Beyond Acculturation II

By Lauren Romero
Strategic Planner for Wave, cross-cultural experts of The Marketing Arm

The last time I posted here, I proposed that the world of U.S. Hispanics is so multi-dimensional, so complex, so much about living in multiple subcultures, that we now have to get beyond the initial simplifications marketers relied on to label and segment them.

Acculturation and language use, national origin and birthplace, tenure in the U.S. and generational distance from immigration — all of these are relevant and useful in the right contexts. But, I argued, the reality of daily life for U.S. Latinos involves navigating a variety of subcultures, and cultural shape-shifting from day to day and even hour by hour, depending on the context. Bilingual, bicultural Latinos are quite expert at this, as are most other so-called “minorities,” as are men and women, as are we all when it comes to navigating the various roles we each play in our lives.

I believe this concept of “contextual identity,” or “situational Latinidad” in the case of Hispanics, is vitally important because we now have the information and personal media channels to reach consumers in context-relevant and welcome ways. Our agency uses a systematic approach to tease out contexts in which Latinos feel more or less Latino, what that means, and how it shapes their behavior in a variety of specific product, service, media, and sponsorship categories. It’s exciting work, and we look forward to helping clients develop more impactful 360-degree marketing programs using this approach.

In the meantime, we are exploring the marketing implications of two related phenomena within U.S. Latino culture: cross-cultural “swirling,” and “retro-acculturation”. What we’re calling “swirling” refers to a delightful tendency we U.S. Latinos have to enjoy certain aspects of Hispanic cultures other than our own, as well as other cultures in general.

In particular, many of us enjoy the food, music, and dances of Latin American subcultures different from ours. Marketers wring their hands over the distinct vocabularies among the many Latino nationality groups. As Latinos in the U.S., we encounter these differences regularly in our social and professional encounters with Latinos of different heritage than our own. More educated Hispanics tend to be aware of these differences, and many of us enjoy learning about them, as they are sometimes pretty amusing.

Here is the marketing implication of “swirling”: While at times we might need to engage one particular Spanish-language subculture, it would be a mistake for us to assume that other Latino groups cannot be engaged with the same communications. For decades, U.S. Hispanics have experienced the dialects of a variety of countries through Univision and Telemundo programming. Rather than focus on the challenges of national dialects, the more relevant consideration for marketing communications is whether the dialect to be used, the message, and the media and programming address the right socioeconomic group or category-based subculture.

The other marketing-relevant phenomenon, “retro-acculturation,” refers to a desire by second and later- generation Latinos either to strengthen connections with their Latino heritage, or to revive ones that have faded over time. Music, food, dance, Latino community causes, and the arts offer emotionally evocative vehicles for this.

One example of recent “retro-crossover” is Nelly Furtado’s new album in Spanish. She got her start as an English-language musician, but now sought to celebrate her Hispanic heritage by singing in Spanish and collaborating with Latin music artists. I haven’t seen information on her fan base, but she’s probably bringing more acculturated Latino fans along on this journey.

So now, marketing to Latinos gets beyond language to consider “retro-acculturation” and cultural “swirl,” taking Latino-relevant marketing into the demographic future.

Story courtesy of MediaPost: EngageHispanics

Steve Harvey and State Farm collaborate on free digital content campaign

Starting this week, State Farm will present comedian, author, and radio personality Steve Harvey in a series of animated digital shorts in which he offers his comedic insights on a range of life topics. The content, delivered in Harvey’s patented “King of Comedy” style, is meant to make relevant and meaningful connections between Sate Farm and consumers and that will resonate particularly with African-Americans.

“These bits are strictly entertaining,” said Pan El, State Farm marketing vice president. “Though they address insurance and financial services related topics — to broaden State Farm’s brand voice in an unexpected way — they are delivered with Steve’s unique perspective and humor.”

Created by Sanders\Wingo, State Farm’s African-American ad agency of record, 48 digital episodes will be rolled out at regular intervals over the next 12 months. All the shorts are offered and shareable from all digital screens, including computers, smartphones and, mp3 players at  To read the rest of this story click here.

