Five for Hispanic Marketing

Posted on December 14, 2011 by Marian Salzman

This is the 13th in a series of 32 posts—each one a section from Euro RSCG Worldwide PR’s “The Big Little Book of Nexts,” which in total features more than 150 sightings for 2012. It’s the biggest, most robust annual trends report ever from @erwwpr CEO Marian Salzman and her trendspotting team. To download the entire report, go to the Brainfood tab at

Though Hispanic Americans are quickly becoming immersed in American culture, marketing more directly to them and pinpointing their likes and tastes is still very powerful. According to a report by the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth, the combined buying power of racial minorities (African Americans, Asians and Native Americans) is forecast to rise from $1.6 trillion in 2010 to $2.1 trillion in 2015, accounting for 15 percent of the total buying power in the U.S. That’s why it’s no surprise that smart brands are adjusting their lenses to market to the growing Hispanic populace. One of the trends to look out for in 2012-13? Radio Latino. Latinos who prefer Spanish spend five and a half hours per week listening to Internet radio, compared with about four hours for Hispanics who prefer English. African Americans, too, spend four hours; Asians spend about two and a half hours, and non-Hispanic Whites spend the least amount of time in this endeavor: just over two hours. Talk about a big opportunity for advertisers of everything from music to Minute Maid. Hispanic media overall is on the rise (although Hispanic newspaper circulation was down in 2010, but not by as much as English-language papers), while mainstream media is faltering, a recent Pew Research Center study found. Hispanic magazines saw a more than 8 percent increase in revenue in 2010 compared with 2009, up from $357 million to $387 million. Similarly, the number of Spanish-language radio stations grew by 8 percent, from 1,224 in 2008 to 1,323 in 2009. And Spanish content provider Univision—the fifth-largest network in prime time—will launch three new channels, including a 24-hour news channel. As far as new online offerings for Hispanics, the Huffington Post is targeting the demographic with its recently launched English-language HuffPost Latino Voices section. Expect an explosion of Latin flavors. With so many people coming of age, young Latinos will influence our minds and tastes. Going beyond tacos, food marketers will want to channel Hispanic street vendors outside the U.S. by infusing sodas and teas with horchata (cinnamon rice milk), tamarindo (a sweet tamarind drink) and other flavors such as lime. Likewise, guava and mango will make more appearances in non-Latino snack foods and beverages. And listen up: Dance music has caught fire with Latino youth in the U.S. and abroad. Top international publication DJ Mag is launching its Latin American version this year, and NPR’s weekly program “Alt.Latino” showcases new artistic experiments such as hip-hop samba from Brazil, electro tango from Argentina and heavy-metal merengue from Mexico. Perhaps most notable is the tremendous success of Kaskade, a DJ whose mainstream popularity has been fueled by Latino-centric Miami and L.A. club scenes. Kaskade is not Hispanic, but he’s proof positive that the largely Latino market for dance music is making a major impact. That must be kept in mind when scoring commercials or sponsoring Latino events. Movies and fashion will also continue to be influenced by Latin culture, and since we all need superheroes these day, the half-black, half-Latino comic book character Miles Morales is making waves as an alternative to mainstream Peter Parker, with some speculation about whether a minority actor should be cast as Spider-Man in future movies. Pew Research shows that about 50,000 Latinos in the U.S. every month turn 18; with all these opportunities to connect with that booming youth culture, brands would be wise to consider the melting pot when doing everything from casting movies to mixing beverages to marketing music.

P.S. With the 2012 elections around the corner, candidates should look to rock the Latino vote, including those new 18-year-olds and a voting Hispanic population in Florida, the nation’s largest presidential swing state, that grew by nearly 250,000 people between 2008 and 2010.


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