Color Bars

Courting the U.S. Hispanic Audience

With a population of more than 54 million in the U.S., and a buying power around $1.6 trillion, it’s no surprise marketers and brands have their eyes and budgets on winning over the Hispanic community.

American Hispanics play one of the largest roles in the U.S.’s future – they’re picking the politicians, music, TV shows, brands and products that are defining America today. As marketers have stressed for years, in order to be successful in connecting with the Hispanic audience, it’s important to incorporate culturally relevant communication that includes both Spanish and English languages across traditional, social and digital media.

Let’s take a look at those who have a good grasp of Hispanic marketing:

tumblr_inline_np1m1p5Igf1re489d_500 I’ll admit it … I’m not a fan of Pitbull’s music. But, after reading Adam Jacobson’s article about Pitbull’s rise of fame in’s 2015 Hispanic Market Overview, I’d like to join him in giving Pitbull kudos for mastering the “Hispanic integration into global messaging.” From radio stations in Spain to Miami, the Cuban-born musician’s music is played around the world. Pitbull, self-titled Mr. Worldwide, has shown marketers that today’s Hispanic is bilingual, biliterate, bicultural and switches between Spanish or English at any given moment. Pitbull has recorded more songs in English than Spanish, and it’s important to note that the most popular songs like “I Know You Want Me,” “We Are One (Ole Ola),” and “Fireball,” are in English with some Spanish phrases, but songs resonate with his audiences and the Hispanic community. He makes it a point to stand up for the Hispanic community, and they trust him. There’s a reason why he’s an endorsement machine to reach Hispanic audiences.

Toyota has been a big player in the Hispanic market for years, but one of my favorite campaigns targeting the U.S. Hispanic community is the “Más Que un Auto” (“More Than a Car”) campaign. Inspired by the tradition of Hispanics valuing their vehicle so much they consider them members of the family and name them, the car manufacturer wanted to celebrate this bond by giving Toyota owners a chance to adorn their car with a custom nameplate, using the same typeface and material as the official Toyota marque. The campaign invites consumers to go to an intuitive microsite, where they can input the name of the vehicle and order badges, which they receive via mail in a week at no charge. The results have surpassed Toyota’s expectations. Today, more than 100,000 badges have been ordered, and fans have been thanking Toyota by posting photos of their embellished cars and love stories on social media using #MasQueUnAuto. Overall, Toyota’s “Más Que un Auto” is a great example of leveraging a Hispanic tradition to target the community.

I might be bias (AT&T of San Diego and Hawaii is an NST client), but the wireless company’s “Mobile Movement” (#BetweenTwoWorlds) campaign to attract U.S. Hispanic millennials is a great example on how a brand can connect to audience members by addressing relevant issues or challenges in messaging. For this campaign, AT&T released a series of commercials – which ran on Univision and Telemundo – that featured young Hispanic Americans discussing how it is to live across two cultures and languages.

What sets this campaign apart from others? It’s focus on authentic storytelling and listening to their audience. This campaign focused on the emotional benefit of being able to speak with family members, as opposed to the “functional benefit” of the service. According to AT&T, “#BetweenTwoWorlds is about the freedom to express yourself, and creating your own identity where you’re from and where you’re going next.”

Bridging the Language Gap
One takeaway from these examples that I’d like to stress is to remember that Hispanics are far from homogeneous. Perception is everything to this audience. There’s more to connecting with Hispanics than just Español, and once you understand how to incorporate cultural relevance into your brand’s messaging, the more likely you’ll be successful in driving them to your desired action.

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