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Nuances of culture are important for anyone trying to reach Hispanics, from political candidates to mainstream brands to media.

Fox Buys Majority in National Geographic Magazine and Cable: Will  Climate Change Denial Win?

The 127-year-old nonprofit National Geographic Society has struck a $725 million deal that gives 21st Century Fox a majority stake in National Geographic magazine and other media properties, expanding an existing TV partnership. The agreement will give the company controlled by Rupert Murdoch’s family a 73 percent stake in the new National Geographic Partners venture. The National Geographic Society retains 27 percent ownership. The move shifts the longtime nonprofit flagship magazine into a for-profit venture. The arrangement brings together National Geographic’s magazine with its cable channels and other media businesses.  This is the second major deal announced in the last 10 days which puts together TV and magazine assets, the other one being the acquisition of Meredith Corporation by Media General. National Geographic originally partnered with Fox in 1997 to launch the National Geographic Channel. Officials said aligning the various media brands will help fuel future growth. In the Hispanic market, NatGeo-MundoFox (now MundoMax) ad sales are operated by Fox Hispanic Media. “This expanded partnership, bringing together all of the media and consumer activities under the National Geographic umbrella creates vast opportunities and enables this business to be even more successful in a digital environment,” said James Murdoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox, in announcing the deal. Al Jazeera has another take: Rupert Murdoch’s high-profile purchase of National Geographic — perhaps the most esteemed remaining icon of middlebrow American print culture — has touched off alarms over how the swashbuckling Australian press lord may visit a Fox News makeover on the science monthly…Murdoch’s acquisition of a 73 percent share of National Geographic — for a cool $725 million — is especially troubling to the cause of climate science, since the National Geographic Society (founded as a nonprofit foundation for exploration and research) administers a $1 billion grant program to research scientists.”

A case in point is Pepsi’s new limon flavor. The new flavor was made with the help of Adelante, an employee association at PepsiCo meant to “foster relationships with the Hispanic community,” according to Latinos Health. In order to get the taste right, Pepsi uses 2 percent real lime juice. For now, Pepsi Limon is available only in selected markets in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, as well as Chicago. We can only hope it spreads to the rest of us.

Don’t stereotype lifestyle or spending power

Carlos Garcia_GfkIn fact, marketers still struggle to create messaging that’s truly culturally relevant and nuanced enough to avoid stereotypes, according to Carlos Garcia, senior vice president of multicultural at GfK Media. And this goes beyond not plopping a Spanish icon into a commercial. There are more subtle stereotypes that can keep an ad from resonating.

Garcia told eMarketer that Hispanics are brand-loyal because they want to stick with what they know, so advertisers trying to win them away need to focus on a value proposition, not image advertising. He said, “Be specific. Why should I buy this product? It’s just as good and cheaper, it’s the same price but bigger, it’s better taste, it has more natural ingredients, it has aloe in it, it has more protein, it has something.”

Garcia also noted that, while the Hispanic population as a whole may have below-average household wealth, it is still a viable market for higher-priced goods. He said, “They organize their lives differently. They have different priorities. They are buying high-quality, high-cost electronics. They are buying houses. They are buying appliances. They are doing all these things that the sheer income numbers would suggest are impossible.”

Sweet new hub for Latinas

popsugar latinaSpeaking of mainstreaming, POPSUGAR Latina, a mobile-first hub within the fashion and lifestyle site, aims to better serve the 12 percent of traffic to the main site comprised of Hispanic women. The English-language site will skew the regular diet of celebrity gossip, fitness, fashion and recipes to Latinas. Anna Fieler, executive vice president of marketing at POPSUGAR, told CNBC, “Our intent is to deliver the content in English, focusing on content for the Latina who considers herself to be 100 percent American and 100 percent Latina.”

POPSUGAR has partnered with JCPenney as the sponsor of the launch. In the press release, Eileen Carty, EVP Brand Partnerships at POPSUGAR, said, “Latinas are the fastest growing market in the United States, and this young, family-oriented woman loves to shop and gather information and is connected with her smartphone at a faster rate than any other demographic.”

