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Hispanic Millennials are Not Acculturating, 'They're Shaping the Broader Culture, They're at the Center of Your Brand'

First Posted: Oct 01, 2014 03:41 PM EDT
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President and CEO of marketing firm Pinta, Mike Valdes-Fauli, believes that brand loyalty can be won within the Hispanic millennial market, just as soon as advertisers and marketers understand that "brand value matters."

"What does this mean for you? How can we give you some actual takeaways?" said Valdes-Fauli during the "Debunking the Millennial Myth," an Advertisement Week event held on Monday, Sept. 29. "We have to start by realizing that traditional Hispanic advertising is dead."

According to Valdes-Fauli, we're entering an era where it'll be less about language and more about cultural fluency. The Hispanic market resembles the mass market more than it has in previous generations. Hispanic millennials don't resemble their parents, yet they are not the general market. Because of this, marketers may want to hire a cultural interpreter to better understand this demographic.

Hispanic millennials are not acculturating, "they're shaping the broader culture. They're at the center of your brand."

"Language is not the most important thing, staying connected to culture and realizing that there isn't a 'one size fit all solution,' and, of course, what's critically important... realize that 20 percent of millennials are Hispanics, and the numbers are increasing enormously...so anyone who is willing to ignore 20 percent of the population, which we're almost at, are probably going to be leaving a lot of dollars on the table," said Valdes-Fauli.

Marketers have just started to catch up, however numerous alcohol and spirit companies have long understood the role of capital gain in the "American Dream." They realized that lavish items such as Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz luxury cars are impossible for willful, but low-earning foreigners to attain when first actualizing that "dream," so they made amendments. Immigrants, and Latinos on their road to success, are informed by alcohol companies that they, too, can enjoy luxury ... in the small scale, by placing extravagant bottles of liquor on their dinner tables and on their bar counters.

Rum, tequila and whiskey gain high-grossing numbers, whether it's high-end or bottom-shelf, and they disproportionately sell above other markets. Carlos Santana acts as the face of Casa Noble Tequila, and he's just one example of the many Latino faces or part owners that beckon Latinos to drink high-quality alcohol. Many brands sell just 8 or 9 percent of their total revenue, according to Mike Valdes-Fauli. However, in the case of Latino-centered alcohol brands, they sell 30-40 percent of total cases.

Buchanan's is a Diageo-owned Scotch whisky produced in Scotland, but favored in Latin America. According to the CEO of the marketing firm, "it's about as famous and enjoyed as Johnny Walker [in Latin America], which is an interesting insight because it's the number one whisky among Mexicans in the U.S." The entire business of Buchanan's in the U.S. centers around Mexicans, however Buchanan's seeks out other ethnicities, including Anglos and non-Hispanics.

But, Buchanan's isn't simply a brand that's done well; it's a brand that's survived and thrived as a result of having Hispanic patrons. Pinta successfully handled social media, marketing, communications and public relations for Buchanan's, and they engaged influencers and handled product integration for the company.

Thanks to Pinta, Buchanan's Facebook reach was far into the millions because Pinta utilized influencers and celebrities to populate the page with content that spoke to consumers, and made sure that it "didn't seem like an afterthought." No English-language versions of things were posted on Facebook, so Hispanic users could feel the respect was being extended to them.

The Latin Billboard Awards was where Pinta was able to demonstrate how celebrities embrace brands if encountered in the correct way. Rather than pleading with a celebrity to tweet for a fee, Pinta stood at the end of the red carpet, and celebrities such as Karla Gomez, Robertico and dozens of others voiced their thoughts and praise in Spanish about Buchanan's for free, equating to months of social media coverage for the company.

Because Hispanic millennials over index in communicating with celebrities, and they respect celebrity opinions on brands, they happily consume those products, as well as products that take the time to communicate with them.

Check Pinta out on their website, on Facebook and on Twitter. Also, keep up with Adweek on Twitter.

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