Florida/Georgia Profile: Hispanic Marketer’s Mine the Gold Coast

National Advertisers spent more than $30 million in Florida Hispanic newspapers last year. While Florida is the fourth largest Hispanic market in the U.S., behind California, Texas, and New York, the Miami DMA is perhaps the most coveted by advertisers, owing to its large population of affluent Hispanic consumers. According to Michelle Villalobos, former Publisher of Ocean Drive magazine, “perhaps the distinguishing factor of the South Florida Hispanic market is its affluence. Miami-Dade shows the highest median income for U.S. Hispanics. As a result, the Miami Hispanic is often more affluent and more brand-conscious than his or her counterpart elsewhere.”

As a result, says Cesar Pizarro, Business Manager at El Nuevo Herald in Miami, “The Miami DMA is considered the top Hispanic market in the U.S.” And not surprisingly: Florida’s Hispanic buying power reached $82.2 Billion this year, up from just $19.9 billion in 1990 (Hispanic Tips). Indeed, El Nuevo Herald, which is published by the Miami Herald, gets the lion’s share of advertising dollars invested in the state’s Hispanic print market. Of the $29 million+ national print advertising invested in the state’s Hispanic print market in 2006, El Nuevo Herald hauled approximately $22 million. Retail was the biggest spender, with $9.6 million placed in El Nuevo Herald and about $3 million spent in other Florida publications. Financial was also a top spender, investing $6.2 million overall.

The next biggest national advertising  revenue-generating publication after El Nuevo Herald was El Sentinel, which took in about $4 million in 2006, followed by El Diario Las Americas, which hauled about $1.8 million.

Chart Top Five Categories in Florida Hispanic Print National Advertising

1. Retail: $12,438,694

2.Financial: $6,197,843

3. Telecom: $3,058,663

4. Auto: $2,743,545

5.Media: $1,983,377

Source: Portada Ad-Tracking

High Proportion of Spanish Speakers:

“Florida has a large percentage of Spanish-speakers, over 60% in Miami. Therefore, the question is not whether to advertise to the Hispanic community but when and how,” says Jonathan Blue, Managing Director of Blue Equity LLC, whose subsidiary Cobalt Publishing sold its Enlace Yellow Pages Directories to Telmex’ Seccion Amarilla last year. Kentucky-based Cobalt Ventures acquired Miami and Broward-Palm Beach En Sus Manos directories in 2006. HYP had previously been involved in placing national advertising with Miami en sus Manos and Broward en sus Manos, but now those efforts are being handled by those publications. The HYP Network recently launched its Directorio en Español yellowpages in South  Florida. This move is an extension of their current market presence in Tampa and Orlando.

Show me the Money:

Ocean Drive Español
is a magazine catering to affluent Hispanics in the S. Florida area. “The distinguishing characteristic of the S. Florida Hispanic market is that so many of the upscale Hispanics are Spanish-dominant Latin Americans. In other parts of the country, it is often the case that the Spanish-dominant Hispanics are less affluent, and hail from Mexico,” says Associate Publisher Tatiana Angel. “Here we have so many Latin Americans who have come here by choice or have been forced to leave their homelands due to political instability. And they wish to continue leading the luxurious lifestyles they are accustomed to.” With a demographic target of affluent Hispanics (Female 51%; Male 49%) ages 30-39, Ocean Drive Español thus garners most of the luxury advertisers that advertise in general market publications, including: Prada, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Armani and others.

Ms. Angel says that many of the liquor advertisers like Heineken, as well as automakers like Lexus and Infiniti are realizing the value of placing Spanish-language ads in the magazine, and doing so. “At the same time, many of our ads have no copy at all, and are comprised simply of beautiful photos. In these instances, the message transcends language barriers.” Meanwhile, advertisers like the Ritz Carlton and Johnnie Walker are casting a broad net by placing bilingual advertisements. Other advertisers prefer to stick to familiar terrain and place English language ads: “Absolut places in English, and Hennessy just ran a 5 consecutive page campaign titled “Flaunt,” where it shows the top-shelf whiskey being enjoyed in a variety of luxurious surroundings.

Another testament to the affluence of the Miami Hispanic market is the recent launch of Poder Miami. Poder—which means “Power” in Spanish—is targeted specifically at higher income Hispanics who enjoy the good life. Launching with a rate base of 25,000 copies, the magazine has already drawn significant advertiser attention from brands like: Publix, Wachovia, Audi, and Citibank.  Televisa’s director of marketing and promotions Anna Gonzalez sees Miami as an ideal market for Poder: “The magazine’s unique domestic and international content is 100% reflective of the informational needs of the Miami business community,” says Gonzalez. “Poder Miami will blend and adapt the best of its content from its multiple editions and combine it with relevant local content.”

A Shifting Landscape:

South Florida
has long been a haven for affluent Hispanics and political refugees; that is nothing new. So what has changed? Alejandro Aguirre, deputy editor and publisher of Diario Las Americas says the biggest change that has occurred in South Florida’s print market is that newspaper companies are no longer simply newspaper companies, but full-blown media companies and original content producers: “Now they are realizing that newspapers are no longer just in the newspaper business any more. That is one of our product lines, but there is much more to it than that. We’re in the midst of a strong integration not just of platforms but also of products in terms of content. We are no longer just transferring our print content to the site. Instead we are creating whole new products out of the material. We’re integrating our resources to become the dominant player in this market,” says Aguirre. “Don’t get me wrong, advertisers are still very interested in the printed product, as well as direct mail. At the end of the day, it’s about reaching the intended demos with high precision.”

