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Metaverse, TikTok, AR – Best Practices for Engaging Diverse Consumers in Media

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Metaverse, TikTok, AR – Best Practices for Engaging Diverse Consumers in Media
Learn how Americans across races, ethnicities, and generations engage with emerging technology and media, including the metaverse, AR, VR, emerging social media platforms, and influencers.

November 21, 2022
Jill Rosenfeld – Research Manager

Media is a major aspect of consumers’ everyday lives, and today’s media landscape is always changing. Technologies like the metaverse, augmented reality, and virtual reality, along with emerging trends in social media like influencer marketing, have the potential to change people’s everyday lives. For brands and advertisers across industries to succeed, they need to understand how people feel about these new technologies, their current usage rates, and if they are interested in using them in the future.

Read on and fill out the form for an excerpt from our
Best Practices for Engaging Diverse Consumers in Media presentation.

Collage Group’s 2022 study on emerging media provides insights across races, ethnicities, and generations on Americans’ behaviors around the metaverse, AR, VR, wearable smart devices, and NFTs. It also looks at newer and emerging social media platforms like TikTok and BeReal, and the power of influencer marketing.

Key Findings: The Metaverse

    • Millennials, alongside Hispanic and Black Americans are more likely to have tried the metaverse and to believe it is for people like them.
    • 1 in 2 Americans want to learn more about the metaverse and they want brands to play a role in that education. This desire is particularly strong for Black Americans.
    • Entertainment is the most popular reason Americans are interested in the metaverse today. This is particularly true for Black and Hispanic Americans.

Context:

Millennial and Multicultural Americans, particularly Hispanic Americans, are keen to try new technologies as soon as they come out. For Millennials, they have grown up in an era of new tech adoption and now have relatively more resources to buy in to the new tech. Multicultural Americans often turn to technology to explore the world and their own culture, as well as the culture of others.

Many Americans expect brands to be more than just the products and services they offer. Black Americans especially want brands to step up on a host of issues. The lack of clarity still surrounding the metaverse makes it an important opportunity for brands to play a guiding role.

Entertainment holds the key to consumers’ current use (video games, digital concerts, experiences, etc.) and future appeal. Since the metaverse is still in an experimental development phase, entertainment is the most compelling reason for consumers to give the tech a try.

 Action Steps:

    • Develop your metaverse marketing strategy with early adopters – Millennial and multicultural consumers- in mind.
    • During this early phase of the metaverse, take steps to educate consumers about this emerging technology. This can include specific information on what is and isn’t considered the metaverse, the promise the technology holds, and what consumers can expect from your brand on the metaverse.
    • When connecting with Americans on the metaverse, prioritize entertainment experiences. Sponsoring a concert or sports game on the metaverse will be a way to tap into the many Americans who want to use the platform for these experiences.

Key Findings: AR, VR, and Wearable Devices

    • Americans are still not using AR or VR technology at high rates, although many are likely using AR without knowing it.
    • Asian and Hispanic Americans are most likely to use wearable devices. Health and fitness is the leading reason to use these devices, particularly for Asian Americans.

Context:

Many Americans may be unaware that they have used AR in their everyday life because they don’t relate the experience they had with the label of AR. As a result, the concept of “augmented reality” doesn’t have as much traction with consumers as the specific uses and platforms do.

Multicultural Americans, particularly Hispanic and Asian, have a strong passion for fitness. They are more likely to enjoy working out and a wearable device such as an Apple Watch or Fitbit allows them to stay connected to their fitness goals. But, while many Americans use their wearable for fitness, they are also glancing at their wearable throughout the day.

 Action Steps:

    • Don’t get caught up in labeling the technology your brand offers. Many are enjoying the experience they are getting from this technology, even if they don’t use the terminology.
    • Make marketing “glanceable” so that emails and newsfeeds can work in the small screen of the wearable as well.