FEMA announces redesign of its Spanish-language Web Site

WASHINGTON, DC – Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials today announced the launch of FEMA’s redesigned Spanish Web site, As part of FEMA’s mission to be Prepared, Responsive, and Committed and commemorating the National Hispanic Heritage Month, the site was deployed to cover the needs of Spanish-speakers nationwide and establishes a new stage in the agency’s multilingual communications efforts.

Launched at the end of September, the redesigned FEMA Spanish Web site is a continuance of the preparedness message from National Preparedness Month and commemorates National Hispanic Heritage Month. “The launch of this site is part of our effort to ensure that communities across country continue to have the tools necessary to be prepared before an emergency or disaster strikes,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.

The site is focused on individuals and families in multi-hazard disasters. It includes information on what to do before (preparedness), during (response) and after (recovery and mitigation) disasters. Disaster survivors can also register for disaster assistance through and, when activated, can look for loved ones displaced during emergencies through the National Emergency Family Registry and Locator systems. Both applications are available in Spanish.

The new design features a simple format with main topics divided in blocks of three for easy access. The first block includes information like disaster information, preparedness, and mitigation. The second block includes action items such as recent news, major warnings and relevant information just one click away, i.e. hurricane preparedness, National Preparedness Month and H1N1. The third block includes general information like current disasters, types of disasters and what to do before, during and after different types of natural or man-made emergencies as well as links to other government agencies active in disasters.

Allstate’s Mexican national team sponsorship site receives highest honors from Association of National Advertisers

NORTHBROOK, IL -  Allstate received the grand prize award in the digital category at the recent 2009 Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Multicultural Excellence Awards for the company’s Web site, (“protection is the right move”), dedicated to its Mexican National Team sponsorship. The creative work, developed by Lápiz Hispanic Marketing, received the highest honor in the category.

“Allstate is thrilled to have received this honor from the ANA in the digital category,” said Megan Dawson, project manager on Allstate’s multicultural marketing team. “Allstate understands and shares the passion Hispanic consumers have for this sport, and this Web site serves as a tribute to and forum for this passion while also delivering important information on Allstate’s products and services.  It is great to be recognized by the advertising industry for the work we are doing to connect emotionally with this consumer base.”

Allstate has been the official insurance sponsor of the Mexican National Team (MNT) for three consecutive years.  The interactive Web site features renowned MNT goalie Memo Ochoa, who stands in position to protect against soccer balls that users click on to navigate through the site.  Each of the balls leads to a different user experience, including a tour of Ochoa’s locker with exclusive photos, interviews and behind the scenes footage, a blog with former MNT player Luis Roberto Alves (“Zague”), and the opportunity to design their own soccer ball and create personalized soccer chants – all while delivering Allstate’s commitment to protection message.

“’Protection is the right move’ is a concept that transcends media formats, and that is why we wanted the Web site to be more than just information with a nice interface,” said Javier Osorio, creative director of Lápiz. “We created an interactive experience that establishes a natural and honest connection between Allstate and the Mexican soccer team fans. Each area of the Web site has a balance of entertainment and branding to give each visitor the opportunity to defend the colors of the Mexican National team with passion and pride.”

Allstate’s approach to marketing to the Hispanic segment was recognized at the Association of National Advertisers 2009 Multicultural Excellence Awards in Phoenix, where work supporting Allstate’s Mexican National Team sponsorship was also named as a finalist in the Hispanic Award category for the television advertising campaign.

New guide and web site helps clinicians improve pain management for Hispanic patients

Newton, MA – Inflexxion, a company that develops scientifically validated solutions for critical areas of health care, is pleased to announce the publication of Cross-Cultural Pain Management: Effective Treatment of Pain in the Hispanic Population. The manual, available at no charge to health care practitioners who register at the website, provides guidance for practitioners seeking to improve pain management for their Hispanic patients.

“There is a cultural transformation taking place in the United States, and a disparity in treatment exists at many levels as a result of this growing diversity. This manual is aimed at helping practitioners develop the skills needed to provide the highest quality of care for all of their patients,” says co-author Kevin Zacharoff, M.D. “While this book offers details about some of the issues that may separate Hispanic patients from others, its primary purpose is to minimize these differences to reach common ground. We hope to help enhance mutual understanding and communication between health care providers and Hispanic patients, which is critical to quality care.”