Louisa Ferrera, advertising manager for the Hispanic market at The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Dia, agrees that advertisers are still interested in Hispanic print. “Our print market continues to see growing opportunities.  South Florida Hispanics are loyal newspaper readers thus creating an opportunity for advertisers to reach the biggest segment of our market while understanding the power of the South Florida Hispanic consumer. Unlike the general market, the switch to online from print is a slower/educational process within the Hispanic market. 

Florida’s Hispanic Population vs. U.S. Overall                   FL.       U.S.                                                                 

Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, percent, 2005 (b)



Hispanic-owned firms, percent, 2002



Source: U.S. Census Bureau

A Diverse Market

Media buyers targeting Floridians know about the Sunshine state’s diverse Hispanic audience. “The make up of the target is different, Florida is very heterogeneous. It’s a melting pot of Latinos, most of them from the Caribbean and South America as opposed to other markets like Texas and California, which have a predominantly Mexican population,” says Margot Bradley, President of Togram, a media & marketing consulting firm. The share of Cubans among the state’s population, while still important, is declining. Twenty years ago Cubans made up more than half of the state’s Hispanics.  Now it’s down to 31 percent.

And it’s not just Miami, Tampa is also very diverse. The city’s Hispanic community, which makes up 20% of the population, has a purchasing power of $7.2 billion. There is a large Puerto Rican contingent, as well as a good number of third and fourth generation Hispanics (mostly of Cuban and Spanish descent) who read the Tampa Tribune. Luis Baron, publisher of the weekly 7 Dias and La Guía monthly magazine (circ. 12,000, Spanish), tells Portada that his publications target mostly first and second generation Spanish-dominant Latinos. Orlando Nieves, General Manager of Hispanic initiatives for the Florida Communications Group, the publisher of The Tampa Tribune,  notes, “More than 26 different nationalities are represented here.” Nieves estimates that the Tampa national Hispanic print advertising market is worth about $6 million annually. Last year, his company launched Centro Mi Diario, a weekly targeting Tampa Hispanics.

The Orlando market is growing rapidly: This past June, Casa y Hogar, announced that they expanded distribution in Orlando through El Nuevo Dia. Filiberto Fernandez, publisher and CEO of Casa y Hogar, and Jaime Segura, Publisher of El Nuevo Dia Orlando, made the announcement jointly. El Nuevo Dia Orlando, the only Hispanic daily in Central Florida, distributes 25,000 from Monday to Thursday and over 40,000 copies of its Friday edition in the Orlando area. Riccardo D’Anconia, general sales manager for weeklies La Prensa Orlando and La Prensa Tampa says that Retail, Auto, Real Estate, Mortgage Lenders, Medical, Travel and Consumer Goods categories are all active advertisers in those markets. He concedes, however, that advertising is not robust enough to support daily editions. Currently, the Orlando edition of La Prensa distributes 36,000 weekly copies and the Tampa edition distributes 16,000 weekly copies.

Yet another magazine that has decided to launch in Orlando is the Puerto Rican women’s fashion publication Imagen. The magazine has a circulation of 80,000. This past May, it opened its doors in Orlando to cater to the area’s growing Puerto Rican population.

on my mind…

The saying goes “good fences make good neighbors,” but as an emerging Hispanic market, neighbor-state Georgia is attracting a fair amount of attention from media buyers looking over the fence from Florida.

Georgia is a state whose Hispanic population more than quintupled between 1990 and 2006, where it currently measures close to 700,000. Latino spending power grew 832% during the same period to almost 12.5 billion in 2006. About 40% of the state’s Latinos are Mexican, while 25% are South American, and the remaining are from Central America and the Caribbean.

Atlanta Latino covers the Atlanta metro arena and is available for free at area racks and stands, as well as at Hispanic-owned businesses. It has a weekly circulation of about 30,000 copies. While the paper is bilingual, a strong majority of its readers – 81% — say that they prefer Spanish to English, which is reflective of their relatively un-acculturated, recent immigrant status. When asked what major purchases they plan to make in the coming year, almost half of the respondents said they plan to buy a vehicle, 37% said they plan to buy furniture, about 25% said they plan to buy  a major home appliance. The paper is CVC audited and is a member of the NAHP.

Founded in May of 2000, La Vision is the first Hispanic paper in the state to distribute on a daily basis, with a distribution of 60,000 copies. It is available at racks and stands, and home-delivers approximately 30% of its distribution. La Vision also publishes a special sports edition on Monday named “Vencedores” and an entertainment supplement on Friday called “Variedades.”

Hola Augusta is a bilingual paper serving the greater Augusta area and parts of South Carolina. The paper has a biweekly circulation of 8,000 copies. Editorial is comprised mainly of local news and immigration issues. It also deals with health issues. National advertisers include Coca-Cola, Budweiser and State Farm. 

Nothing new under the sun…

The strength of Florida’s Hispanic market is nothing new, and it is no secret. Advertisers have long been aware of the large numbers of affluent—and average, working-class— Hispanics in the state, particular in the Miami area. What is relatively new is the spill-over of these Hispanics into traditionally non-Hispanic areas like Tampa and Orlando. The Georgia Hispanic market is even more recent and is also growing at a breakneck pace, as the figures indicate. However, even in Southern Florida, where Hispanics have been established for decades, there are new things happening, as companies like Terra and Poder establish strongholds there, bridging the gap between Latin America and the United States’ Gold Coast.