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Hispanic Advertising Trends: Experts Weight in at CNNEE Thought Leadership Breakfast at Portada LA

For the third time this year, Portada and CNN en Español partnered up for the last thought leadership breakfast for multicultural markets. This edition's brilliant panelists included Cynthia Dickson, Associate Director, Multicultural Strategy at Canvas, Elizabeth Barrutia, CEO & Founder of Baru Advertisement, and Teylez Perez, VP, Marketing & Advertising at Pantaya, Lionsgate.


What: For the third time this year, Portada and CNN en Español partnered up for the last thought leadership breakfast for multicultural markets. The breakfast touches upon a wide range of issues. This issues including Hispanic advertising trends. This edition’s brilliant panelists included Cynthia Dickson, Associate Director, Multicultural Strategy at Canvas and Elizabeth Barrutia, CEO & Founder of Baru Advertisement. Teylez Perez, VP, Marketing & Advertising at Pantaya, Lionsgate participated on the panel, too.
Why it matters: Multicultural consumers account for over 50% of U.S. population. There is a need to rewire and rethink what multicultural marketing means. With the advent of new technologies and the access to virtually unlimited data, big players like CNN can tap into insights. These insights allow for a better understanding of its target.

Portada and CNN en Español joined forces once again as part of this year’s event. Consequently, Portada Los Angeles was held at the the Loews Hotel, Santa Monica. It followed the successful Thought Leadership Breakfasts that took place in New York and Miami. As a result, the Portada Los Angeles event framed the perfect setting for one last discussion about multicultural audiences and Hispanic advertising trends. Consequently, the panel spoke specifically about best practices to better address the Hispanic consumer.

Nielsen Ratings a Big Coup for CNN en Español

Izzy Gonzalez, Director, Cross-Platform Sales, U.S. at CNN en Español kickstarted the event. He reminded the audience that the firm is now being rated by Nielsen. It manifests a dream come true for the hardworking men and women who have built CNN en Español. They have seen it grow to what it is today. It is now the sole 24-hour Spanish-language news network in the U.S. that delivers all genres of original content.

CNN celebrity anchors Xavier Serbia and Fernando del Rincón moderated the panel. The panel included Cynthia Dickson, Associate Director, Multicultural Strategy at Canvas Worldwide. It featured as well Elizabeth Barrutia, CEO & Founder of Baru Advertising, and Teylez Perez, VP, Marketing & Advertising at Pantaya. Serbia and del Rincón greeted the panelists on stage. They asked the first question: to what an extent do we understand who Hispanics are?

Elizabeth Barrutia said it’s not an easy task. However, certain tools help to understand Hispanics when in the middle of planning processes. “We make sure we look at the country of origin. You have ot look at generational differences. […] We examine the data behind everything. We also look at the cultural context as well. How we say pineapple in Mexico is very different to how we say pineapple in Argentina. As a result, the cultural nuances are definitely something we consider in our communication strategies.”

Hispanic Growth Juggernaut Continues

Hispanics will become the largest minority in the U.S. and because that is well known by the panel of thought leaders, as Serbia put it, the notion is that a minority that already translates to “a trillion-dollar purchasing power” will become more powerful. Consequently, the panelists agreed any brand that does not take this into consideration is getting into trouble. Then, Cynthia Dickson emphasized that even if Hispanics and their purchasing power are in the minds of marketers, “how they are approaching it is definitely different depending on where they are on the lifecycle on their multicultural marketing.”

As a result, she said “We take each brand in its own stage and help them develop that multicultural marketing knowing that this is the present and the future.”


Hispanic Advertising Trends in the Spotlight

Elizabeth Barrutia pointed out it’s not a matter of whether a brand realizes Hispanics are an important audience or not. After all, she said multicultural consumers (not just Hispanics) account for nearly 50% of the total U.S. population. Therefore, brand marketers that don’t take this into consideration within their hispanic advertising trends planning will have “a big problem,” says Barrutia. “It’s up to us as thought leaders, as agency partners and ambassadors for our community at large. Consequently, we have to educate [our clients] on what ROI potential can be.”

The differences between first-generation Hispanics and U.S.-born Hispanics surfaced as another topic. As a result, it sparked the discussion. “Are companies and brands thinking about how to get them through the mainstream?” asked del Rincón. Then, Teylez Perez explained it’s very challenging “to translate brand values, create affinities and be genuine to first-generation, unacculturated immigrants” on one side, and second or third generation Hispanics on the other. “It’s not an easy task to find those values, and it’s not simple to transmit a singular message that can be appealing to those different segments,” he said.

“The challenge is to be genuine, and to offer something different and hopefully connect.”

Targeting and the Role of Data

Consequently, how do brands and agencies know exactly how to target these audiences? The answer appears in the data, and that’s what we saw in the previous CNN breakfasts. There are cultural cues that can be found in the data. Elizabeth Barrutia adds, however, “When you talk about building campaigns that are based on data, there has to be that cultural intelligence in order to analyze it and asses that data for it to have a heart.”

Thus, what do we have to do better, and where do marketers and agency executives see more room for improvement?

Dickson declared: “I believe in research.”

“Marketers should do their own research on their own brands. I can look at data on the category, on my competitors, and the marketplace, but what do I know about my brand? And what must I need to know to get [consumers] to buy my product and feel good about it so they become advocates?”

Digital Leads New Technologies

Fernando del Rincón introduced the topic of digital and what we need in terms of new technologies to close the session. To this point, Teylez Perez asserted that we need to find the way to “create new mechanisms to track, based on traditional models, how you advertise on a digital platform and expect traffic to show up at a certain location.”  For Elizabeth Barrutia, the amount of data available makes it imperative “to build communication strategies that resonate with consumers” on an individual basis.

As a final note, Barrutia assured the audience that “we have to reverse-engineer what total market means. It’s incumbent upon us to re-educate and say ‘Great, you’re willing to spend in inclusiveness, now let’s see what that actually means.'” In the end, the takeaway of the three leadership breakfasts for multicultural audiences was the same. With a majority of multicultural individuals, we live in a multicultural world. So, we need to adapt or it will leave us behind.




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