Key Findings: Social Media and Influencers

    • Short content is the star of social media platforms, and that is especially true for TikTok. Americans lean into short videos whether they are on TikTok for just a few minutes or way longer.
    • While most Americans think that marketing coming directly from brands is more trustworthy than an influencer, they also find influencers and content creators to be trustworthy sources of information.

Context:

TikTok is known for its “snackable” content, and the desire for Americans to see shorter videos aligns with why this platform became so popular to begin with. Shorter content gives viewers control over how much they watch. Even if they end up watching many videos, it still feels more manageable than committing to one, longer piece of content.

Consumers are savvy about influencer marketing, and partnerships with influencers who are transparent and trustworthy will feel more authentic to them. People don’t expect an absence of advertising on social media, but they do prefer it to be clearly identified as such.

 Action Steps:

    • When advertising on TikTok, keep it “snackable” and deliver videos less than one minute in length.
    • When partnering with a content creator on social media, select those that are authentic and trustworthy including offering transparency and honesty in their decisions and potentially going out of their way to combat misinformation.

Other Holidays & Occasions Research Articles and Insights from Collage Group

Jill Rosenfeld

Jill Rosenfeld
Research Manager

Jill is a Research Manager on Collage Group’s Cultural Insights team focusing on the LGBTQ+ and Gender membership. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. In her spare time, Jill enjoys exploring Washington DC’s restaurant scene and practicing yoga.

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Multicultural Americans Say the American Dream is Still in Reach

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Multicultural Americans Say the American Dream is Still in Reach

November 10, 2022
Jack Mackinnon – Director, Product and Content

In one of our latest studies – America Now 2022: Harnessing American Identity to Navigate Social Issues – we uncovered multicultural Americans’ deep faith in the “American Dream.” Seventy-eight percent of Black, Asian, and Hispanic consumers say they have either already reached, or believe they can one day obtain the American Dream.

On the other hand, White consumers weren’t as confident, as only 69% of that segment said the Dream is reachable.

Read on and fill out the form for the recording from our America Now presentation.

To fully understand consumers’ conception of the American Dream, we asked Americans how they define it. Most told us the Dream comprises of homeownership, the ability to retire from work, freedom to live how one desires, and family life stability.

Taking that practical definition into account, we found that 25% of Asian consumers and 21% of Hispanics consumers said that they have already achieved the American Dream. Further, an additional 60% of Hispanic Americans, and 59% of Black Americans, said they haven’t reached the Dream yet, but they expect to fulfill the Dream in the future. 

Hispanic Americans and Black Americans exhibit more certainty in terms of their outlooks in comparison to other American segments. This belief carries over to the faith they have in seeking and eventually achieving the American Dream.

As stated, White Americans aren’t in agreement with this line of thinking. Twelve percent said the American Dream was out of reach for them. To that point, White respondents agree with Black Americans; 20% from both segments said the American Dream was never attainable, no matter how hard they worked in favor of one day reaching it.

The results were different, however, when we sought to understand pride in American. Findings showed that overall, Americans are “quite proud of their country.” Seventy-five percent of those surveyed said they are proud to be an American. White Americans were in front of all racial and ethnic demographics in regard to this question with 79% saying they agree with that sentiment. From the perspective of age, Boomers are the proudest, as 88% responded that they are proud of their country.

Sixty-five percent of Americans said they believe the United States is the best country in the world. Again, White Americans led in this category, with 69% sharing this viewpoint. Baby boomers were the generation that led in this group – 82% said the U.S. is the best country.

By contrast, younger generations were far less likely to agree with this sentiment of the U.S. being the best. Only 36% of Gen Z said the U.S. was the best in the world, compared to 68% of Gen Xers and 59% of millennials.

While Gen Z Americans have a completely different perspective of American exceptionalism, this doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate the country. We must be mindful that this generation has had access to greater diversity and a more global perspective from an earlier age than all other older Americans. In turn, they have a unique mindset; they are more likely to look outward.

