Sep 172012

If you haven’t heard of YOLO, apparently you live under a rock or on another planet. Major corporations thrive on these trends and spin them into their own marketing campaigns to reach a specific market. Pepsi is reconnecting to the Hispanic consumer with a new product and a new ad tagline “Vive Hoy”. Sounds a lot like “You Only Live Once”.

“Vive Hoy,” a translation of Pepsi’s new, much-hyped tagline “Live for Now”. Pepsi has featured the likes of Sofia Vergara and other Hispanic celebrities in previous ads. Their new campaign will feature Lionel (Argentine soccer player superstar) and Nicki Minaj, to name a few. One of the key reasons Javier Farfan, senior director-cultural branding for Pepsi is focusing to dive deeper into the Hispanic lifestyle. “In the carbonated category, exponentially, growth is going to come from Latinos. There’s the population growth, but we’re also more prone to drink soda. So it became really important and strategic for Pepsi to get into that space” said, Javier Farfan.

PepsiCo is no stranger to the Hispanic market. In 2004, the company ranked No. 6 on Ad Age’s list of the Top 50 Advertisers in Hispanic Media, spending $68.5 million. But by 2007, the company had dropped to No. 27, spending $41 million. The next year, PepsiCo dropped off the list completely and hasn’t been ranked since. Their competition, Coca-Cola, ranked No. 24 in 2004, spending $27.7 million, and slipped to No. 48 in 2011, spending $29.8 million

Pepsi “lost its way to a certain extent, after years of being a pioneer in the Hispanic and multicultural space” admitted Javier Farfan. Let’s hope the new campaign works. I think I have had enough of hearing, “YOLO”.

The following is a guest blog post by Steve Nunez, Marketing Coordinator for La Opinion.

Source: Pepsico


Photo:  Pepsi

Sep 042012

Measuring ROI, exposure and appeal are only parts of the puzzle when reaching Hispanic consumers. They are a demographic segment that avidly shops retail, are culturally centric, usually of households of 4 or more and they are many. The AMA of Tampa Bay put together a nice little list of tips to help reach this profitable segment.

  • Cross the language barrier. Try creating some Spanish advertisements to bring in customers who may know little or no English. Make sure the person writing your copy knows fluent Spanish and will not include any embarrassing spelling slip ups or grammar errors!
  • Appeal to the entire family. The Hispanic community often places a lot of value on close family relationships. Create graphics that children will enjoy and offer promotions that encourage customers to come as a family unit, such as free admission or dining for children or elderly parents.
  • Keep it light. Advertisements that use scare tactics or scarcity threats will likely turn off potential Hispanic customers or clients. Instead, keep your marketing friendly, fun, and carefree.
  • Encourage brand loyalty. Research suggests that the Hispanic community is one of the most brand loyal demographics in America. Take advantage of this making your brand obvious and streamlined, providing excellent customer service in fluent English and Spanish, and offering a consistently high-quality product or service.
  • Don’t lump everyone together. Within the Hispanic are many subgroups. Your marketing technique will need to be readjusted depending on whether you are aiming for teens, parents, senior citizens, men, or women.

The article further states that some of the best ideas in marketing to this segment come from group brainstorming sessions and/or discussions, networking to other groups who work with this segment is also a great tool and resource. Often times we don’t think outside the box when it comes to marketing to Hispanics, the most effective strategies I’ve come across come from taking risks on something new and unconventional.

Tell us what you think….

Source: AMA Tampa Bay

Aug 022012

We all know that social media plays an important role in marketing and this is especially true with Hispanic-targeted marking. Approximately 61 percent of Hispanics primarily use social media for personal purposes. Other common uses of social media among Hispanics include business purposes, self promotion and for simply doing social good. If blogging is your social media outlet of choice to target the Hispanic market, make sure to provide relevant content and an opportunity for the audience to express how they feel and provide some valuable, honest feedback (just like!). There are even numerous tools and apps available to facilitate the use of social media.

Check out these top blogging tools that’ll help maximize your blogging experience.


