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The Latin Content Marketing Forum came to a close Tuesday afternoon with a presentation from Javier Farfán, the Senior Director of Cultural Branding for Pepsi, who introduced attendees to ‘Cultural Fluency’ and how Pepsi uses ‘cool content’ to engage audiences.

As part of his introduction, Farfán reminded the audience that Pepsi (under his leadership) was the first to bring reggaetón to the U.S. “We discovered Daddy Yankee, Wisin & Yandel, etc. when many people thought U.S. Latinos didn’t want to be a part of it,” Farfán told a full house at this week’s Latin Content Marketing Forum in Miami.

Pepsi Co.’s insights are not only based on ‘coolness’ but on hard data as well: Based on current data, Latinos will be a definite force driving culture in the U.S. and the shift in population trends only means marketers have to rethink the way they connect, interact and respond.

“We are going after millennials,” says Farfán. “And by ‘we’ I mean ‘we’ not me. We [marketers] must adopt a more dynamic cross-cultural mindset.”

In presenting Pepsi’s new mindset, which has to do with avoiding separating consumers into “ethnic” groups, Farfán said: “We must move from segregating ethnic groups to celebrating commonalities.”

What makes all this possible is what Farfán calls ‘cultural fluency,’ meaning a way in which a brand can create a really cool thing by diving in, and participating in it, not only sponsoring a program.

For marketers attending the forum, Farfán had a few words of wisdom:

  • -Build affordable, sustainable content strategy (focus on what you stand for as a brand, your pov)
  • -Be a platform for action (inspire people todo)
  • -Be useful (curate content they really care about. Talk about people not products) get people to like, love and want to participate
  • -Meet audiences where they are (make sharing simple, syndicate, go mobile)

He offered plenty of examples, but to name a few: Sierra Mist’s partnership with Mexican chef Aaron Sanchez to create content, in English and Spanish, that will drive audiences to a YouTube page featuring Sanchez cooking Mexican food.

Another, more recent example is Brisk Bodega, a program born in Los Angeles targeting Latino and urban youth featuring radio personality Chuey Martinez @Chueymartinez and filmed entirely in East Los Angeles.

Hispanic Content Marketing expert Javier Farfán will present at Portada’s Latin Content Marketing Forum on June 4 in Miami’s Intercontinental Hotel.  Farfán, Senior Director of Cultural Branding, at PepsiCo , will share insights on  best practices in Hispanic Content Marketing.   Make sure to buy your tickets at the early bird rate (expires this Friday April 19!) .9

Javier Farfan, Latin Content Marketing ForumFarfán will provide an in-depth presentation on how Pepsi integrates paid, owned and earned media and how it markets through different platforms (mobile, social media, offline etc).

As Portada Senior Correspondent Laura Martinez wrote in an interview of Javier Farfán, “when it comes to rocking the Hispanic marketing boat, Javier Farfán is in a category of its own.” As PepsiCo.’s senior director of cultural branding, the New York City-native has a very challenging job: To reimagine the way the soft-drinks giant talks to an increasingly complex, multicultural and bilingual young crowd. Farfan’s presentation at the Latin Content Marketing Forum will also  shed light on how Pepsi targets English-dominant, bicultural and Spanish dominant Hispanics.

Latin Content Marketing ForumPortada’s Latin Content Marketing Forum will take place on June 4th, 2013 in the just renovated Intercontinental Hotel in Miami. The Latin Content Marketing Forum will analyze the enormous role content marketing can play in the Latin (U.S. Hispanic and Latin American) market space, which belong  to the fastest growing markets in the world.

Make sure to get your ticket. Early bird registration expires this Friday April 19. The Forum can be attended in combination with Portada’s 2013 Latam Advertising and Media Summit which takes place in the same hotel.

Other major Thought Leaders speaking at these  major  events   include:

  • Ben Jankowski, Group Head, Global Media, Mastercard
  • Jorge Laverde, Marketing Head, Latin American North, Nokia
  • Nick Denton, CEO and Founder, Gawker Media
  • Mario Cordon, CMO, Open English
  • Benjamin Jankowski, Head Global Media, Mastercard
  • Mariano Moro, Latin American Marketing Director, The Coca Cola Company

    Learn more about the enormous role Online Video can play in the Latin (Latin America and U.S. Hispanic) marketing space. Book now for our Latin Online Video Forum, a required event for any marketing professional.

