The shriek was heard in the hallway outside the movie theatre.
Inside, the unthinkable had just happened to the actress on screen and the audience erupted in fright. As I looked around to scan the crowd, I saw a very diverse Hispanic group watching in terrified delight. As I drove home I wondered if the mostly Hispanic audience was a coincidence, or if there was something larger at hand.
Through my research I found that Paramount Pictures had indeed catered this movie, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, to the bicultural Latino audience. Paramount knew already that Hispanics over-indexed watching their movies, as up to 33% of ticket purchases for their latest movie have been from Hispanics. Additionally, they know that Hispanics go to the movies more often; 9.5 times per year compared to 6.1 times per year for white Americans.
The movie itself was good, and as the shrieking girl could attest, quite scary. But for a marketer, it was more than that. There are real lessons to be learned from this movie about how marketing to Latinos has evolved in 2014. The movie studio demonstrated these lessons visually which for a marketer is a treat, and I have endeavored to detail them here.
The Top 3 lessons provided by the movie for Hispanic Marketers:
1. Have culturally relevant content
A central issue in the movie is in the newly found possession of the star, Jesse, and his family’s struggle to free him of this possession. For Mexican Americans, this means a trip to the botanica, and possibly a visit to a curandero (healer). In The Marked Ones, they had both. By doing this, the movie provided a story that was very real for many Hispanics and something that they can easily relate too.