InboxQ lets you create campaigns with different keywords. Usually the best thing to do is to create campaigns with keywords from topics you specialize in. So when someone asks a question with those keywords, you will be updated about it and you can answer the question.

Content Idea Generator

The Content Idea Generator (v2) is a Google Doc that will automatically find news and related stories for your blog from a variety of sources… everything from Google News to Reddit, from tweets to public Facebook updates and more.


For the blogger who is seeking a cool way to keep track of interesting articles for later blog posts, check out Diigo. This cool tool allows you to highlight and store interesting content for quick retrieval down the road.  You can even embed notes to your saved content.  It supports mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad and Android.


It helps me to really create an awesome community around our blog. You can up-vote and down-vote comments, see recurring commenters and have much better threading than in the old version. Plus, everything is in real time and it feels as if the post and comments are much better connected with each other. One last point I love is that you can show related articles at the bottom of the post and see top commenters at a glance.

Focus Booster

Focus Booster is a tool that many bloggers use to increase writing productivity. The essential aim of the technique and this app is to reduce the impact of internal and external interruptions on focus and flow. The immediate benefit is to block out common distractions to productivity, such as constantly checking your email and social accounts. Although the Pomodoro technique recommends 25-minute intervals, you may need to experiment to discover your optimal session length.


If you post something on Twitter that you’d like to replicate on your blog, IFTT is for you.  Sure, one can post wherever he or she wants, but this is the Internet and automation is almost always awesome. IFTTT is a (free) web service that lets you connect social media outlets together so that if something specific happens, IFTTT can produce another desired result on another connected Channel.

The following blogpost was written by Steve Nunez, Marketing Coordinator for La Opinion


Photo: Fan Pilot

Feb 162012
final logo

Award-winning Hispanic public relations case studies and some of the nation’s most renowned multicultural PR professionals will be spotlighted as part of the PR-related agenda of Hispanicize 2012 unveiled today.

Now in its third year, Hispanicize 2012 (April 10-13 in Miami) is the annual event focused on Latino trends and trendsetters in social media, entertainment, marketing and media. The event is a partnership of Hispanicize , the Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA) and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

“This year, Hispanicize brings top PR experts together while also presenting a platform for industry trends,” said Delia L. Lopez, President, Hispanic Public Relations Association, Los Angeles chapter (HPRA-L.A.). “HPRA put together sessions that showcase the evolution of PR in today’s integrated marketplace. This will be an event not to be missed.”

The public relations track of Hispanicize 2012 brings to nearly 40 the number of sessions confirmed for the event thus far. An additional 25 sessions are about to be announced related to Hispanic advertising, Latino social media and filmmaking. Altogether more than 110 speakers will present more than 60 sessions at Hispanicize 2012.
Hispanicize 2012’s roster of presenters currently features senior Hispanic brand marketers and non profit organization speakers from Unilever, Disney, BlackBerry, Google, Clorox, General Motors, RadioShack, UnitedHealthcare, Wal-Mart, Sprint, McDonald’s, Diageo, Ford, LiveStrong and the March of Dimes, among others. (See most recent list of speakers here ).

Among this year’s PR-focused sessions are:

  • Suave Professionals Desfilando Contigo Campaign
  • Changing Perceptions and Building Trust: How LIVESTRONG mobilizes Hispanics
  • A Model for Hispanic CSR Initiatives: McDonalds 27 year Legacy of Serving Hispanic Students
  • Using Social Media to Deliver Health Messages and Engage with Latina Moms and Families
  • Hispanic Media Relations in 2012
  • Futbol Marketing in 2012

For more information regarding this years most anticipated conference visit:

Aug 302011

We’ve Separated Ourselves From the Bigger Strategic Picture

Recently, I presented one of the general sessions at the Hispanic Retail 360 Conference. My presentation was titled “The 4C’s of Hispanic Market Retailing.” I listened to two and a half days of interesting market insight presentations focused on the 50 million Hispanic market size, engagement, connection and relevant Hispanic market reach.