2016 election could see spending shift

Arturo VargasWhile political candidate have been used to reaching Latino voters via Spanish media, changing demographics may cause them to rethink their media plans for the next election. Arturo Vargas, the executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in Los Angeles, told Aljazeera America that candidates must understand the diversity in language, culture and generations. In 2013, Latinos born in the U.S. made up 65 percent of Hispanic Americans. “[Candidates] need to understand that there isn’t a single Latino profile,” Vargas said.

Candidates shouldn’t simply translate campaigns into Spanish; they’ll need to craft Hispanic-centric messages. “The outreach is not about language,” said Felipe Benitez, the communications and development director for Mi Familia Vota, another voter advocacy group. “It’s not about Spanish or English. It’s about addressing the issues that really matter to our community and listening to our community.”

That could mean more intensive work on platforms and advertising, as well as more thoughtful media plan to reach acculturated Hispennials outside of traditional Hispanic media. Multicultural agencies should clarify their ability to understand this changing audience, while Spanish-language media may need to refine their pitches.

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Source: ShareThis
Source: ShareThis

New studies connect the dots between social and revenue. It’s still a fuzzy picture, but retailers definitely are finding ROI in social media.

Instagram is the latest social network to get serious about analytics. It’s begun rolling out a suite of business tools that it says will help brands measure brand awareness on Instagram through impressions, reach and engagement and show the performance of individual ads within paid campaigns.

It’s a good move, because almost every brand – nine of out 10 – will be on social media this year, according to eMarketer. It’s a crowded space, and there’s now a pretty bewildering assortment of ROI studies – but at least they all show retailers can get ROI from social media.

Many social media shares and pins are aspirational: They know what they want but are not ready to buy so they pin it. If they really wanted to buy it, they’d just buy it.

The conversion rates for social networks differ by the product category, according to Convertro, an attribution-modeling platform acquired by AOL Platforms in May. Its analysis of $1 billion in sales, within 500 million clicks and 15 million conversions during the first quarter of 2014 tracked by Convertro found that YouTube had the highest influence at the top and bottom of the purchase funnel. Twitter, on the other hand, was the strongest influence in the middle of the customer journey.

“YouTube is strong in the front because people often start their exploration with either search or YouTube search. Social media is more of a research ally,” says Jeff Zwelling, CEO of Convertro.

At the same time, social media’s impact on conversion varies widely by the product category, according to Convertro, with the highest impact on food and beverages, followed by apparel and accessories, and then, home furnishings.

Source: Convertro
Source: Convertro

Zwelling thinks that many social media shares and pins are more aspirational: “They know what they want but are not ready to buy so they pin it. If they really wanted to buy it, they’d just buy it.”

That idea is supported by an internal analysis of ShareThis data on consumption and sharing by Hispanic Millennials. It found that, in the style and beauty category, 22 percent of page views were related to coupons and deals, while only 7 percent of the shares were. On the other hand, news and editorial related to the category accounted for 9 percent of all browsing but 26 percent of all sharing.

Source: ShareThis
Source: ShareThis

“People say they want to help people and share useful things, but what they actually share is more about [public image],” says Andy Stevens, vice president of research and strategy for ShareThis. He advises brands in all categories to be aware of these motivations for sharing. “It’s often aspirational — letting people know about yourself in a positive light.”

Where social media misses Hispanics

As we know, Hispanic consumers over index on social and mobile – but the picture is different when it comes to shopping conversions. In a study ShareThis did with Unilever and Mindshare, it found strong differences in the influence of social media on shopping among Hispanics.

This study found they share five times more often than non-Hispanic users, and what they share is 35 percent more likely to be clicked on than content shared by the general population. They’re also twice as likely to purchase the kinds of products they share about compared to non-Hispanic consumers.

But Hispanics are less likely to use Pinterest and Twitter for sharing content, which is a bummer for retailers. According to ShareThis, Pinterest is the top social channel for conversations about shopping.

Hispennials and social shopping

The retail ROI picture may be different when it comes to younger Hispanic consumers. The millennial segment as a whole is the hottest prospects for social shopping, according to another ShareThis study of 58 million American Millennials. They’re twice as likely to purchase a product they’ve shared, while Pinterest is the top social media site overall.

