Thought Leadership Breakfasts


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.”

 It’s up to us as thought leaders, as agency partners and ambassadors for our community at large to educate [our clients] on what ROI potential can be.

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.”

It’s not an easy task to find those values and to transmit a singular message that can be appealing to those different segments. 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?”

Marketers should do their own research on their own brands.

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.



What: As the perfect opening for this year’s edition of Portada Miami, CNN en Español partnered once again with Portada in its second thought leadership breakfast for multicultural markets. Panelists included Isabella Sánchez, VP, media integration at Zubi Advertising; Ana L. Soto, National Media Manager at JCPenney; David Mesas, VP, Business Development at Geoscape; and Jessica Román, VP, Media Director at Publicis Groupe.
Why it matters: With multicultural consumers representing an increasingly important percentage of the U.S. population, media buyers and vendors need to be very aware of where ad dollars should go, as well as really understand the process of media buying according to what’s happening in the marketplace.

“CNN en Español is at a pivotal moment right now,” said Cathy Reyes, CNN en Español’s Programming VP, to welcome the attendees to the Miami Thought Leadership breakfast. As Reyes told the audience how surreal it seemed to her that now CNN en Español is being measured by Nielsen, a feeling of pride and accomplishment permeated the room, which, to say the least, was packed. The network had been working hard for years and, as Cathy Reyes pointed out, it finally reached that dream. “We’re the most trusted brand in news,” she shared. “We have more spending power in our key demo than other Spanish-language networks including broadcast, and we overindex in Hispanics that have graduated from college.”

To open the conversation about what matters in media buying & planning, Xavier Serbia, anchor of CNN Dinero, moderated a panel of premium speakers including Zubi Advertising’s Isabella Sánchez, JCPenney’s Ana Lucía Soto, Publicis Groupe’s Jessica Román, and Geoscape’s David Mesas. One of the panels main questions was how to deal with the nuances of multicultural markets, to which they punctually answered that, far from being black and white, there are dangers in segmenting the market. “When there are nuances, there’s the danger of being too obvious, of seeming that you’re mocking people,” commented Jessica Román. “The creative part of how stories are told is very important, you can’t take all Latinos and put them in one bucket because that’s not real. Within segments there are so many dialects, so many ethnicities, that sometimes we need to ask ‘What are the commonalities? What are the passion points?’ Those can live across segments and you can start building from there.”

In the era of data, it’s easy for brands and agencies alike to lose sight of what really matters. “I feel like it’s very important to get guidance from the agency because as a client you’re also managing your first-party data that’s telling you about the consumer’s behavior, so having guidance from the agency to translate all this actionable snippets of research is very important in the case of my experience,” pointed out Ana Lucía Soto. “My decision process is: my audience is highly multicultural, that’s the reality of the population, although we have total market clients, we do recommend that population is highly multicultural and we need to make changes to address this population.”

Within segments there are so many dialects, so many ethnicities, that sometimes we need to ask ‘What are the commonalities? What are the passion points?’




But how do you know what data you need to address this market? In the words of Jessica Roman, “It’s not data for the sake of data, it has to be quality data that we’re going to take with a grain of salt, because data is not going to be your bible; it’s what you use to help you make informed decisions.” Technology is taking us to never-before seen places, and it’s making possible what we could have only dreamed of a few years ago. When asked by an audience member about the future of media and where we’re headed, David Mesas put as an example the technology that allows a television to detect when a mobile device is in front of it and later track purchases made after watching a commercial. For Mesas, the key is in sales attribution: “If you have internal data, that’s where you start. First you understand your customer’s profile, then you segment and find others like that. But now there’s technology that can attribute every purchase whether online or at a store, and that’s where I see it going.”

As much data as there is, we need to be careful about not losing the pure common sense that goes with logic. Data can tell you a lot of things, but we have to step back and look at where it’s coming from.

Perhaps the key takeaway of the panel, as it also happened during the Portada Miami conferences, was that evolution is a crucial part of the future. “Everyone has to evolve, whether that be a digital platform or a traditional TV network,” asserted Isabella Sánchez. “Those that evolve are the ones that are going to survive, and I think data and information is just gonna keep coming in and we’re gonna have to decide how to use it. As much data as there is, we’re gonna have to be careful about not losing the pure common sense that goes with logic in terms of when we evaluate things, when we make decisions… Data can tell you a lot of things but we all have to step back and look at where it’s coming from.”

As a final note to this second thought leadership breakfast, Cynthia Hudson, SVP and Hispanic Strategy General Manager at CNN en Español, concluded by reminding the audience that her network is special precisely because “We produce content every day live, and we do everything, because news is not just politics, it’s not just Donald Trump, and it’s not just a bombing in Syria. It’s everything, it goes from lifestyle (we have that content) to entertainment content, to medical content, to cultural content. We are open to business and I say it in a big way.” As Cathy Reyes said to present the panel, it’s a great moment for CNN en Español. To be continued…




Portada and CNN en Español have partnered for the Thought Leadership Breakfasts for the Multicultural Market Series in New York, Miami and Los Angeles:
May 10, Los Angeles, Loews Hotel Santa Monica. Topic: Hispanics Continue to be the Largest Ethnic Minority in the U.S. Today! Are Brands and Marketers still Taking this into Account?
If you wish to attend any of these breakfasts and are a media buying executive at an agency or a client-side brand marketing executive, please contact Andrea Arizmendi.

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