Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid: Marketing to the Reality versus the Buzz

By: George L. San Jose, President and CCO I’ve been in the marketing and advertising profession long enough to see the good, the bad and the ugly. I’m well aware of the kid gloves typically used when broaching the topic of multiculturalism in today’s market. Committing to the spirit of new media, where everyone has a voice that deserves to be heard, I write this post from an open, honest heart reflecting my personal voice – independent of the agency. Advertisers who base their budget decisions on marketing to the “same old” might consider catching up to today’s market reality instead of marketing to their own likes and likenesses. There is a “not so new” American consumer and if you haven’t acknowledged them yet, ask the Republican Party why they lost the presidential election. In Mitt Romney’s first interview with the Wall Street Journal since the election he said, “We weren’t effective in taking my message primarily to minority voters — to Hispanic Americans, to African Americans, other minorities.”  Yes, just that straight and simple. Not surprising to anyone attuned to today’s complex markets but very surprising to the advertisers of yesteryear. Let’s put this in perspective. Currently, an estimated 90-95 cents out of every dollar spent by major advertisers is directed towards marketing to the diminishing “same old” (known in the industry as the “general market”). You know who I’m referring to, the same old group of monolingual, monolithic consumers with similar interests, living in the same neighborhoods and consuming the same proliferated media. For brands campaigning to win, here is a simple set of profiles to evaluate your company’s grasp of the market reality: ・ Generalist: Those who do nothing towards multicultural audiences because they do not want to take the risk of allocating scarce resources to the unknown.  As a result, they cling to the safety and predictability of their externally controlled declining market share. ・ Buzz Makers: Those who talk about it, brag about it, and even have multicultural departments in charge of protecting their state secrets but...

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Affordable Care Act (Healthcare Reform) and Multicultural Populations cont.

Jan 22, 13 Affordable Care Act (Healthcare Reform) and Multicultural Populations cont.

Posted by in Healthcare, Insurance

We continue our 12 part blog series on the Affordable Care Act and Multicultural Populations.   How to qualify for the Tax Credit – Part 9 By Martha C. Rivera, Director, Strategy and Insights, and Alejandro Ramos-Martinez, Junior Executive To qualify for the tax credit, small businesses must cover at least 50 percent of each employee’s health insurance premiums. Small businesses that employ part-time workers are also eligible for help, and their credits are calculated by determining the number of “full-time equivalents” that they employ. For example, two half-time workers count as one full-time worker for the purpose of calculating tax credit eligibility. In addition, small businesses are eligible for the tax credit even if they already receive assistance from their state to help them buy coverage for their workers, and they can continue to deduct the remainder of their health care costs when they file their federal income taxes. In 2014, once the state health insurance Exchanges are up and running, small businesses will be eligible for tax credits of up to 50 percent of the cost of covering their workers through the Exchanges (or a 25 percent refund for nonprofits). Look for Part 10 of our Affordable Care Act and Multicultural Populations in a future blog. Source:...

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Time to Strike the Latin American Insurance Boom

Nov 13, 12 Time to Strike the Latin American Insurance Boom

Posted by in Insurance, Latin America

Insurance stands amid the numerous thriving industries in Latin America—and not just that kidnap ransom kind, but every kind of insurance. Liberty Mutual began Latin American insurance efforts in 1995, and Latin American countries have an opportunity for more competitors. 1  The Latin American insurance market can be broken down into two basics categories: life and non-life insurance.  Non-life insurance, which covers almost all aspects of the insurance policies holders’ lives—i.e. automobile, health, personal accident, etc. – is on the rise in Latin America. According to the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at CUNY, non-life insurance is growing fast due to an increase in registered vehicles and workers compensation in various Latin American countries.2 Lack of knowledge of the Latin American market and questioning how long the boom will last presents an unnecessary deterrent for insurance companies who may investigate venturing into the Latin American market. In reality, the increase in non-life insurance in recent years highlights Latin America is changing, arguable for the better, and now is the time for Insurance companies to consider building business in these countries. Florian Kummer said in an interview with BestDay audio, “lines like liability [open up] as societies mature and as societies become much more middle class than before.”3 Latin American companies and their populations are, as Kummer says, “maturing” in a manner that requires more insurance policies. Frost and Sullivan report “the future consumer marker of Latin America is projected to be 665 million people with a combined GDP of $6.8 trillion in 2020.”4 In other words, the insurance market will continue to grow in Latin America as more and more middle class members arise and purchase cars, homes, and other goods which must be insured. Frost and Sullivan also assert “[the middle class] will account for around 43% of the region’s total population by 2020; consequently, the expenditure from this segment is also expected to increase by 51% in 2020.”4 Therefore, Latin America has developed a huge, and lasting, need for insurance companies. “Like...

