The Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA) announced the results of its survey assessing trends and influential factors in US Hispanic advertising over the past decade. More than 90 percent of respondents indicated that they anticipate corporate ad spending targeting the fastest growing segment of the US -- Latinos -- to increase in 2007 and more than 30 percent are predicting budget growth of more than 10 percent.
The majority of respondents (75.9%) believe the finance industry will increase spending most significantly over the next five years followed by entertainment (58.6%) and pharmaceuticals (55.2%). Travel is projected to increase ad spending to reach US Hispanic consumers as well as cited by 27.6% of survey takers.
The survey, part of AHAA's reflection on the industry in celebration of its 10-year anniversary, questioned AHAA member agency principals about events affecting their businesses and their projections of future investments by corporate America to reach the approaching $1 trillion in US Hispanic consumer spending.
The 2000 Census data, affirmed by an overwhelming majority of respondents (93.5%), is considered the most significant milestone attributed to the growth of the more than $5 billion US Hispanic advertising industry. Even with the government statistics to support the power of the US Hispanic consumer, more than 80 percent of respondents agree that the greatest challenge facing US Hispanic advertising agencies is persuading clients to invest more of their ad dollars in the burgeoning US Hispanic market.
"The Census data quantified the influence of Hispanics in the US and brought recognition to the significant clout, buying power and expected growth of this population segment," says Carl Kravetz, chairman of AHAA and chairman/chief strategic officer of Los Angeles-based cruz/kravetz:IDEAS. "It is an ongoing process to educate corporate marketers about the value of marketing to Latinos as more than just a project but an integral part of every marketing plan. We need to move beyond the 'why,' however, and begin to discuss the 'how' -- partnering with clients to engage this brand-loyal audience and connect emotionally with them using the language of cultural identity rather than getting bogged down in a debate over whether to use Spanish or English. It requires a deep understanding of the true Latino identity that Hispanic agencies are uniquely prepared to define for marketers."
In fact, segmentation of the Hispanic market is considered the leading influencer of agency business over the next five years. Further defining the complexities of Latinos as well as slices of this multifaceted population is viewed by more than 63 percent of respondents as the top significant change in the US industry. The influx of ad dollars to reach the coveted Hispanic segment was recognized by more than 56 percent of respondents and marketing with the Latino cultural identity in mind (53.3%) -- a real shift in the approach to reaching this audience -- were viewed as other significant developments that will shape the industry moving forward.
Over the past ten years, AHAA agencies have witnessed an evolution in US Hispanic marketing that extends far beyond what industry forefathers experienced. Kravetz notes that it was the visionaries of more than 40 years ago and the pioneering founders of AHAA that paved the way for the nearly 100 AHAA member agencies today serving corporations such as: McDonalds, Toyota, Coca-Cola, Bank of America, Verizon, etc.
"It was the Cuban revolution that kicked off US Hispanic advertising," Kravetz says. "In 1959 and 1960, a number of Havana advertising men exiled to the United States wanted to continue practicing their craft and began the long arduous process of convincing American advertisers that there was a vast, untapped market hidden here.
"Advertising was at first local, targeting the Cuban communities in Miami and New York. However when the US government combined Cubans, Puerto Ricans and Mexicans into a category called, 'Hispanics,' and following the lead of savvy marketer Procter & Gamble supported by imported programming from Televisa, national Hispanic advertising was born. We have come a long way but the Latino consumer landscape is ever-changing and requires marketers and agencies to continue to evolve with the same sophistication as their audience."
Advertising on Hispanic Websites More Than Triples Since 2002
Major advertisers expect to spend $132 million in online advertising targeted to U.S. Hispanics this year, up 32 percent from last year according to the 2006 media markets report in the December issue of Hispanic Business magazine.
© Contacto Magazine - September 26, 2006
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