On the last day, I looked out at the audience and asked, “Has Hispanic marketing really advanced in the past 20 years? Or, does it feel like we’re in a time warp? And more importantly, are companies really seeing the growth that matters most to their leadership?”

Sure, there are many more internal Hispanic experts inside the walls of corporate America. They all have the deep consumer insights. And, they certainly have the reach vehicles and a myriad of marketing properties from which to choose. And yet, Hispanic marketing spend remains an “expendable” expense representing only 1.2% of the $325 billion spent on advertising.

Could it be that Hispanic marketing is still managed as an afterthought? Could it be that corporate America still makes minimal efforts to organize internally to define “the how” of aligning back and front end operations to capture Hispanics’ contribution across their stated growth platforms? Could it be that Hispanic marketing is still driven by an industry which has an almost exclusively external marketing focus?

Read full article

The above article is a guest post from Terry J. Soto.

Terry J. Soto is the author of “Marketing to Hispanics A Strategic Approach to Assessing and Planning Your Initiative” and president-CEO of About Marketing Solutions.

Aug 252011

Florida State University is offering an online Hispanic Marketing Course for Professionals and Students starting August 2011.

This online course in Hispanic Marketing Communication will be offered this Fall Semester by the Florida State University Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication. The Center, headed by Dr. Felipe Korzenny, is pioneering education in Hispanic Marketing and is the only one of its kind in the United States. The course instructor is Holly McGavock, a seasoned account planner who has studied and worked with the Center for many years.

The online course is available to anyone interested and is particularly recommended for professionals currently addressing the Hispanic market, and those who would like to start a Hispanic marketing initiative. This course is also available to Florida State University students and students at other Colleges and Universities.

More info is available on their website Florida State University

For application information, contact Jennifer Boss at


Jul 272011

I recently had the honor to be interviewed by the Columbus, Georgia marketing firm Nao Media & Consulting. Nao Media is the brainchild of Chris Craft and works in the fields of music, sports, and information technology. We spoke about inspirations from my journeys to Mexico and Puerto Rico, the development of Latino Branding Power, and future plans with Hispanic marketing. With permission, I have re-posted the Q&A session with Nao Media consultant Yu Miyagawa.

Jonathan Mikulich has worn many hats throughout his professional career. From graphic design to public relations, Mikulich synthesized his experiences into Latino Branding Power, a website focused on the burgeoning Latino market. Jonathan recently sat down with NaoMediaCon to discuss his personal journey that lead him to create LBP, marketing to a diverse Latino audience, and his future plans for the site.

YM: I’m reading on your biography that you took a sabbatical in 2005 to revisit your roots in Mexico. Did you feel like you stuck in a rut or did you feel like there was a higher calling out there?

JM: I would say the most accurate sentiment would be a higher calling. I had two cousins that lived in Mexico for several months during their time in college and I thought that was the coolest thing. They traveled around the county and studied Spanish. For about ten years prior to my own journey, I had the thought that someday I would like to do the same as they did. I finally got enough nerve to do so. I consider it one of the most significant events in my life and it changed my whole outlook on how I see the world and, inevitably, myself. I had the privilege of connecting with distant family for the first time in my life. I met my grandfather’s cousin who was in his mid-nineties at the time. Of course there was a practical reason for going too, which was to improve my fluency in Spanish. But overall, it was a very personal experience.

YM: You’ve lived in Mexico and Puerto Rico for a period of time before settling in Michigan. Can you talk about some things you’ve learned along your way and the epiphanies you’ve had throughout your travels? I’m especially interested in the ideas you had while in Mexico and Puerto Rico.

JM: I lived in Puerto Rico for a few months right after I returned from Mexico. My wife is from there and we spent our time there together. It was really a time of connecting and absorbing all I could about these two cultures. Having spent the time in Mexico and Puerto Rico rather intimately, I learned what it meant to have true pride in the land. Here in the U.S., we have our ideals and values that drive our pride. In countries like Mexico where families have had a connection to the land for thousands of years, people have an unconditional love for their towns, states, and regions that exists beyond patriotism. This is a concept that is hard to comprehend in just a few weeks vacation. I believe you really need to acculturate yourself over time in order to have a true and unparalleled understanding of another culture.