The America Now study also revealed an intriguing insight about how consumers assess gun violence. Multicultural consumers are the most concerned about such violence, as 80% of Black consumers said gun violence is serious or a very serious problem. Asian consumers agreed to the tune of 77% and Hispanic consumers concurred to the tune of 75%.

Black and Hispanic consumers were also on the same page regarding racism being a high-ranking area of concern, with 77% and 68% respectively, citing it as serious or very serious.

So, while multicultural Americans point to racism as a significant matter, they also say it’s an area where they do want brands to engage. This is especially the sentiment among younger Americans. Sixty-five percent of Gen Zer’s state that racism is a serious issue to them.

Brands should pay close attention to the complex mix of perceptions toward American social and political issues across diverse segments. Focus on insights pertaining to America, as well as the issues Americans care about and where they show concern.

Hispanic, Black, and Gen Z Americans are those most likely to say, ‘we want to see brands engaging in a set of topics we care about,’ such as racism or climate change. Moreover, these demographics are engaged and positive about the American Dream in surprising, if not counter-intuitive ways. It’s important to do the research to understand this phenomenon and how brands can activate successfully in this context.

Other Holidays & Occasions Research Articles and Insights from Collage Group

Jack McKinnon

Jack Mackinnon
Director, Product and Content

Jack Mackinnon is a new addition to the Collage Group syndicated research team. He brings consumer insight expertise across Multicultural, Generations, and LGBTQ+ segments.

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Winter Holidays: Key Insights and What Brands Need To Know

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Winter Holidays: Key Insights and What Brands Need To Know
Learn how American consumers across racial and ethnic segments prepare for and celebrate the winter holiday season.

October 24, 2022
Elizandra Granillo – Analyst

Holidays and occasions are focal points for many Americans. These events afford people the opportunity to express their cultural traditions and individual preferences through decorations, food and beverage, entertainment, and activities.

Read on and fill out the form for an excerpt from our Multicultural Holidays & Occasions presentation.

Holidays and occasions are also important for brands and organizations as they present an opportunity to deepen connection with consumer segments. Day of the Dead, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Kwanzaa are some of the key winter holidays brands need to understand to fully capture diverse America’s attention. Collage Group helps marketers and insights leaders connect around this holiday by providing insights that clarify the similarities and differences in how American consumers across diverse segments prepare for and celebrate these holidays. These insights allow for more efficient and effective activations that capture greater mind and market share.

Key Insight #1:

Half of Hispanic Americans celebrate Día de los Muertos, and Bicultural and Unacculturated Hispanic Americans are most comfortable with brands activating on this holiday.

Key Insight #2:

Most Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, and most Multicultural consumers incorporate non-traditional foods into their Thanksgiving celebrations.

Key Insight #3:

 Hispanic and Asian American segments are more likely to say their Christmas celebrations go beyond “typical” American traditions.

Key Insight #4:

Kwanzaa is a popular holiday, celebrated by many Black Americans.

Key Insight #5:

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are popular for Black and Asian Americans as a kick-off to holiday shopping.

What can my brand do to activate on a winter holiday?

    • Focus on authenticity, particularly if you are activating on a holiday that is celebrated by a specific racial or ethnic segment like Dia de los Muertos and Kwanzaa. Depending on your brand, this can include a simple celebratory message on social media pages, helping to educate the broader community about the holiday, or partnering with in-segment content creators to tell their own personal stories related to the holiday.
    • Highlight what is non-traditional about traditional American holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas are celebrated across racial and ethnic segments, but many Multicultural Americans have their own traditions based on their heritage and upbringing. Showing the range of how Americans celebrate will appeal to many Americans, particularly those who are Multicultural, and who have different ways of celebrating.

Other Holidays & Occasions Research Articles and Insights from Collage Group

Elizandra Granillo
Analyst

Elizandra is an Analyst on Collage Group’s Product & Content team. She is a 2020 graduate from San Diego State University where she studied Anthropology. Her previous experience includes ethnographic research across the Tijuana-San Diego Border Region.

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America’s Iconic Brands Most Effective at Winning Hispanic Consumers

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America’s Iconic Brands Most Effective at Winning Hispanic Consumers
I had the pleasure of taking part in one of our recent in-house studies, which took a look at over 250 iconic brands. In the end, we were able to objectively identify the top 10 brands for Hispanic consumers. 

October 4, 2022
David Evans – Chief Insights Officer

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The evaluation examined brand performance as part of our monthly CultureRate survey and assessed cultural resonance for each major demographic segment.

Read on and fill out the form for an excerpt from our
Top 10 Brands for Hispanic Consumers presentation.

Based on Collage Group’s proprietary metric – the Brand Cultural Fluency Quotient (B-CFQ) – the top brands for Hispanic consumers are Walmart, Netflix, McDonald’s, Nike, YouTube, Ross, Google, Visa, Amazon, and Dove. These brands showcase two elements: 1) strong commitment to the Hispanic community and 2) excellence in marketing executions that authentically resonate with the cultural traits and needs of Hispanic consumers.

I should note, the CultureRate database is the largest of its kind available, and its growing annually by over 200,000 responses, or 30 million unique datapoints. Brand leaders apply the findings from CultureRate:Ad and CultureRate:Brand to build cultural fluency, the capability to drive total market growth from inclusive, diverse-led marketing.

As stated, we use the B-CFQ. By this standard, the 10 brands proved to be well ahead of all others in terms of appealing to America’s Hispanic segment. Additionally, three of the brands don’t appear in the top 10 for other segments, and this shows how each segment is distinct.

The B-CFQ reflects brand performance across six dimensions: Fit; Relevance, Memories (of positive past experiences), Values, Trust, and Advocacy (which is the willingness to spread positive word-of-mouth).

With regard to Hispanic consumers, all 10 top brands excelled on Fit and Relevance. Fit measures whether the brand offers a personally desirable product, and Relevance pertains to whether the brand connects with a consumer’s group identity. Moreover, each of the top 10 brands also scored particularly well on one to two additional B-CFQ dimensions.

Xue Bai, the Director of Brand and Ad Health Measurement explains it best: “Brands win by taking the lead in the areas of Fit and Relevance. But the true winners go one step further by differentiating in one or more other areas.”

Bai says successful brands truly excel at creating positive past experiences for consumers, earning their deep trust, or driving positive word-of-mouth. And she points out that each of the 10 brands named have taken these actions within the Hispanic community.

Bai says brands should build their core on Fit and Relevance, and after that, they should choose to focus on one or more of the additional dimensions to craft a winning marketing strategy.

Building Relevance requires upholding and activating Warmth and Rootedness – key traits among Hispanic consumers. Brands should also acknowledge and celebrate Hispanic patriotic pride, and be mindful to connect with the Hispanic sense of destiny and their Optimism.

Brand case studies show that winners succeed at aligning brand positioning with the cultural traits of Hispanic consumers. When brands take this approach, shoppers reward them by supporting or purchasing their product.

Engaging with Hispanic communities and groups at all levels shows a commitment to Values and builds Trust.

An example of this is seen in Nike’s support of national Hispanic organizations, as the company engaged through connections to specific Hispanic communities in key areas when it partnered with U.S. Sports Camps. The collaboration led to daylong opportunities for Los Angeles area kids to experience baseball.

Brands also prosper when they effectively build Memories and Fit. This entails that a given brand tie their brand value proposition to important Hispanic values of hospitality and intergenerational respect. Further, they should leverage brand strengths that best meet the fluid needs of time starved bicultural families. This means also enticing the Hispanic traits of Resilience and Adventurous mindset.

To that point, McDonald’s chose to honor a trailblazing Latino international icon with their “J Balvin special combo meal.” By placing this item on the menu and recognizing this Latino artist, McDonald’s taps into the exceptional and adventurous Hispanic pallet and mindset.

In conclusion, I would say that in order to build brand loyalty – whether it be with Hispanic shoppers or another segment – brands must go beyond promoting superficial insights. Simply put, that’s just not enough. Brands need to do the necessary research in order to determine ‘the why’. They must grasp how their values and brand positioning truly connects with Hispanic cultural values. This is imperative.

About Collage Group

Collage Group is the leading source of cultural intelligence about diverse consumers to more than 250 of America’s iconic brands across 15 industries. For more than 10 years, Collage Group has developed consumer insights across race and ethnicity, generation, sexual identity, gender and parent-child relationships with a focus on high-growth consumer segments. Members of the Collage Group Cultural Intelligence Programs –Multicultural, Generations, LGBTQ+ & Gender and Parents & Kids–have access to 10+ years of consumer insights and 300+ studies with new data unveiled weekly. Learn more about why America’s iconic brands turn to Collage Group for diverse consumer insights and best practices.

About CultureRate

With CultureRate:Ad and Brand, Collage Group provides competitive rankings of all top brands and ads in every major category. The CultureRate database is the largest of its kind available, growing annually by over 200,000 responses or 30 million unique datapoints. Through a deep oversample of diverse Americans, brand leaders can access rich insight into how consumers process brands and ads across race and ethnicity, generation, sexual orientation and gender. ​Brand leaders apply the findings from CultureRate:Ad and CultureRate:Brand to build cultural fluency, the capability to drive total market growth from inclusive, diverse-led marketing.

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Other Recent Hispanic Research Articles and Insights from Collage Group

David Evans
Chief Insights Officer

David serves as the Chief Insights Officer responsible for content, data science and innovation. He is passionate about creating the critical insights that can transform the fortunes of our members, informing how we create an unparalleled member experience with our products, and build great places to work.

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Understand and Embrace Multicultural Consumer Media Habits and Channels

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Understand and Embrace Multicultural Consumer Media Habits and Channels
Learn how Multicultural Americans engage with Media, including social media, movies, TV shows, music, reading, and podcasts.

September 30, 2022
Elizandra Granillo – Analyst

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Media is a major aspect of consumers’ everyday lives. Americans spend a significant amount of their time and attention consuming social media, visual entertainment, and audio streaming content. For brands and advertisers across industries to succeed, they need to understand where people are going to consume media content, and why they’re going there.

Read on and fill out the form for an excerpt from our
Multicultural Consumer Media Habits & Channels presentation.

Collage Group’s 2022 Media Habits and Channels Study provides insights across Multicultural segments on the specific platforms American media users go to, their media habits, and their preferences for media content. The data dives deep into content and platform drivers—spanning categories, passion points, and identity attributes.

Key Finding #1: Multicultural Americans Interact with Various Media Channels

Hispanic and Black Americans are most likely to follow influencers and celebrities on social media. They are also more likely to interact with different media categories (TV, Movies, Music, Books) via social media.

Context:

Hispanic Americans’ younger age and general tech-savviness are part of the reasons they are so dialed into using social media. Black Americans are often at the cutting edge of new trends in the areas of fashion, music, and television and social media is often the best forum to get information first.

Action Step:

    • Partner with emerging influencers and celebrities to appeal to Black and Hispanic Americans.
    • If your brand has a media component, offer ways for Black and Hispanic Americans to interact with it online (e.g., specific social media pages to follow a musician, author, or TV show).

Key Finding #2: Young Multicultural Americans Experience Culture through the Movies They Watch

All Multicultural Americans want diverse representation in the movies they watch, but Black Americans are the most likely to want this. The segment has particularly leaned into horror films.

Context:

Movie genres, specifically ones like Horror, are an opportunity for Black Americans to explore their own histories in America in ways that not only appeal to the segment but also teach others about Black Americans’ history in this country.

