfaced in November, when AIM said Nielsen's current method of measuring Hispanic viewing of English-language TV under estimates viewership because it doesn't account for country of origin.

Nielsen counters by saying it has found the best way to measure Latino use of television was to use language spoken in the home. According to the article, executives at Nielson have said it would consider this if AIM could show credible research that country of origin plays a more important role, and if a majority of Nielsen clients petitioned for a change.

As a Hispanic of Colombian origin married to a Puerto Rican, I'm not convinced that country of origin plays a large a factor as language. I mean, we watch Caracol and WAPA, not to mention programming on English language TV, since we are bi-lingual. Does me being Colombian make me more or less inclined to watch American Idol? Does it matter how a Colombian compares to a Dominican in watching, say, Survivor?

Further, while there are large concentrations of Hispanics from one country of origin living together in many parts of the country, there are also scores more that live in bi-cultural households. I have a cousin that married a first-generation Mexican, and others who have married Caucasians (some of which are fluent in Spanish and enjoy Spanish TV programming). So, accounting for bi-cultural family viewing patterns is a very complicated matter and a fragmented approach in my opinion. After all, how are advertisers supposed to interpret data sets that now include homes where people are from 2 different countries of origin yet speak primarily Spanish at home?

I agree with most of AIM's contentions, and it's clear Nielson has a long way to go to have an accurate sample methodology. The current method is poor and tends to underrepresent our English TV viewing patterns, as AIM contends. It is also true that Nielson used research funded by Spanish language television. However, I'm just not convinced based on what I know that adding country of origin will de-complicate matters.

AIM has set up a website called Change The Sample to help make its case. Let's stay tuned ...

Thanks to Jack, The Mason Technologist, for forwarding me the story.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Clear Channel Begins Roll Out of HD2

No, it's not a new version of the Hummer ... it's a new multicast technology for radio.

The rollout has 25 of the company’s stations in five markets launching new sidechannels over the next five days. Within two weeks, another 82 stations in 20 other markets.

Clear Channel will steam the new channels online and conduct on-air giveaways of HD radios. While most of the 107 new HD2 channels complement existing on-air programming, many introduce entirely new music or spoken-word genres. The list is heavy on Hispanic and rock offerings.

Read the full story on Media Week.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Toyota to feature bi-lingual Super Bowl ad

Toyota has decided to debut its new 2007 Camry during the Super Bowl. Not surprising since it's viewed by millions. What is surprising is that the debut ad will be bilingual for the new bybrid vehicle.

This is the first time Toyota has produced a bilingual ad, and Toyota believes it's one of the first times a bilingual ad will played during the Super Bowl.

While not exactly a novel idea (In my "Chevy no-va? I beg to differ" post I wrote about Chevy airing an ad completely in Spanish on Fox during the World Series), this continues to signal advertiser's appreciation for the growing Hispanic market. And, for their understanding that a sophisticated approach is needed to reach us -- one that usually requires a mix of Spanish and English languages and mediums.

Read the AP story.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Hispanic titles lead periodicals growth

Periodicals aimed at Hispanic readers in the U.S. and Canada grew to 329 titles in 2006 from 124 titles in 1996, according to the latest edition of The Standard Periodical Directory, which released this week and reported by Crain's.

This growth is the most of any other category over the past 10 years. According to the article, this growth reflects the rapid expansion of the Hispanic population in the U.S. duh! Although, the article says, national Hispanic publications are only beginning to show the kind of segmentation seen in general-market publishing.

Samir Husni, chairman of the journalism department at the University of Mississippi, is quoted in the article saying this growth also reflects advertisers’ demands for more precise marketing. “The shotgun approach is long gone,” he says.

A-Rod picks U.S. over Dominican Republic

Well, he finally made up his mind ... Alex Rodriguez of the NY Yankees will play for the U.S. in the World Baseball Classic as a gesture to "honor his American citizenship," according to an AP article that's on

So does this mean he's "dishonoring" his Dominican roots? You might think I'm being harsh here but heed A-Rod's own words when he first said he was pulling out of the Classic:

"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."

Further, does he also imply he won't take the game too seriously when he dons the red, white and blue? Again, A-Rod in his own words:

“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.”

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Continental Airlines goes Spanish

Continental Airlines has recently announced a partnership with Idiom Technologies to speed the launch of its Spanish language online reservations system, according to an article in IBL News.

The article quotes Ken Penny, director of Internet planning and general manager at, who says:

"Continental Airlines serves more destinations in Latin America than any other U.S. airline. Offering website services, like flight purchase and frequent flyer information, in Spanish facilitates the travel process for more of our customers in the United States and abroad. Recent surveys (such as the Roper Hispanic Cyberstudy released in early July 2005) indicate that U.S. Hispanics was the fastest growing online ethnic segment. Also, this ambition was consistent with Continental's Latinization program, now in its eighth year, which enhances customer service for Latin American and U.S. Spanish-speaking passengers not just through language but in respecting cultural differences."

View the Spanish language website

Hispanics fill 1/3 of jobs created in 2005

Hispanic Business magazine reports that Hispanic employment represented one third of the total 2.6 millions jobs created in 2005. Specifically, employment of Hispanics has increased by 847,000 jobs, bringing the Hispanic unemployment rate down to 6.0 from 6.5 percent in December 2004.

The overall U.S. unemployment rate also dropped by 0.1 percentage point, falling to 4.9 percent in December from 5.0 percent in November, according to the Department of Labor.

Friday, January 13, 2006

We have Latinos up there too?

The Manchester (New Hampshire) Union Leader reports on a new Bi-lingual magazine targeting New Hampshire's growing Latino population -- the first such publication in the state's history.