YM: Along with traveling, you’ve also worked for a variety of clients and are currently pursuing a Masters in Business Administration. What have you learned from all those various aspects? Would you say that your experience has been more valuable than the classroom education, or vice versa?

JM: Although I’m glad to be working toward an MBA, I would have to say actual experience trumps classroom time. I feel privileged to have worked with as many people from various professions and backgrounds. Much of my experience has been as a designer. As designers, we need to have an empathetic understanding of our clients in order to deliver value driven work. I once worked on a campaign for a local health care provider. During that time, we met with doctors, nurses, and patients. We became familiar with what drives them to do their work and listened to the people in the community they served. These are insights that can’t be learned in class, no matter how valuable the tools are. That having been said, I can’t express enough about the value of higher education. As we seek to empower our communities, we must not overlook investing in opportunities for education. I know it has been said many times before, but there is a lot of truth to the statement.

YM: Take us through the nuts and bolts process of building Latino Branding Power, from coming up with the idea, brainstorming to developing a website and eventually building an audience?

JM: Latino Branding Power grew out of wanting to combine what I experienced and learned during my travels in Mexico and Puerto Rico and my years of experience in design and marketing. Like many that work in marketing to Latinos, I have kept track of the enormous growth of Hispanic communities and the impact they have and will continue to have on our nation. The recent Census results have lit a fire under many companies and organizations to better connect with Latinos. My goal was to launch the blog in conjunction with the Census results. I had the good fortune to have spent the last holiday season in Puerto Rico where I had both the time and inspiration to conceptualize the details of Latino Branding Power. Come January, I was able to put it all together, iron out the technical details, and finalize a “soft” launch of the website. Prior to Latino Branding Power, I did work as a designer and marketer along side professionals in linguistics and web development. With Latino Branding Power, I was able conceptualize my own ideas, further earn credibility as a marketer, and continue to build a base as a professional. Additionally, it has been an opportunity to further develop skills and knowledge in social media. This has been a significant learning experience for me and has been the catalyst for connecting and building a network of followers.

YM: What has Latino Branding Power taught you, or has it changed any of your perceptions? Have there been any surprises?

JM: I have found it interesting to track what interests people have when viewing your blog posts. For example, one of my more popular blog posts addressed the African influence in Latin America. There was quite a bit of interest about this topic and I hope to address it again in the near future. In maintaining a blog, I have learned about how to write and promote my posts to attract attention. There is a lot of advice out there on how to do this, but digging in and doing it yourself has been the best way to learn. You may be aware of recent studies that indicate a strong interest in issues related to Latinos on social media platforms. From my experience, I have found this to be quite true. Even though there are many well-maintained Latino interest blogs available, I have been pleasantly surprised at how quickly Latino Branding Power has grown and honored that people have found value in it.

YM: What advantages or disadvantages do you have being in West Michigan? For example, in another interview, you talk about how West Michigan doesn’t have a local Hispanic affiliate. Would your ideas be any different had you been living in Los Angeles or New York City?

JM: Here in West Michigan we have several radio, print, and a few online media outlets that serve our Latino communities. Unfortunately, there is not a local Spanish television affiliate. I would not say being in West Michigan is a disadvantage as much as it is a challenge. Many of our Latino communities do not exist in the mainstream as in other places like Los Angeles or New York City. We have to be more creative and resourceful in how we connect with these communities. However, even here in West Michigan, we are seeing signs of Latino influence beyond their communities. There was once a time when it was very hard to find a place to hear music from Latin America or venues that served Latino interests to socialize. Now there are places that are in competition for clients and customers. You see more non-Latinos learning Spanish and participating in activities like salsa dancing. Many of the venues now cater to mixed patrons – not just those of Latino origin.

