For several years, David Chitel has been repeatedly making
the same prediction: That the so-called New Generation Latinos (NGLs) are not
only America's future in terms of demographics, but should be top of mind in
every U.S. media outlet and marketer out there. A native of New York City aised
in New Jersey, Chitel this month signed up three Hispanic-targeting cable
networks as sponsors of his upcoming NGLC conference, an annual gathering of
Hispanic and mainstream media outlets, buyers, planners and marketers, who
flock to the Big Apple in search of insights on tapping into this growing
demographic, currently estimated at more than 60% of the total Hispanic market.
Hispanic TV Update spoke to Chitel in
anticipation to the April 11 event at the Harvard Club. An edited transcript
MCN: Si TV, Tr3s and Mun2 have all signed up as
sponsors of your NGLC conference, now in its fourth year. Why is this relevant
David Chitel: These
three outlets are the ones that focus solely on the NGL audience, those Latinos
mostly born in the U.S. that are not only growing in numbers but in purchasing
power and viewing power. We are talking about bilingual, bicultural and
predominantly U.S.-born Latinos ages 14-34; people who maintain ties with their
culture in a variety of ways. So, from the media perspective and the
advertising perspective, tapping into the mindset is critical. And quite
frankly, sometimes this demo just gets lumped together as the so-called general
MCN: When you talk
about NGLs, how many people are we talking about?
DC: We are
talking about a huge portion of the [50 million] U.S. [Hispanic] population, up
to 62% -- or about 30 million people, according to U.S. Census figures and data
from the Pew Hispanic Center. An this is only counting the U.S.-born, although
you have Latinos born in other countries who have been here 15, 20, 30 years ...
then the figure goes as high as 77%. That is why, from a media and advertising
perspective, I insist that tapping into their mindset is critical.
MCN: Are you saying
they are not being reached properly?
DC: Think about
it. The estimated $6 billion spent last year on U.S. Hispanic media represent
barely 5% ot total U.S. ad spend, even though Hispanics account for more than
15% the current population. And still, the bulk of the money spent on Hispanic
media still goes to the main Spanish-language broadcasters, when Latinos are not
-- and should not -- be targeted mainly on the basis of language!
MCN: How would you
say these budgets will better allocated?
DC: It's not an
"either/or" question; either English or Spanish. To reach NGLs, you need to
include both! When you target this new generation, you have to include
Spanish-language media but also a significant spend in English-language media,
as they are watching shows in both languages. American Idol is a great example. It might be a show on Fox, in
English, but it skews really high among U.S. Hispanics.
MCN: How are media
buyers and planners reacting to this demographic?
DC: There is a
lot to be done, but if you look at the NGLC Conference lineup, we'll have some
of the nation's media buyers and planners, and not only as attendees, but as
panelists. We have confirmed top executives from Mindshare, MPG Global, Starcom
and OMD. The message to them is clear: They will have to have a more evolved
Hispanic strategy than simply just using Spanish-language media.
MCN: How about
advertisers? Do they get it?
DC: Again, if you
look at some of our panelists, you'll find companies including Diageo, Sprint,
Ford, L'Oreal, Levi's and PepsiCo. These are some of the brands that get it.
Levi's, for example, partnered with the Discovery Channel to launch this great
a Sur: Una Ruta, 5 Experiencias (North
to South: One Route, 5 Experiences) a reality series featuring five Latinos on
a 10-city expedition from Alaska to Argentina, which after a successful run in
the U.S. is now running in Latin America.
MCN: How would you say cable networks
are doing in this area?
DC: Hispanics are
adopting cable at a very aggressive rate, and there are a lot of cable outlets
that are doing a great job, looking at this market as a whole and not only in
terms of English vs. Spanish. I think cable is by nature a critical media to
target this demographic, and I think moving forward cable is going to be very