Cross-Cultural Pain Management covers a broad range of topics that are important for meeting the needs of Hispanic patients. These include federal guidelines for providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services, a discussion of beliefs about the nature of pain in the Hispanic culture, how Hispanic patients may express pain, and non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic approaches to pain management for Hispanic patients. The manual includes appendices with practical tools and resources for clinicians, such as the Spanish version of the Wong-Baker Faces pain scale, translations of common pain words, and references to relevant websites for clinicians and patients.

In addition, the manual introduces Inflexxion’s new painACTION Dolor de Cáncer website ( Developed through a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Dolor de Cáncer is a Spanish-language, free, non-commercial site designed to help Hispanic patients learn about the management of cancer pain.

“To help improve doctor-patient communication and the treatment of pain, we need to address the challenge from both perspectives,” explains Dr. Zacharoff. “We developed the Dolor de Cáncer website to serve as a complement to doctor’s visits, and we hope it will be effective in helping clinicians increase the quality of care for their Hispanic patients who suffer from cancer pain.”

Cross-Cultural Pain Management is the latest addition to the popular Inflexxion Health Series, a collection of practitioner guides by leading experts in pain management. Other publications in the series include The PainEDU Manual: A Pocket Guide to Pain Management 3rd Ed., authored by Lynette A. Menefee Pujol, Ph.D., Nathaniel P. Katz, M.D., and Kevin L. Zacharoff, M.D., and Managing Chronic Pain with Opioids in Primary Care, authored by Nathaniel P. Katz, M.D., M.S., Bill H. McCarberg, M.D., and Lori Reisner, Pharm.D., F.C.S.H.P.

All of the books in the series are complimentary and can be obtained by visiting and becoming a registered user. Practitioners may download an electronic copy or request that a print copy be delivered free of charge.

Total Hispanic Internet audience grows by 10%, major players strengthen their lead

ComScore released August 2009 Hispanic online audience data. Total Hispanic Internet Audience grew by 10% to 22.144 million users in August 2009. General market online destinations, the leaders among Hispanic online audiences, grew by much more than 10% and therefore increased their share of total Hispanic online market. Market leader Google grew at an annual rate of 26% (see table below), while second Yahoo! grew by 20% and Microsoft Sites by 26%.  To see the full story with charts click here.

Jarritos’ successful Web site consumer promotion extended through the holidays

EL PASO, TX- Consumers collecting caps for rewards under the Club Jarritos® promotion will be glad to hear they have more time to win great prizes such as High Definition TVs, MP3 players, money transfers and soccer balls. The promotion with points under the cap for Jarritos®, Mineragua®, and Jarritos Kids(TM) has been extended through next year and now expires in December, 2010.

“Consumers are ecstatic about Club Jarritos® with over 100,000 submissions since May when the program was launched. The most popular prize being the official soccer ball used by the Mexican Soccer team,” said David Flynn, Novamex Marketing Director.

“In its inaugural season Club Jarritos has been a great success”, says Jim Lucero, managing director for Camelot Communications, Novamex’s agency of record. “In addition to radio we’ve been pleasantly surprised at the response we’ve had through our online and mobile media efforts, proving that we can engage our consumers in new and innovative ways. That said, it’s essential that we keep our messaging fresh, relevant and exciting.”

“Club Jarritos has pushed our sales with grocery stores, restaurant and lunch trucks, everywhere really! The promotion has been a relief for many businesses; the consumer is pleased to buy Jarritos soft drinks plus a chance to cash-in their caps for prizes,” said Ricardo Figueroa, Novamex West Sales Director.

This Christmas, consumers can send money home, call their families anywhere in the world or get their kids’ movie passes, earrings or music downloads for free by collecting caps and sending them in. The website has many stocking stuffer ideas as well as free points for consumers who register.  Full rules, prizes and instructions are at

Social comes naturally to the peer-driven

Lee Vann
CEO of Captura Group

Social media. The venue once viewed as “teens only” has by all accounts turned the corner to adult and corporate embrace. Millions of people now turn to blogs, social networks, and video as their primary source of news, opinion, and entertainment.