YM: You’ve accepted a chair position at the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. You say that it’s important to understand that all Latinos don’t fit into a single box. What is your game plan for connecting with different types of Latinos?

JM: I accepted a chair position for a committee that assists with marketing for the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The current membership base of the chamber is roughly split in half between general market businesses and Latino owned businesses. Of the Latino owned businesses, about half represent “recent arrivals” or first generation immigrants. They mainly communicate in Spanish. The other half is Latinos of second, third, and above generations and is more acculturated to the U.S. way of life. Likewise, this group is predominantly bilingual and bicultural. We realize that we will need to develop differentiated messages to these various member groups. We also know that they value different benefits and we will need to take that under consideration in order to continue their memberships. At the same time, we will need to be consistent with the chamber’s overall brand in order to maintain its integrity.

YM: What are current and future goals you have for the Latino Branding Power website?

JM: Currently I’m seeking to take Latino Branding Power to the next level for myself professionally. Ideally, I would like to use it as a hub to connect and eventually work with other professionals and businesses in Hispanic marketing. The original intent was to talk about topics related to Hispanic marketing but use local examples from West Michigan. This has been successful but at the same time it has been great to see interest in Latino Branding Power from other areas across the U.S. and even from other countries. While I am still seeking to grow interest locally in West Michigan, I am also very much interested to expanding beyond. For example, the fact that you and your organization contacted me is inspiration to continue and grow.

Click here to view the original blog post. For more information about Nao Media & Consulting, please visit:

Jul 142011

Powered by the 2010 Census results, there has been some buzz around the Hispanic marketing arena about what the rapid growth among U.S. Hispanic populations will mean for the future of marketing to Latinos. Traditionally, Hispanic advertising has been seen as a niche-marketing specialty. It was primarily driven by a need to customize brand messages to an under-represented Latino population that spoke Spanish. However, recent insights are now challenging this concept as well as the whole idea of demographic based marketing in itself. One popular fact to emerge from the Census found that over half of all children under two are non-whites. This generation will fuel tremendous growth and change in the U.S. population over the next thirty to forty years. Recent reports also indicate that younger Latinos are language neutral – having neither a preference for Spanish or English. They do, however, value bi-culturalism and being both parts U.S. and Latin American. If Latinos are set to become such an integrated part of the U.S. population, regardless of language, should they really be referred to as a niche market?

A recent study by Horowitz Associates has found that many U.S. Latinos are not categorical in their own cultural perceptions. Although many are bilingual and bicultural, the study indicates 72% of Latinos prefer English programming on television. Yet four out ten indicate they watch Spanish language television at least every other day. These insights suggest much about the high value these individuals place on culturally relevant content.

Adriana Waterston, VP of Marketing and Business Development for Horowitz Associates states,

“The Hispanic market as always been complex and diverse, with a market for both Spanish and English language media, marketing, and advertising. It has never been exclusively about language as much as it is about cultural relevance. There is a large and growing opportunity for language-agnostic content and messaging that speaks to the experience of being both American and Latino that will resonate loudly with this bicultural segment.”

It is no longer relevant to expect Hispanic customers to simply adapt to all aspects of U.S. consumer behavior. Some marketers have already been preparing for a new future with new rules. A recent article by Jon Garrido refers to our current national state as Nuevo Hispania and advises marketers to heed the call.

“For decades, businesses and cultural institutions could afford to ignore the Hispanic market. Now, they are chasing it aggressively, because that’s where the money is.

That poses a big challenge. Underrepresented for decades in U.S. commerce and media, Hispanic Americans long ago developed their own commercial, cultural and media channels. And that means companies and institutions can’t just throw open the doors and expect Hispanics to come in.

Those companies and institutions must go to the customer.”