When it comes to rocking the Hispanic marketing boat, Javier Farfán is in a category of its own. As PepsiCo.’s senior director of cultural branding, the New York City-native has one challenging job ahead: To reimagine the way the soft-drinks giant talks to an increasingly complex, multicultural and bilingual young crowd.

Javier Farfan, Latin Content Marketing ForumAmong its latest marketing efforts, PepsiCo. this week launched www.Mipepsi.com, a new online platform that seeks to connect Hispanics with music, sports and pop culture, regardless of language. Under the banner of Vive Hoy, the effort is the Hispanic-targeted portion of the Live for Now global relaunch of the Pepsi brand, and as it has become increasingly common in Pepsi’s messaging, it features tweets and content in Spanish, English and even Spanglish. “It’s not about language anymore; it’s all about culture! That is the challenge and that is the fruit of my labor,” says Farfán.

The new site is sort of a social media “dashboard” that aggregates real time news, Pepsi-themed tweets and miscellaneous bits of trending topics. Consumers are encouraged to Tweet, Like and/or Pin topics on the site and participate in challenges and contest that can earn them points towards a concert or other rewards.

Language No Longer Relevant

While Pepsi’s new interactive experience was conceived by Organic, an Omnicom-owned digital shop based in New York, Farfán made sure Organic worked closely with yet another digital partner, Remezcla/TheCollective “To make sure we are telling the story of how Latinos use the Internet to communicate and interact with each other regardless of language.”

“Regardless of language” is a concept that is becoming crucial for marketers like PepsiCo., which knows all well that young Latinos don’t move in a monolingual world, but live -like Farfán himself- immersed in two cultures.

“I am part of that generation of people who are not been reached by agencies focusing on a particular language,” says Farfán, who was born in New York City of Ecuadorean parents and was raised in the heart of Harlem and then Washington Heights.

From Sofía Vergara to David Beckham

A former MTVtr3s executive, Farfán has been an important part of PepsiCo.’s recent efforts to put Latinos front and center of a mainstream campaign, including hiring Sofia Vergara to be a spokesperson for Diet Pepsi, but also tapping David Beckham to appeal to Latino soccer fans.

All these efforts, he says, don’t come naturally. Instead, they are the result of two major things: Having a group of managers within PepsiCo. who are willing to take risks, and having your creative agencies collaborate with one another on every single project.

“I don’t think about agencies the way many people still think about agencies,” says Farfán, who was responsible for changing the name of his division to cultural branding from multicultural marketing. “I try to make sure that my agencies work together. I think everybody has to be accountable for the work we put out there.”

For example, PepsiCo. recently premiered a TV spot featuring Lionel Messi, Didier Drogba and other footballing stars crowd surfing at an outdoor music festival. And while the ad was created by CLM BBDO, it worked under some consulting by Miami-based Alma. [In addition to Alma, PepsiCo. also works with Austin-based LatinWorks, which handles work for Manzanita Sol, Sierra Mist and Aquafina.]

“Agencies should stop focusing on a particular language,” says Farfán. “But I know many of them don’t want to do that, mostly because they want to control the money and are afraid to lose business.” Still, he is careful to stress the power of Latino media and how a brand like Pepsi should embrace it when and where the message needs to be.

“Don’t get me wrong. I don’t discount the power of Latino media, but that is not the only thing we’re going to do. If we realize one particular message works best on outdoor, I’ll do outdoor. If something requires local, we’ll do local.”

For example, he says, Pepsi is testing messaging in the Southern California market for two new products: Tamarindo Sol and Toronja Sol, both spun off from the popular Mexican brand Manzanita Sol. He has also helped enlist Chef Aaron Sanchez to pitch Sierra Mist Natural through a series of viral videos.

For Farfán, who is about to complete with second year at PepsiCo., working in tandem with agencies doesn’t only makes creative sense, but it is also a good business decision. “Approaching the market in one single language, like in the old days, is not cost-effective; and it doesn’t make sense anymore.”

Read more: Latin Content Marketing Forum