|Illustrating the increasing cross-over between the Hispanic and mainstream markets is this ad in the "Got Milk?" campaign. Based on the Latin myth of La Llorona, a wandering spirit, the spot was aired on English-language TV.
> Top Ten Hispanic Advertisers in U.S. Market
> Marketers With Largest Increase in Hispanic Ad Spending
For the full year, the company's best forecast is ad growth between 17.5% and 20% for Spanish-language Univision, second broadcast network TeleFutura and cable network Galavision, says Tom McGarrity, president of Univision Networks sales.
"We continue to have new people come into the market, and in most cases [existing advertisers] are spending more money," he says. "For double-digit growth, you need both. One or the other can't drive it."
Although money continues to flow, this has not been a banner year for Hispanic ad creative work. "The economic situation is making clients a little more cautious, less willing to take greater risks," said Luis Miguel Messianu, chief creative officer at Coral Gables, Fla., agency Del Rivero Messianu DDB, backed by Omnicom Group. "The gems are the gems, but there's a lot of average work. We're lucky the census coincided with the slowdown. It's acted as a buffer."
It's a year for courageous clients
|A crew shoots a Spanish-language Pizza Hut commercial in Los Angeles. The U.S. Hispanic TV ad market is booming.
For those already in the market, there's a growing degree of sophistication about the Hispanic community that goes beyond just knowing it accounts for 13% of the population. The Hispanic market also has many degrees of acculturation.
The best way to catch the young and bilingual or English-dominant can be on English-language TV. Marketers are increasingly trying that with ads engaging enough that non-Latino viewers won't even notice the Hispanic cues that aren't meant for them. McDonald's Corp. has started devoting 10% of its general-market rotation to Hispanic spots, Del Rivero's Mr. Messianu says.
For instance, his agency's McDonald's commercial titled "Man to Man," a gold winner this year in Advertising Age's Hispanic Creative Advertising Awards, has run on both
|The McDonald's sex education-themed spot created by Del Rivero Messianu DDB was another recent cross-over success.
"It tells Hispanics we're talking to you, without alienating the general market," Mr. Messianu says. "That's the challenge."
Best of 35 concepts
Bypassing Spanish-language TV entirely, the "Got Milk?" campaign targeted Latino teens by combining English-language TV with Hispanic culture. Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, did its first-ever Hispanic ad, a silver winner in this year's awards, by recruiting a team of Hispanic students from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., to develop a spot for young people like themselves who had a Latin background but spoke English. It also had to be weird enough to appeal to young people.
Some 35 concepts later, the team settled on the tale of La Llorona ("the weeping woman"). She is the ghost of a woman who killed her children to appease her lover and spends eternity in a tearful search for them. Latin parents sometimes tell their children to behave or La Llorona will get them. In the commercial, the ghost roams through a slumbering household and cries over an empty milk carton.
"It worked like a charm," says Jeff Goodby, the agency's chairman. "And to people outside the Hispanic community, it just looked like a milk commercial with a ghost."
Jose Rennard, the student who acted as creative director, said the spot had wide generational impact within his own family. His grandmother was proud to see a Hispanic legend in a commercial. But his small son was worried. "Is La Llorona coming to our house?" the little boy asked. "Do we have milk?"
Milk-based blender drinks
In another effort that draws on Latin culture, this time culinary, the California Fluid Milk Processor Board behind "Got Milk?" is breaking print ads to promote the traditional milk-based blender drinks called licuados.
"Like sangria and burritos, licuados will rapidly bridge the gap between Latin and American cuisine," says Jeff Manning, executive director of the milk board. "You can use any ingredient you want in licuados -- from mangoes to M&M's."
Despite such cross-cultural efforts, advertisers still spend most of their Hispanic ad dollars, about $2.4 billion in 2001, on Spanish-language media. To encourage them, Univision plans to start five new cable channels devoted to music, movies and lifestyle by the end of this year, and is spending $3 billion to buy radio group Hispanic Broadcasting Corp. In some U.S. cities, the leading radio stations are Spanish-language, and there's a fast-growing Internet radio network called Batanga.
On the print side, the favorite morning reading on some New York City subway lines is the sports section of 3-year-old Hispanic daily Hoy. In October, Hoy's parent, Tribune Co., will start publishing El Sentinel, a Spanish-language weekly version of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.