Traditionally, Hispanics have relied on the original concept of “social networks” to gain trusted information. This draw to family and friends for sharing information and seeking guidance makes Hispanics natural players in the new consumer-driven social media arena. Hispanics influence, and are influenced, through peers more than their general market counterparts. Social networks also offer a means to communicate with family and friends with whom they are geographically separated.

A 2009 study by the Captura Group examined data from the Florida State University Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication with the support of DMS Research. Its national online sample examined nearly 2,500 people that were equally divided among the following cultural groups: Hispanics who prefer English, Hispanics who prefer Spanish, Non-Hispanic Whites, African Americans and Asians in the United States.
The findings solidified the importance of utilizing social media in building interaction with the Hispanic market. It also supports the growing awareness that one does connect with Hispanics through English language platforms.

Visits to social networking sites at least 2 to 3 times per month:
- English Preferring Hispanics: 36%
- Spanish Preferring Hispanics: 27%
- African Americans: 26%
- Non-Hispanic Whites: 18%

Regular Visits to MySpace
- English Preferring Hispanics: 44%
- Spanish Preferring Hispanics: 35%
- African Americans:29%
- Non-Hispanic Whites: 22%

Regular Visits to Facebook
- English Preferring Hispanics: 18%
- Spanish Preferring Hispanics: 13%
- African Americans: 12%
- Non-Hispanic Whites: 7%

This report offers staggering findings that will be hard for most marketers to ignore:
1. Overall Hispanic visits to social networking sites outnumbered Non-Hispanic Whites by 63% vs 18%.
2. English Preferring Hispanics were at least twice as likely to visit these popular sites than Non-Hispanic Whites
3. English Preferring Hispanics outnumbered Spanish Preferring Hispanics
4. Users 36 years old and older were nearly twice as likely to be English Preferring Hispanics (24%) vs Non-Hispanic Whites (13%).
5. Overall Hispanic usage by age 36 or older was 47% while Non-Hispanic Whites and African Americans combined reached only 30%.

The web offers few cultural or in-language options for ethnic minorities. This has fueled the trend for tapping social networks to generate original content. For businesses to connect on this level, they must be mindful of the audience’s desire to connect on a personal and cultural level.

Companies such as Honda have long understood, embraced and ultimately been rewarded by their long-term loyalty of this market. When the automobile giant adopted a Hispanic effort in 1989, they saw a Hispanic Honda sales increase of 270% over the next 10 years. Even through the last recession of the early 90′s, Honda’s sales continuously increased when general market sales slowed (Ward Dealer Business). These active efforts have continued through a multitude of efforts that have included online campaigns to target Latino consumers. Ads promoting targeted models directed consumers to the Honda website, where they were then able to research all models in English or Spanish.

Savvy marketers understand that the term “Hispanic” refers more to a related group of cultures rather than simply to those who speak the Spanish language. The Hispanic market is 60% bilingual, while about 20% are dependent on either English or Spanish. Hispanics originate from over 20 countries; each bringing distinct language use and culture. When you then consider standard marketing targeting such as income, housing, psychographics and lifestyles, “Hispanic market” is clearly a term that requires a bit of homework and target definition.
While few marketers proactively target ethnic minorities, even fewer connect through social media. This translates into a wealth of opportunities for those that can identify meaningful ways to connect.

Story courtesy MediaPost: EngageHispanic

Hispanic Market implications of Yahoo Microsoft search deal

Lee Vann
CEO of Captura Group

Yahoo and Microsoft’s recently announced a search partnership where Microsoft’s newest search engine,, will power Yahoo’s search functions while Yahoo handles ad sales. The deal will not be fully consummated until some point in 2010, but it is important to understand the ramifications for the Hispanic online market today.

The US Hispanic Search Market Before the Yahoo Microsoft Partnership

Just as Google dominates the global search market, Google currently controls the lion’s share of the U.S. Hispanic search market. According to my not-so-scientific estimates (see below), Google controls close to 47% of the U.S. Hispanic search market. Not only is the most popular site among U.S. Hispanics, Google has also been very savvy in establishing partnerships with leading Hispanic publishers to power their search functions. These partnerships include, but are not limited, to and AOL Latino, Fox Interactive Media (most notably MySpace),,,, and Impremedia.

I calculate that Yahoo currently holds about 27% of the US Hispanic search market. The majority of its U.S. Hispanic search volume comes from (the second-most popular site among Hispanics) in addition to Yahoo en Español. From a partnership perspective, some deals of note include Yahoo’s integration with Mexican media giant Televisa’s web portal,, which is very popular among Mexican Americans, and also with Hispanic Digital Network’s array of niche Hispanic websites.

Microsoft is in third place with 13% of the Hispanic search market thanks to the third-most popular site among Hispanics, and MSN Latino. Microsoft also picks up Hispanic searches from it’s partnership with Facebook which reaches close to 8 million U.S. Hispanics each month. rounds out the top four with 13% of the Hispanic search market.

The U.S. Hispanic Search Market After the Yahoo Microsoft Partnership

By teaming up, Yahoo and Microsoft will represent about 40% of the US Hispanic search market, becoming a formidable competitor to Google. Today, Hispanic online marketers typically allocate search budgets first to Google, then to Yahoo and finally to Microsoft if budgets permit. Tomorrow, I would not be surprised to see more money going to Bing to reach Hispanics online. That of course, assumes Yahoo and Microsoft can provide a good user experience for advertisers, value to consumers, and simply get along.
Not-So-Scientific Methodology Used in This Post

To compute the Hispanic search market estimates used in this post, I used Hispanic unique visitors data from May 2009 from comScore Media Metrix recently published in the 2009 Hispanic Fact Pack for Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Fox, AOL, Ask and Facebook. For all others, I computed Hispanic unique visitors from data provided by Quantcast, if available.

Story courtesy MediaPost: EngageHispanic

Citibank launches Citi Mobile en Espanol becoming first major bank to launch mobile Spanish banking

NEW YORK, NY – Citibank launched Citi Mobile en Espanol, enabling customers who prefer to bank in Spanish to do so from their smartphones. The Spanish-language service lets customers manage their accounts, pay bills, locate Citibank branches and more – all from the convenience of their cell phones. Citibank is the first major U.S. bank to offer mobile banking in Spanish.

“Citi Mobile en Espanol offers our Spanish speaking customers the ability to bank anywhere, anytime on their smartphones,” said Liza Landsman, Executive Vice President, North America Internet & Mobile, Citi. “With Hispanic customers making up almost one-quarter of our customer base, the service makes banking even easier for this important and growing audience.”

Hispanics are among the most active mobile Web users in the United States. According to a recent independent report on Wireless Internet Use from Pew Research, nearly one-half of English-speaking Hispanic consumers reported accessing the Internet via a handheld device in 2009.(i) Of these consumers, about 29 percent reported going online “on a typical day” through a mobile device.(ii)

Citi Mobile en Espanol mirrors the functionality of the English-language Citi Mobile for Smartphones. It is accessed via the same convenient URL as the English version,, from any mobile device. Using Citi Mobile en Espanol, users of web-enabled mobile devices including BlackBerry® smartphones, Palm® devices and iPhone(TM) devices can easily do all of the following in Spanish:

–  View Citi account balances and account activity
–  Pay bills and set up recurring payments
–  Make transfers between Citi accounts
–  Locate Citi branches and ATMs
–  Connect to Customer Service

Citi Mobile en Espanol provides easy navigation on virtually any recent device that has a mobile browser and an internet connection. And signing in is easy — customers enter the same personal User ID and password they would use on their home computer.

Citibank was also the first major U.S. bank to offer Spanish-language online banking, in 2004. Today, with the introduction of Citi Mobile for Smartphones en Espanol, Citibank’s fastest-growing customer segment gains even greater access to quick, easy and highly secure banking.

Marketing communications agency Wing recognized as ‘Best Hispanic NY Marketing/PR Firm’ using social media award by LATISM

NEW YORK, NY—Marketing communications firm Wing  has been named “Best Hispanic New York Marketing/PR Firm using Social Media” by Latinos In Social Media (LATISM), an organization of social media professionals of Hispanic origin.

Recognizing the best New York Latino performers in social media, LATISM, an organization composed of Latino bloggers, social network leaders, and marketers, recently named Wing a finalist from more than 150 nominations. After three days of voting, Wing was honored with a first-place trophy at the awards ceremony, held at the Hudson Theatre in New York City.