There’s evidence that Hispennials are converging with Millennials when it comes to mobile, social media and shopping. While mobile accounts for only 7 percent of Hispanic consumers’ sharing activity, Hispennials’ mobile sharing is the same as their non-Hispanic counterparts.

Hispanic millennials share on mobile as much as their non-Hispanic counterparts, and use Twitter and Pinterest just as often. The generational similarities also hold true when it comes to what content millennials, both Hispanic and non-Hispanic, consume and share.

Value for retailers

Social media networks like Pinterest offer retailers more sales and plenty of other benefits, according to Pinterest marketing expert Anna Cadiz Bennett, principal of White Glove Social Media: Retailers can collect market intelligence, and multichannel retailers can use Pinterest to find out what shoppers are most interested in and then showcase them in physical stores. It can also raise the brand profile, attract new customers and help with search engine rankings.

Pinterest, especially, lets brands collaborate with consumers, for example, by creating group boards. “When people contribute to your board, someone else is creating content for you,” she says.

While there may not be so many Hispanics on Pinterest right now, Bennett notes that several brands have created content targeting this group. Most of it does focus on Hispanic culture, rather than on specific products, with a strong emphasis on food. Brands can find the most important topics thanks to Pinterest’s search suggestion tool, by starting to type “Hispanic.”

hispanic pinterest search

She also advises her clients to make use of third-party tools. She says, “At the end of the day, your goal is to drive more traffic to your website.” Google Analytics will show whether Pinterest is a source of referral traffic and how much, while analytics services including Piqora can deliver metrics such as total revenue generated from Pinterest, revenue per Pin, etc.

Piqora

A 2014 study by researchers at the University of Minnesota and Georgia Institute of Technology found that the most popular Pinterest category by far is food and drink, followed by DIY/crafts and home décor. Says Bennett, “If you’re in those verticals you should be on Pinterest.”

Point and buy

The rise of social media in retail and ecommerce could be tied to an increasingly post-literate, point-and-click society, according to Zwelling. “We are gravitating into a world in which people are more likely to hear and see than to read something,” he says. And, after all, visual sites like Pinterest more closely replicate the in-store experience, where shoppers are led by their eyes.

Meanwhile, social media use grows and new networks proliferate. In its 2013 Social Commerce Breakdown, AddShoppers says that Wanelo.com, a sort of combo of Pinterest and Etsy aimed at retailers, is growing phenomenally, tripling its number of shares.

(Wanelo has posted a quote from Urban Outfitters saying its traffic from the site converts four times than any other social network.)

Then, there’s StumbleUpon, the news-sharing site. Understandably, it’s got the lowest conversion rate of any network AddShoppers studied; but it also has the highest average order value, at $238.53.

Says Peter Messmer, vice president of customer success at AddShoppers, “The trend we’re seeing is social network use in general is expanding and it’s not winner takes all.”

A recap of major news on the marketing and media front from around the web compiled by Portada Digital Media Correspondent Susan Kuchinskas.

How Maleficent Got Her Hispanic Groove

Casting a Hispanic star or throwing some Spanglish into the marketing isn’t the only way Hollywood studios can attract Hispanic audiences. Sometimes, tweaking the marketing to appeal to consumer values can do the job. In the case of the Disney film Maleficent, movie marketer Jaime Gamboa of Soda Creative knows that Hispanic families like to go to movies together, so he recut the trailer so that it wouldn’t be so scary for little kids. See the original and recut trailers on The Wrap. It paid off: 25 percent of the opening-week audience was Hispanic.