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Campaigning for the Latino Vote

What’s the best demographic investment your organization could make? Today, more than ever, party campaign strategists believe the answer to successful campaigning lies in America’s fastest-growing population group: Latino Americans. For the first time in American history, this year both Republican and Democratic parties selected Latinos to speak in the prime time slot of their party’s respective national conventions. “We need the Hispanic vote and want to win it,” says the 2012 Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s youngest son, Craig Romney. The Romney campaign releasing Spanish advertisements as well as the party’s $3 million investment in finding and financing at least 100 new Latino legislative candidates lends evidence to support the Republican Party’s professed desire to attract Latino favor. This project is being sponsored by the Republican State Leadership Committee and is known as the Future Majority Project, which is appropriately named in recognition of 2010 U.S. Census results showing Hispanics to represent more than half of all U.S. population growth over the past decade and representing America’s fastest-growing population group. If that were not evidence enough that the Republican Party is making a concerted effort, Republicans selected Florida Senator Marco Rubio to speak at the primetime slot of the party’s national convention. Rubio related the story of his Cuban parents who immigrated to the U.S. The Republican Party is not alone in investing money and engagement into a Latino future. The Democratic Party recently featured charismatic San Antonio, Texas Mayor Julian Castro in the primetime slot at their party’s national convention. More than that, between mid-April and June, the Obama campaign spent $1.7 million on advertising directed at Spanish-speaking Hispanics, according to SMG-Delta, a media firm that tracks campaign advertising. “Every purchase a Latino makes is a ‘vote’ for a brand,” said George L. San Jose, president and chief creative officer at The San Jose Group. “The Hispanic vote is just as important to the candidates as it is to brands. Campaigning leads to increased spending and ultimately ROI.” In 2012, the candidates have...

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#5- Do you speak my language?

We continue our blog on 5 Reasons for Higher Ad Recall Among Hispanics. What do Budweiser, Bounty and McDonald’s have in common? They have all successfully reached the Hispanic market with Spanish language print, radio and television ads. Spanish primetime advertisement spots reach over half the Hispanic population ages 18-49, while English ads only reach 40%.1 Deciding to advertise in a particular language involves more than simply translating copy. When done right, Spanish language ads produce 30% higher recall among Hispanics. Why? 5. Originality What happens if you are Hispanic and the only ads you see are of a picturesque Latino family coming together to share a meal? Ads lose their effect. While marketers and advertisers want to reach their targets by sparking a cultural connection, the name of the marketing game is still creativity. In language ads lacking creativity will not warrant effective results for marketers; however, originality operates as a great hook. In 2010, Bounty released a radio ad in Spanish entitled “Batalla” (Battle). The spot proved particularly creative as the battle was really a food fight (or a food war) in which only Bounty could win. Instead of the sound of marching, the words “flan, flan, flan” are spoken in a tone mimicking the sounds of a war march, in place of a bomb, the word “Pizza,” with an elongated “i” was spoken to imitate bombs, and replacing the sound of helicopters, the word “taco” was spoken in stagnated form simulating the sound of a chopper. While food fights might be hard to imagine with just sound, the Bounty ad creatively produced a strong vision of a food fight using only language. This award winning ad shows incorporating language with originality will make for effective advertising. Sources: 1. “Hispanics View TV in Language Used at Home.” (2011, Apr. 20). Marketing Charts. Retrieved from 5. Wentz, Laurel. (2010, Oct. 9). “Hispanic Creative Advertising Awards 2010 Best of Show: Bounty’s ‘Batalla’. Advertising Age. Retrieved from

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#4- Do you speak my language?

We continue our blog on Five Reasons for Higher Ad Recall Among Hispanics. What do Budweiser, Bounty and McDonald’s have in common? They have all successfully reached the Hispanic market with Spanish language print, radio and television ads. Spanish primetime advertisement spots reach over half the Hispanic population ages 18-49, while English ads only reach 40%.1 Deciding to advertise in a particular language involves more than simply translating copy. When done right, Spanish language ads produce 30% higher recall among Hispanics. Why? 4. Language says something about your brand and its personality What says more about your brand than the language you are using to communicate your message? When advertising to the multicultural or bilingual population, don’t just pick a language. For instance, for commercials running in the states, do not just put the language in English so that the spot is relevant to the general market as well. If you are targeting the Hispanic market, then aim for them—but keep in mind, the Hispanic market, although a minority market, stands as the largest minority market in the United States; they have different levels of acculturation, and with more acculturation comes a higher response from English language ads. So, when picking language, decide if you want to target the acculturated or unacculturated Hispanic market. From there, advertisers can naturally make language choices. When the McDonald’s “She is Mine” commercial originally aired in the United States, the quick service restaurant corporation aimed at acculturated Hispanics with cross-over appeal to the general market. Della De Lafuente writes in Ad Week that the actress was a Latina, the music used was “vaguely Latin and all the characters [were] dark-haired[.] The setting could be any global city and the character a range of ethnicities.”4 Therefore, despite the use of English in the ad, when speaking to acculturated Hispanics, the commercial successfully resonated with the Hispanic target. Because the ad was culturally relevant (incorporating one of the four F’s), the ad was eventually transculturated into Spanish and used in Latin...

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