We can no longer assume acculturation is a one-way process that measures the level of Latino assimilation to the U.S. way of life. The truth is, the U.S. is also becoming acculturated to the Hispanic way of life – a Latinization, if you will, of America. Just like marketers of general market products seeking Latino consumers, some manufacturers of traditionally Hispanic market products are re-aligning to attract new general market consumers. Novamex, the manufacturer of the popular Mexican soft drink Jarritos, is now expanding its focus from Latino consumers to the general market. Initial consumer research has found Jarritos, with its unique flavors and colorful variety, has a very appealing product value to non-Latinos. I have no doubt we will see more Latin American products and services going mainstream.

What is important is not how well we understand the facts and figures that tout Latino growth and influence, but how well we understand what it means for the current state of the U.S. Perhaps the question should not be “what is it like to be Latino in America?” but rather “what is it like to be an American in a Latinized nation?”

The following was a guest blog post by Jonathan A. Barrera Mikulich of

Jul 062011

When seeking to connect with Hispanic communities, it is important to consider the various factors that determine how Latinos view themselves and the world around them. The diversity of Latin-American cultures and nationalities, the use of Spanish language, and levels of acculturation in the U.S. are just a few of these factors. Insights based on these can resonate with Latino audiences and deliver value. This also implies that marketers should develop distinct and relevant brand messages for Hispanics. But what is a brand to do when Latino branded messages appear to be in conflict or too differentiated from the general market brand message?

Too many separate brand messages can inhibit a company’s overall brand integrity. If an individual receives one brand message from a general market campaign and different message from a targeted ethnic campaign, there is the possibility of the overall brand being perceived as confusing. The challenge then is maintaining the established brand while delivering a distinctly targeted brand message to the Latino consumer. Can this be done successfully?

One successful example, in my opinion, is the current Mayhem campaign from Allstate. Most of us have probably seen these popular television spots that feature “Mayhem,” a reckless character who represents unforeseen accidents and causes damage to cars, homes, and property. This series of ads uses humor to portray the importance of being prepared for events that can lead to major insurance claims.

Allstate has recently created a Spanish version of “Mayhem” using a different character aptly named “La Mala Suerte” (Bad Luck). The Spanish campaign continues the concept of the accident-causing antagonist of the English version, but with a distinct Latino flavor and attitude. Developed by the award-winning Latino advertising firm Lapiz, the Mala Suerte campaign was conceptualized based on the cultural insight that Hispanics typically blame fate or bad luck on accidents, not people. Understandably then, La Mala Suerte is more suave and debonair than his haphazard cousin Mayhem. Although the two campaigns are differentiated through cultural relevance, they are tied together conceptually and enhance Allstate’s overall brand message.

I affectionately refer to the example above as a “branding cousin” marketing strategy – campaigns that are distinctly different yet belong to the same family. For marketers looking to brand their own Latino “kissing cousin”, here are some questions to consider:

  • How can your current products and services for the general market be aligned with Latino values and attitudes?
  • What commonalities exist that can be leveraged in branding to both the general and Hispanic markets?
  • How can different brand campaigns “stay in the same family” considering that multi-cultural and multi-lingual Hispanics will most likely experience both?

We know brands targeted to Latinos need to be culturally relevant and differentiated, but we also know also a company’s overall brand strategy needs to maintain consistency and integrity. This provides a unique challenge to marketers trying to reach Hispanic consumers. Do you know of any other brands that use a similar “kissing cousin” strategy?

The following was a guest blog post by Jonathan A. Barrera Mikulich of

Jun 202011

This Webcast will examine how programmers and cable operators package, market and deliver content to effectively reach multicultural audiences, including Hispanic, Asian and African-American viewers among others. Panelists will discuss outreach programs and how they identify and deliver specific offerings aimed at diverse groups of viewers. The webcast will also address what tactics are used to attract and retain multicultural audiences in this market of increasingly time-shifted and multiple-screen viewing.

June 23, 2011
2pm EST / 11am PST

Moderated by:
R. Thomas Umstead, Multimedia Editor for

Robyn Remick, VP Affiliate Marketing for Disney & ESPN Media Networks
David Jensen, VP Content Aquisition for Comcast Cable
Danielle Wade, VP of Customer Care and Marketing for Bright House Networks

To Register: