Aug 22, 2023
To Win Big with with Latino Consumers, Brands Should Lean into Spanglish
In contrast to Italian, Polish, Irish, and other groups that came before, the Latino immigrant journey is not only about integration in their adopted country, but also impacting the broader culture around them.
In four of the past five years, the most streamed artist on Spotify was Latino/a, and we’re seeing a rapid growth of Hispanic stories told in general market platforms, such as Eva Longoria’s successful directorial debut of “Flaming Hot” on HULU and John Leguizamo’s new series being renewed for a second season on MSNBC.
One of the most interesting shifts taking place is the fluidity of language. What used to be a binary choice between English and Spanish is now more akin to a spectrum.
There’s plenty of research to back this up, including The Latino Mosaic study, a jointly commissioned study by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and my advertising agency, that polled nearly 1,500 U.S. Latinos and uncovered insights to help brands tactfully engage with younger generations of multicultural consumers.
Not surprisingly, The Latino Mosaic study found that English as a preferred language has grown exponentially by generation – 50% of first-generation immigrants prefer exclusively Spanish, while the number drops to only 4% of third generation. However, counter-intuitively the opposite occurs with Spanglish. Rather than merely having younger generations adopt English, as all immigrant groups did before, a full 20% of Gen Z Latinos prefer Spanglish over individual language. In other words, younger gens are not assimilating, nor rejecting American culture – but rather they are inventing something that beautifully melds two cultures.
This culture melding can be felt in entertainment, advertising, social media, and daily life. Another recent study from a Sociolinguist at Florida International University uncovered the mashup of Cuban and American dialects taking shape in Miami to great comedic effect!
This cross-cultural nuance is evident in Spanish-language commercials that are increasingly airing on English-language broadcast television, and Spanglish often appearing on previously Spanish-only networks like Univision and Telemundo. Furthermore, the prevalence of digital and social media has made it easier to target by language, helping marketers connect authentically with consumers in the way consumers actually communicate with each other.
Our Latino Mosaic study also unearthed that 48% of Latinos are daily users of TikTok, as compared to only 36% of the general market. More remarkably, 20% of Latinos go to TikTok to “discover new brands” which is nearly double the percentage for the broader community. Major brands such as Toyota, ESPN and the NFL have leveraged Spanglish ads with great success, ensuring the trend will only increase.
As the media paradigm shifts, here are the new engagement guidelines to help marketers embrace Latinos without alienating other audiences:
- Creators – the days of company-to-consumer messaging are dying quickly, and user generated content continues to grow exponentially. Rather than “sales marketing,” brands should frame their strategy around “creator partnerships” which combine a product attribute with authentic messaging that originates directly from social influencers.
- Language – the data is in, and it is telling us that language is fluid for younger generations who toggle back-and-forth between English and Spanish, sometimes in the same sentence. Brands should artfully and thoughtfully adopt this approach to become organic participants in the Spanglish conversation.
- Culture – the number-one passion point for Gen Z Latinos is music, which is a departure from Gen X and Boomers who favored sports by a wide margin. Brands should turn the volume up and connect with the rhythms of the next generation.
So, why should these statistics and guidelines mean anything to U.S. brand leaders?
Whether in entertainment, marketing, politics, or business, a new formula for communicating with Latino audiences is clearly being written. Rather than run away from these rapidly shifting trends, brands should sprint towards engaging this target-rich environment that represents 25% of every birth in America today. Simply put, it’s time for brands to reframe La Conversación in their advertising, social media, and beyond.
Mike Valdes-Fauli helps Fortune 500 brands engage Latino audiences,
as COO of Chemistry and President of its Multicultural division, Chemistry Cultura.
See Original Article Here.
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