AT&T Hooks Up with Vice to Reach Hispennials

source: AT&T
source: AT&T

Actually, the mobile carrier is working with Virtue, the more family-friendly-sounding offshoot of edgy Vice Media, for #BetweenTwoWorlds, an advertising and social media campaign to reach acculturated Hispanic Millennials. Latino Post notes that one of the video spots uses Spanglish, the fluid merging of English and Spanish, to illustrate this demo’s “ambicultural” lives. Ads will run in  print (People en Español and Latina Magazine), TV (National Spanish TV in programming targeting Millennials + 5 bilingual networks), digital (Spanish sites targeting Millennials) and social (Spanglish content in Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr, and the campaign uses the hashtag #BetweenTwoWorlds.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvpKbjpPrT0?rel=0]

 

Toyota Will Compete Hard for Hispanics
Automakers are racing to attract Hispanic consumers. At the National Council of La Raza on Saturday, Bill Fay, group vice president for U.S. sales, told Bloomberg that Toyota will fight to maintain its lead as the top-selling auto brand among Hispanics. He told Bloomberg, “We’re trying to cover all our bases and reinforce the strength of the product and involvement in the different communities.” He noted that Nissan and Ford are among the brands looking to grab some share.

Dems Dropping Political Ad Dollars
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has begun making TV buys on Spanish-language stations in some key Hispanic markets, according to the Sunlight Foundation. Republicans, not so much. One exception is Texans for Greg Abbot. His Republican gubernatorial campaign has spent more than $180,000 in San Antonio. The hottest market for political ad spending on Spanish-language TV, not surprisingly, is Miami.

A recap of major news on the Marketing and Media front from around the web compiled by Portada Digital Media Correspondent Susan Kuchinskas.

Felipe Esparza is “un Buen Fit” for Honda Fit

Esparza for Honda Fit Photo: iSpot.com
Esparza for Honda Fit
Photo: iSpot.com

Combine two of the most desirable and least-understood consumer segments – Hispanics and Millennials – and you get Hispennials, a target market everyone wants to hit. Honda has a big Latino campaign for its little 2015 Fit, using the bulky comedian Felipe Esparza  (photo) hype its many features to Hispennials. The TV spot, via Honda’s Hispanic agency Orcí, includes digital, experiential and social media components, according to Mediapost, based on the hashtag #UnBuenFit. Andrew Orcí, the agency’s CEO, says it’s the first fully integrated, bilingual campaign that Honda has done.

Latinas Lead Hispanic PR Push
Havas PR launched a multicultural practice that will focus on gaining earned media and social buzz within the Hispanic community. Havas Conexiones is led by by five Latinas with Argentinean, Cuban, El Salvadoran, Mexican and Puerto Rican backgrounds, stationed in Hispanic hot spots around the country, including New York, California and Texas. Havas Conexiones has released a report called Mi Casa en Los Estados Unidos: Millennials of the Border States. Among the findings is that 61 percent of the Hispennials surveyed said speaking Spanish was an important part of their lives.


Is “White” a Useless Demographic?
The New York Times followed up its June article on identity fragmentation among Hispanics trying to answer census questions with another piece that discusses the complexities of Hispanic racial and ethnic identity and points out that Hispanics aren’t alone in grappling with this conundrum: Many Arab-Americans don’t consider themselves white. What the NYT makes clear is that the concept of white as a race seems to be defined merely by the absence of any stronger ethnic identity. It concludes by quoting Kenneth Prewitt, a professor of public affairs at Columbia University and the author of “What Is Your Race? The Census and Our Flawed Efforts to Classify Americans,” who seems to think that race is an outmoded concept altogether.

Latinum Network Adds CPG Expertise
The brand advisory service appointed Graciela Eleta as senior strategic advisor. Eleta, formerly SVP of Univision Communications’ Strategy & Insights Team, also gained experience in consumer packaged goods, retail, over-the-counter health products and beverages when she served as vice president of Procter & Gamble’s Multicultural Division. Latinum Network is a member-based brand advisory network that provides proprietary research, a bilingual consumer community and a mobile platform.

First Original Spanish Netflix Production
NetflixNetflix will spice up its existing menu of Spanish-language content with what is likely the first original Spanish series produced by an over-the-top video service. According to Variety, the still-unnamed, 13-episode series produced by Alazraki Entertainment centers around a family feud among a family that owns a soccer club. The show will be shot in Mexico with a Latin American cast. The series is a smart move for Netflix as it continues its international expansion, but it will compete for eyeballs with ad-sponsored video and TV programming.

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