Produ Magazine seperately awarded Wing’s Downy work as one of the “Best Campaigns on the Air Created by Hispanic Agencies” in its most recent issue distributed at this week’s ANA Multicultural Conference.

“We’re thrilled to be recognized as leaders in Hispanic marketing innovation with these awards,” said Chief Creative Officer, Gustavo Asman. “We look forward to continuing to re-imagine what it means to be an agency in the Latino space and produce award-winning work for our brands.”

Obama administration launches Spanish-language Web site as part of president’s ‘United We Serve’ initiative

WASHINGTON, DC – To carry President Obama’s call to service to millions of Spanish-speakers, the Obama Administration today launched, a Spanish-language website that makes it easy for Americans to find or organize volunteer projects in their communities.
The website is being launched at the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, when the nation recognizes the contributions Hispanics from all walks of life have made to our country throughout its history. First Lady Michelle Obama will appear in a video highlighting the new site and the importance of service airing during the 2009 NCLR ALMA Awards Friday night on ABC.  Servir web site

“All summer long we’ve encouraged Americans across the country to come together to help strengthen and build the foundation for our nation’s future prosperity one community at a time,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “Service to community is a strong tradition in the Hispanic community, and we hope the new website will help connect more Americans with service projects in their own communities.”

The new website is a companion to, which the Administration launched in June as part of its United We Serve initiative. Both sites are managed by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that administers service programs and is leading the United We Serve initiative.

On, visitors can search for volunteer opportunities in their neighborhood, get ideas for “do-it-yourself” volunteer projects, submit their service stories, or recruit volunteers for their own volunteer efforts. The website features a welcome video in Spanish by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, who reflects on the importance of service during tough times.

“Today our communities have rediscovered the power of service to unite us in a common sense of purpose, and Americans are turning out to volunteer like never before,” said Salazar. “I invite you to join in the President’s United We Serve initiative, and help us show the world the extraordinary things that ordinary people can achieve with the proper tools.”

“The President has made a bold call to service at a time of great need and Americans are ready to respond,” said Nicola Goren, the Corporation’s Acting CEO. “Through the website, we hope more Americans will find ways to give back to their communities and help in our nation’s recovery.”

Goren pointed to new research from the Corporation for National and Community Service that found more than 4.7 million Hispanic adults volunteered through a formal organization in 2008, an increase of 400,000 over the previous year. Hispanic volunteers donated approximately 532 million hours of service, worth more than $10.7 billion to America’s communities.

The website includes a number of features to promote volunteer service:
· Find A Volunteer Opportunity: Visitors can enter their zip code and interests to find local volunteer opportunities from a database of more than 250,000 opportunities across the country. Register Your Project: Organizations or individuals looking to recruit volunteers for their efforts can post their volunteer opportunities (in English or Spanish)
· Plan Your Own Project: To help individuals plan their own projects with their friends, family, or neighbors, easy-to-use toolkits in Spanish are available on projects such as organizing a book drive, creating a community garden, or conducting a home energy audit. Spanish translation provided by AARP.
· Share Your Story: Visitors are invited to share how they are making a difference through service

To help make the site more robust, the Corporation for National and Community Service is asking organizations that are looking for Spanish-language speaking volunteers to submit volunteer opportunities in Spanish and English by visiting

The United We Serve initiative was conceived as a way to directly involve Americans in tackling problems in their communities. While any kind of volunteer service is encouraged, the effort focuses on five key areas education, health, energy and the environment, community renewal, and safety and security.  The effort comes at a time of strong need and momentum for service, as the economic downturn puts more Americans at risk and increases the demand for social services. At the same time, many nonprofit groups are experiencing a ‘compassion boom’ of increasing volunteers as Americans reach out to help their neighbors. United We Serve aims to tap this growing interest and focus it on addressing specific community needs.

“The challenges we face are unprecedented in their size and scope, and we cannot rely on quick fixes or easy answers to put us on the road to recovery,” said President Obama in announcing United We Serve. “Economic recovery is as much about what you’re doing in your communities as what we’re doing in Washington – and it’s going to take all of us, working together.”