How To Reach 'Bicultural' Latinos


Even as the 2010 U.S. Census figures showed a major increase in the so-called minority population, programmers
and pay TV providers continue to struggle with issues
of language and acculturation levels.

Ten years ago, the average Latino household was
Spanish-dominant, but with the U.S.-
born and educated Hispanic population
on the rise, the number of multigenerational,
bilingual households is on
the rise. Reaching all members of such
families is a difficult proposition.

“When you get to several levels of acculturation,
targeting the Latino segment
is one of the most challenging things
we work at,” Cox Communications vice
president of acquisition marketing and
sciences Tony Maldonado said.

“Accurate targeting is absolutely
critical and is very very challenging,”
Maldonado, a U.S.-born, first-generation
Mexican-American who does not speak
Spanish himself, said.

It was with such households in mind that
in April 2010 Cox introduced “El Mix,” pitched as the “hottest
combination” of English- and Spanish-language channels.
It’s a different channel lineup than Cox’s “Paquete Latino,”
an all Spanish-language digital tier launched in 2003.

“Our research showed a growing need in the
Latino household to have not only a Spanish-language
tier, but having a good English-language viewing
option at a price point that also represents a good
value for the household,” Maldonado said.

Language-use data, which used to be collected as part
of the Census every 10 years, is now collected annually
in the American Community Survey (ACS), expected to be
released by the end of the summer.

This data is crucial for programmers,
including Sì TV, a network that caters
to a fast-growing demo: so-called bicultural
Latinos, who according to some
estimates make up 77% of the roughly
50 million total U.S. Hispanic population
(some 38 million people). In an effort
to hone its appeal to the demo, the all-
English-language Sì TV is set to rebrand
itself as nuvo TV on July 4.

“The 2010 U.S. Census provided confi rmation
to nuvo tv that we are in the right
market, at the right time and in the right
network,” nuvo TV head of ad sales Craig
Geller said. Citing figures from both, the
U.S. Census and the most recent ACS
data, Geller said 80% of the growth in
the Hispanic population between 2000 and
2010 (or about 12 million people) came among bicultural
Latinos. He called that number “conservative,” but said it
validates nuvo TV’s strategy to target English-dominant,
mostly U.S.-born Hispanics.

“Bicultural Latinos are the ones fueling this market,”
said Geller, who used to work for Spanish-language
broadcast network Telemundo.