Action Step:

    • Movie releases are a viable partnership opportunity for brands. When considering which movie release to partner with, prioritize those with diverse directing, casting, and culturally relevant plot lines.

Key Finding #3: Asian Americans and Unacculturated Hispanic Americans Are More Likely to Watch and Follow the News

While comedy is the most popular form of TV to watch, Unaccultured Hispanic and Asian Americans are more likely than others to watch and follow the news. International news and news that originates from their family’s country of origin are specific types of news the segments’ keep up with.

Context:

Hispanic and Asian Americans are culture-focused and maintaining ties to their heritage is important to them. Following international news is important for these segments who may be recent immigrants from another country or still have family in other parts of the world.

Action Step:

    • Recognize the value in advertising your brand on news channels or news “hours”, particularly to appeal to Hispanic and Asian Americans.

Key Finding #4: Across Multicultural Segments, Music Tied to Cultural Heritage Matters

Multicultural Americans are more likely than White Americans to enjoy listening to music that has a connection to their history and cultural heritage.

Context:

Music that is tied to history or cultural tradition matters to Multicultural Americans who love music because of their personal relationship to it. In addition, certain genres of music, such as Latin music, are now popular for all Americans. The upbeat nature of the music, rhythmic beats, make it appealing whether the lyrics are in English or Spanish.

Action Step:

    • Celebrate the contributions Multicultural Americans have made in music, across different genres.
    • Thoughtfully curate music genres to connect with specific Multicultural segments, but lean into the wide crossover appeal of pop, rock, R&B, and Hip-Hop.

Key Finding #5: Multicultural Americans Enjoy Shopping for Physical Books

While digital and audio books are gaining popularity, Americans still prefer the experience of shopping for and buying a physical book.

Context:

With so many digital media content options, physical books provide a mental break from digital stimulation and that appeals to younger and older Americans alike.

Action Step:

    • Show people reading physical books or browsing in a bookstore in ads and marketing content to resonate with the many readers in the country.

Contact us at the form below to learn more about how you can gain access to these diverse consumer insights and much more in our Cultural Intelligence Platform.

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Other Recent Multicultural Research Articles and Insights from Collage Group

Elizandra Granillo
Analyst

Elizandra is an Analyst on Collage Group’s Product & Content team. She is a 2020 graduate from San Diego State University where she studied Anthropology. Her previous experience includes ethnographic research across the Tijuana-San Diego Border Region.

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Brand Leaders from Paramount, H-E-B and Adsmovil on Engaging and Celebrating the Hispanic Culture

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Brand Leaders from Paramount, H-E-B and Adsmovil on Engaging and Celebrating Hispanic Culture
Last week I had the pleasure of moderating an engaging and informative panel discussion on how brands connect with and celebrate Hispanic culture. 

September 20, 2022
Victor Paredes – Executive Director of Cultural Strategy

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The conversation was very enlightening and purposely held on September 15, the first day of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Read on and fill out the form below to watch the full presentation,
How Great Brands Are Engaging & Celebrating Hispanic Culture.

As the Executive Director of Cultural Strategy at Collage Group, I am always looking to help our members absorb our research and findings, and then move to translate that insight into actions. With cutting edge research and analysts on our team, including trusted colleague Jack Mackinnon – Collage’s Senior Director of Product and Content – I’m perpetually armed with the latest information and data. In having our discussion, I wanted to share Collage’s findings so others may better understand how to approach and celebrate the culture.

Jack joined our panel briefly to offer a quick synopsis on modern Hispanic consumers. He first provided a bit of background on Hispanic and Latino terminology and the internal diversity within the Hispanic culture. These insights are key to any company looking to capture this audience’s attention. Jack also discussed the growth of the Hispanic community over time. One noteworthy stat he cited involved the projected increase of the population; multicultural Americans are expected to surpass the non-Hispanic White population in the 2040s.

With such growth anticipated, brands must take notice and prepare a strategy to reach these segments.

