Marketing to Hispanics Goes Beyond Language


NEW YORK — As the U.S. Hispanic population continues to grow and its diverse cultures meld with American culture, marketing to that demographic should go beyond what language they speak.

“We sort of have to stop talking about language,” said Lisa Torres, president, ZO Multicultural, on an advertising roundtable at the Hispanic Television Summit. “It’s about culture, it’s about insight and it’s about content.

“I think we’re still a little too focused on language,” Torres added. “That causes confusion to our clients and to advertisers.”

She said focusing on that language actually makes it easier to overlook the Hispanic market. Since many U.S. Hispanics are bilingual, marketers think they are reaching them with major English-language programming.

“For us it really depends on what that ultimate passion point is — sports, news, lifestyle,” said Eduardo G. Samamé, vice president, new products, and general manager, direct marketing solutions, Time Warner Cable Media. “It starts with content and ends with content.”

Mike Rosen, executive vice president, advertising sales & integrated marketing, Telemundo Media, added that it’s foolish to view Hispanics as just a segment. “Fifty-five million people is not a segment,” he said. “Hispanics are not a segment, [they’re] an opportunity.”

Tom Maney, executive vice president of advertising sales at Fox Hispanic Media, said he has noticed marketers are encompassing the Hispanic marketplace in their main budget, rather than having a separate one. “Marketers are now bringing it together and talking about how do we reach consumers?”