Aug 10, 2012

Desperately Seeking Latino Viewers

Desperately seeking Latino viewers” or “Yo quiero Latino viewers” or “Mi ABC es su ABC,” could have been more interesting and entertaining headlines for a recent New York Times article (“Networks struggle to appeal to Hispanics”) that is currently the talk of the town in the U.S. Latino advertising and public relations industry.

A quote from the article: “Despite her [Sofia Vergara's] popularity, ‘Modern Family’  is not a hit with Hispanic viewers. Out of its overall viewership of 12.9 million, ‘Modern Family’ drew an average of only about 798,000 Hispanic viewers in the season. That audience accounts for only about 6 percent of the show’s viewers — less than half of what you might expect given the 48 million Hispanic television viewers that Nielsen measures. “

The leading U.S. Spanish language TV networks are actively posting on Facebook and LinkedIN, Twitting, and even investing in costly email blasts and ad buys to ensure this story gets maximum visibility.

Univision, the “Lion King” of U.S. Hispanic media, not surprisingly, is roaring the loudest. The network purchased an email blast from HispanicAd, a leading Hispanic advertising marketing trade group, to ensure this message reaches Hispanic ad buyers and media planners.

In addition to that, Univision surely will buy ads in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other mainstream publications reaching the country’s top marketing decision makers to, in essence say, the English language networks have big numbers, yes, but they have only a tiny fraction of the 50.5 Latino consumers in this country. We have them. To get them you must come to us.

As you know, Fox is not taking this sitting down on their manos. They are launching MundoFox soon to capture some of those marketing dollars. They also launched Fox News Latino, an online news web site. NBC launched NBC Latino. Univision will partner with ABC News to create a news channel. We have not heard from CBS, at least not yet.

Smaller players are getting in the game as well given that the market is too big and it is still being under-served. For example, former Univision and Telemundo executive, Carlos Barba, is about to launch BuenaVisionTV, a new channel designed to serve the NYC Latino community this fall.

Key Takeaways:

-        This market is too big. It has the critical mass needed to generate ROI from a dedicated marketing program. If it is big enough the warrant the creation of a new Fox network, is big enough to help anyone’s bottom line.

-        Yes, this market is bilingual and does consume English language media of all kinds. Se habla inglés, but…

-        These consumers -old and young, foreign-born and U.S. born- remain attached to the Spanish language and to Latin culture. Yes, carnitas, tacos and Salsa, both, the eating kind and dancing kind, are here to stay.

-        Therefore, any communications program that intends to reach them in a meaningful and impactful way must have a bicultural and bilingual component. Think communications program on chimichurri. Or go corporate and “Sazón Goya it!

-        In all seriousness, the influence of U.S. Latinos is strong now, and it will only get stronger and broader. The combined total of more than 100 million Latinos, African Americans, Asian Americans and other multicultural communities, has reached critical mass. The fact is that the United States has become a multicultural nation. Professional communications programs need to reflect that in order to optimize results.

Carlos G. Giron is a PR Newswire multicultural marketing consultant and an experienced U.S. Latino communications strategist.

Learn more about reaching multicultural audiences on our Multicultural PR resource page.

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