Mexican companies bet on Hispanic media

It's a no brainer. Mexican companies that want to expand, naturally look to the U.S. Hispanic market. A majority of the nearly 44 million U.S. Hispanics are from Mexico and are familiar with the brands of their home country.

According to Juan Carlos Rodríguez, director of marketing and research at Media Planning Group (MPG) in Mexico D.F, the Mexican cell phone giant Telcel is investing around 5% of its ad budget in the US Hispanic market. Rodriguez also mentions La Costeña, which he says probably has a 70% (Mexico) - 30% (US Hispanic) split, or maybe 50/50, since advertising is more expensive in the U.S. “The [US Hispanic] market has grown a lot, especially after the NAFTA agreement was signed in the mid-nineties. I don't think there is a large, middle-size, or even a small company for which the Hispanic market is not important,” Rodríguez adds.

Other Mexican advertisers with a strong presence in the US Hispanic advertising market include furniture stores like Elektra and Famsa, and other companies including Grupo Modelo, Grupo Bimbo, Cemex, Mexicana de Aviación, Banorte, Banamex and BBVA-Bancomer.

Jorge Ferráez, publisher of Latino Leaders, says that although large Mexican advertisers are aware of the US Hispanic market, which is roughly the same size as the Mexican advertising market, only about 30% actually have advertising campaigns targeting US Hispanics.

Newspaper and magazine publishers targeting Spanish-speaking audiences in the U.S. are also counting on Mexican advertisers. Among the print media vehicles particularly interested in Mexican advertisers are the new Texan daily Rumbo, a few of Editorial Televisa's magazines and the new sports insert in LA's La Opinión, co-produced by La Opinión and the Mexican sports newspaper Ovaciones.

Media entrepreneurs are also courting local advertisers. The U.S. edition of Mexico City daily Diario de Mexico attracts local advertisers who appeal to the Mexican origin of Diario de Mexico's readers. Advertisers include Tortillería Chinantla, Mexican Restaurant La Campireña, Kevin Dyer y Asociados (lawyers), Tacos El Texano, and UGC (Underground Communications, cellular telephones).

Media buyers representing Mexican brands have a relatively wide range of options in the U.S. market. Still, Rodríguez at MPG says most of the ad money goes to TV and radio even though companies like Televisa, Ferráez Comunicación, and Grupo Braca de Comunicación have publications that specifically target Mexican Americans.

Ferráez of Latino Leaders explains that most of the Mexican companies go with TV and radio because they offer immediacy and wide reach. “But,” he continues, “to reach an audience of Latin comsumers who speak English, are more literate and have higher purchasing power, corporations will have to buy print, particularly magazines and newspapers.”

It makes sense to advertise in Mexicans magazines, like Thalia, which have distribution in the U.S., says Ferráez. The magazine advertising market in Mexico is weak, making up less than 5% of the overall Mexican ad market. “The proportion is similar in the U.S.,” Ferráez adds.

Norma Angelica Martin

Read more in Portada's September-October 2004 issue:

Mexican advertisers adjust their messages to reach Hispanics


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