Called NosotrosUs (nosotros means "us" for those of you who didn't take high school Spanish), the magazine's aim is to bridge the gap between the Latino and the non-Latinos by building, partnerships between business, government and community whether they are Latino or non-Latino, said the publication's editor-in-chief and co-owner, Taina C. Cruzado, in the article.

The 36-page, full color publication is being distributed free at Shaw’s, Stop & Shop and Market Basket supermarkets, Wal-Mart stores, doctors offices, hospitals and social service agencies throughout southern New Hampshire.

The article estimates that there are 26,000 Latinos now living in the area, and says that Latinos there are better educated and more affluent than the national average with more than 40 percent of Latino families having annual earnings exceeding $50,000.

Buena suerte!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Hispanic healthcare disparities worsen

Hispanics, unlike other minority groups, continue to fall further behind whites in getting quality health care, according to an AP story a colleague of mine, Deborah Greaves, gave me.

According to the article, Hispanics are especially falling behind in areas like diabetes, mental illness and tuberculosis. Further, was the disparity in getting regular dentist visits for Hispanic children is also increasing. This is troubling since poor dental care leads to long-term, chronic health problems like diabetes and heart disease.

The government measured 40 types of disparities in the quality of health care between whites and minorities using data from 2002-2004, the article says. Among blacks, 58 percent of those disparities were becoming smaller and 42 percent were becoming larger. However, for Hispanics, 41 percent of disparities between whites and Hispanics were becoming smaller, while 59 percent were growing.

The government also measured access to health care. In all categories, disparities narrowed for blacks, Asians and American Indians ... but worsened for Hispanics in five out of six categories, including access to health insurance.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Happy 3 Kings Day

As usual, I was digging through the snow which was actually more like hardened ice since it's been so cold late last night to look for the last bits of grass I could use for my kids to put out for the 3 Kings.

As I mentioned in my "Como se dice 'politically correct' en español" post a few weeks back, 3 Kings Day or in Spanish Dia de los Reyes or simply Los Reyes is widely celebrated in Latino cultures. Rather than cookies and milk for Santa, we put out grass and water for the camels bringing the 3 Kings to see baby Jesus.

It can be a marketer's dream, especially in areas of high Puerto Rican populations since they likely celebrate it the most in the U.S. I'm still surprised well maybe not that so many marketing people who claim they want to market to Hispanics or are actively marketing to us don't know about 3 Kings Day. This all goes back to my points about being culturally relevant in your Hispanic advertising and public relations programs ... and not just focusing on language.

Read up on it or ask some of your Hispanic employees. Here is an article in the Springfield Republican about los reyes. Also, if you have young kid's here's a coloring sheet from Sesame Street you can print out.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The power of "telenovelas"

If you don't know about the popularity of Spanish soap operas or telenovelas you're not in tune with the Hispanic population.

Shown usually during prime time, these dramas captivate not only people but whole countries. I remember hearing about how Colombia almost came to a stop during the finale of Betty La Fea a few years back since everyone stayed home to watch.

They appeal to both men and women and have launched major stars and have featured major recording artists as lead characters. Heck, even Erik Estrada with his Anglo-accent even gave them a good run when he was in Dos Mujeres Un Camino.

To this day, I can't call my abuela between 8-9:00 p.m. because she watches Contra Viento y Marea. You received no solace from abuelo when he was alive either because he was also watching his novelas.

Sure, they feature the proverbial person with amnesia and people who don't realize they are related, but the one thing I do have to say, other than admitting I have watched an episode or two ... ok, maybe more than that ... is that at least they end!

Today, the New York Times published an article entitled, "Networks See Telenovelas as Maybe the Next Salsa," and talk about some of the network's efforts to cross them over into the mainstream to appeal to millions of younger second- and third-generation Latinos who speak English more frequently

Stuart Elliott reports that in recent weeks ABC and CBS said they were exploring the creation of English-language versions of telenovelas, and Twentieth Television plans to remake telenovelas in English to run on stations owned by Fox Broadcasting.

I just hope the English versions have an ending!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Hispanics lifting North Carolina economy

The Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times is reporting today that Hispanic filled about 1/3 of all jobs created in North Carolina over the last 10 years. Further, the article says, the jobs they are increasingly filling are white collar, which is directly challenging some commonly held beliefs (my people call them stereotypes) about the state’s fastest growing minority.

Hispanics were employed in almost as many administrative and office jobs as in farming, forestry and fishing jobs, according to the study conducted by the University of North Carolina.

This is telling ...

"Hispanics living in the Asheville metropolitan area spent $214.5 million in 2004, creating 2,300 jobs and $100,095 in state and local taxes. In Buncombe County, Hispanic purchasing power totaled more than $122 million.

"But some of this money leaks out of the counties because local businesses don’t provide the services Hispanics need, researchers said. An estimated $12.5 million left Henderson County in 2004 because Hispanics went elsewhere to find the products and services they wanted."

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

2006 Predictions

I wrote this morning that I think 2006 will be the year for Hispanic marketing .... BrandWeek agrees. Among the many 2006 predictions in their article "Memo from the Front: 2006: A Whole New Year," they offer the following:

"The Hispanic consumer will arrive. After years of treating the Hispanic segment as an afterthought addressed by stereotypical ads showing groups of young Latinos dancing and partying in the streets, marketers will shift more money to addressing the demo with a much greater amount of TV, print and online ads featuring stereotypical images of young Latinos dancing and partying in the streets. "

They also predict, "Blogs will change everything" ... so, I'll keep blogging!

Feliz Año Nuevo!!

Happy New Year. Here's to a great a prosperous 2006 ... which, I believe, will be the year of Hispanic marketing. The sleeping giant has definitely awoken and more and more companies are jumping in head first to target this valuable demographic. My resolution will be to continue providing you with the best insights into the Hispanic population as possible and giving advice and suggestions for effectively marketing to us.