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2013 Hispanic Marketing Challenges: Bicultural Relevancy, Mobile and to break through the Clutter


Portada asked  major clients and media executives at advertising agencies about where they see the main challenges to Hispanic marketing in 2013.  Frequent answers include  how to approach the bilingual/bicultural market. More resources  to develop social media and mobile platforms are another common request. Another big challenge is how to break through the clutter.

Stacey_Abreu, Associate Media Director, Mindshare
Stacey_Abreu, Associate Media Director, Mindshare

Stacey Abreu, Associate Media Director, MindShare
(together with Yvette DelValle, Associate Media Director Mindshare)
“Our challenge is really a marketplace challenge; we are all trying to figure out how best to approach the bilingual/bicultural market understanding their anticipated growth and current influence.  Ultimately there isn’t one size that fits all approach, given the different stages of being bilingual/bicultural, for example there is difference between preferring to speak English and needing to, in addition this person can be 50 years old or a Millennial leading to drastically different media habits. You have to treat each situation/activation/campaign as a case by case situation and take a deeper dive into the actual target beyond language preference and demographic information. GroupM and Mindshare are fortunate to have proprietary research which probes deeper into emotional and psychographic information leading to the path of purchase which is keeping us slightly ahead of the curve. ” 

Guillermo Abud, VP Digital Director, MV42 Mediavest
Guillermo Abud, VP Digital Director, MV42 Mediavest

Guillermo Abud, VP Digital Director, MV42 Mediavest

“I think that advertisers still need to find the budgets to build a true Hispanic 360 holistic approach where digital is obviously key in most cases.  Dollars are needed for media, production and social media development.  For example, we could have a great idea but if there is no mobile media ready we can’t do it.  Mobile sites need to be produced as well as social media destinations that can bring on continuous  engagement and ongoing  conversations , social media is a long term commitment. ” 

Fabian Castro, Multicultural Marketing Director, Universal Pictures
Fabian Castro, Multicultural Marketing Director, Universal Pictures

Fabian Castro, VP Multicultural Marketing, Universal Pictures

” Universal Pictures has several tentpole movies launching in 2013, including new films in franchises that have historically done well with Hispanics like “Fast and Furious” 6 and “Despicable Me 2″. The challenge will lie in how we top our own past successes with the Hispanic market and continue to develop culturally relevant and innovative tactics that reaches all age groups, acculturation levels and nationalities within the Hispanic market.”

Stephanie Da Costa, Media Director, Wing
Stephanie Da Costa, Media Director, Wing

Stephanie da Costa, Media Director, Wing
The main challenges seem to be around clients taking “calculated” risks.  It is important for advertisers to be nimble and forward thinking and act on current trends to become category/market leaders.  Things are changing very rapidly and it is becoming critical to keep a pulse on your brand/category/target, etc to make changes accordingly.”


Mike Foley, Brand Manager and Export, Post Foods
Mike Foley, Brand Manager and Export, Post Foods

Mike Foley, Brand Manager U.S. Hispanic and Export, Post Foods

Breaking through the clutter is always top of mind for us. It is universal today with consumers that information flows so quickly and everyone leads such busy lives that it can be difficult to break through and engage our consumer in a meaningful way. You also see it as many new companies and brands realize the power of the Hispanic market to their business as they enter the marketplace and we see it in new media tactics to reach her and even with new Hispanic networks entering into the mix. It is what makes managing the brand both exciting and yet still a challenge to continue breaking through. “

Felix Palau -  VP of Marketing for Tecate, Tecate Light, Bohemia
Felix Palau – VP of Marketing for Tecate, Tecate Light, Bohemia

Felix Palau, VP of Marketing, Tecate Equity

For the past few years, there has been an increasing interest by brands to reach Hispanic consumers and many have developed Spanish-language advertising, leveraged key holidays, and launched programs surrounding key passion points (sports, family, food, music and beauty). Hispanics have more choices now than before, and are exposed to more brands than in previous years; these trends have made it challenging for brands who are vying for consumer attention. As a result, we cannot simply rely on our authenticity credentials to connect with Hispanics, but rather strive to be a part of their lifestyle. 

Another key challenge we’ve experienced the past few years as the acculturated Hispanic reaches adulthood lies in their use of language and culture. Given that these consumers choose when to tap into their Hispanic heritage and when to be more “American” makes it challenging for brands to connect with them through traditional media efforts.”


CarmenTorres, Hispanic Media Supervisor, 22Squared
CarmenTorres, Hispanic Media Supervisor, 22Squared

Carmen Torres, Hispanic Media Supervisor / 22squared

The 2010 Census reported that growth in the U.S. Hispanic population came primarily from U.S.-born Hispanics. As a result, the Hispanic population is becoming more bilingual. But reaching this consumer goes beyond language; it is about culturally relevant content and touch points. A straight adaptation of the general market message may not work. The fact that we are seeing a proliferation of English/bilingual websites and traditional Spanish-language networks changing strategies to reach this target tells us how this market is changing and that we need to start adapting the  communication strategies to effectively engage with the bilingual consumer.”

Emma Velez Lopez, Hispanic Marketing Director, DIRECTV
Emma Velez Lopez, Hispanic Marketing Director, DIRECTV

Emma Velez-Lopez, Director Advertising U.S. Hispanics, DIRECTV

“The main challenge is to make sure that your message is heard and differentiated from the pack.  When all your competitors say similar messages, how does your service stand above all that is being said?  DIRECTV offers a premium quality service with more regional content nationwide than any other provider and the most advanced technology.   I am referring to content such as, news directly from all Spanish speaking countries, more soccer from local Latin American leagues and European leagues. DIRECTV also has much higher customer satisfaction ratings than Cable.  And, at the same time, we just launched the new DIRECTV Genie which allows you to have more choices at the time you sit down to watch TV. Besides having the ability to start watching your show in one room, pause, and continue in the next, now you can also watch the same pre-recorded show simultaneously in up to 4 rooms, record up to 5 shows at once in HD, enjoy up to 3 times more HD recording capacity than cable on your DVR, serve your entire home with just one DVR and the new Genie even recommends new shows based on the ones you typically watch. You can see that with DIRECTV the Entertainment experience is at a different level, and communicating all these benefits effectively will be the main challenge for 2013.  It is a good challenge to have. ”

 (This is the second article of a two article series. In the first article the above executives talked about where they see the main opportunities for Hispanic marketing in 2013).


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