According to Collage research, 57% of Hispanics celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Not to mention just under 15% of the Black population and almost the same percentage of the Asian population also observe the month. Moreover, 91% of the Hispanic community either wants, or doesn’t object to, brands including Hispanic Heritage Month within their advertising.

Panelist Maria Twena, Chief Marketing Officer at Adsmovil, noted that 55% of U.S. Hispanics either came to the country as a child at age 10 or younger, or are a child with at least one foreign born, immigrant parent. Maria says this bilingual, bicultural segment is the largest within the Hispanic market. Brands are aware of this demographic and as one part of their approach, they have wisely started to vie for this group’s attention.

“They inform brand and product purchases at a very early age,” she said of this cohort. “We’re seeing brands focus more on that segment as a primary target – keeping the Spanish dominant as a core target, obviously, but a shift is slowly happening in terms of who the primary target is.”

Angel Bellon, Senior Director of Creative Strategy & Cultural Intelligence at Paramount, called on brands, and society as a whole, to move away from the myth that advertisements toward the Hispanic community must include Spanish speaking.

“It’s time to look beyond language,” Angel said.

“Of course, Spanish language advertising is going to be effective because its recognition of our identity as a community,” Angel continued. “However, the representation of our community is much more current when we look at English speaking.”

Angel cited that 75% of Hispanics are fluent in English and only 28% are unacculturated. Thus, a large majority of Hispanics are totally comfortable with English, according to Angel, and brands should act accordingly when looking to market to them. Angel’s point was a good one. Spanish speaking ads are indeed effective and there are certainly times and cases where the Spanish language should be used. However, as Angel also stated, Hispanics are very comfortable with English and brands must appreciate that when looking to reach out to the community.

Brands, Angel said, should celebrate Hispanics’ cultural impact, and ought to educate people on the diversity that exists within the Hispanic community. Such a strategy would be much more effective than merely concentrating on language.

Erika Prosper, Senior Director of Customer Insights at H-E-B, and the first lady of San Antonio, suggested that brands and marketers move to better understand codeswitching and thus work it within their advertising. She also instructed brands to hire more people of color, but warned against simply bringing talent aboard for the sake of diversity. “You need to make sure that you’re not just bringing them for show, but you’re following through with their recommendations,” she said.

“You have to have that inclusion at every level, not just the top of the table, and not just at the bottom, putting products on the shelf,” Erika said. “You have to make sure it’s all the way through.”

Angel agreed, saying often times when brands stumble or get it wrong, it’s usually those brands that have not had a single person of color involved in the strategizing.

“If you don’t have those people, then you shouldn’t be talking to the Latino community,” Angel said. “Targeting to the Hispanic community is a privilege, not a right.” Brands, Angel said, should ask “have we earned the right to speak to the Hispanic community?” And that benefit is earned through initiatives and recognizing that the community is there every day of the year, not just during Hispanic Heritage Month.

Erika made a point to mention her attire, a colorful outfit that displayed Hispanic heritage pride. She articulated the importance of being able to dress in a way that gave a nod to the culture, and to do so without fearing backlash or a negative response from her employer or colleagues.

One of my favorite parts of our conversation was getting a chance to hear Maria speak a bit about the children’s book she authored titled, “School Crossing.” Her own childhood was the inspiration as she, like the book’s main character, grew up in America, living with her immigrant Hispanic family.

“I always felt like an outsider at home and at school, and society didn’t reflect my life experience.” So, with that, Maria set out to create a character that was “authentically Latina, bilingual, bicultural and struggling with belonging.”

It is a very interesting, and also an important story, as there are many young people out there who share that experience and who can relate.

Again, I thought our panel discussion was fascinating! It was interesting, educational and informative, as we offer numerous tips to brands on how to better connect with the Hispanic community.

The entire conversation can be viewed by filling out the form above, and any company looking to gain further insights on engaging with the community can contact Collage Group at the form below.

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Other Recent Hispanic Research Articles and Insights from Collage Group