Bicultural Latinos—Hispanics who feel strong cultural ties to both their U.S. and Hispanic identities—represent more than half (53%) of America’s Hispanics, according to Horowitz Associates’ FOCUS: Latino™ 2014 report. Biculturals, who tend to be more educated and make more money than average Hispanics, are a highly desirable target demographic for advertisers. Additionally, compared to total Hispanics and TV content viewers overall, biculturals are younger, more entertainment-oriented, and very tech-savvy. While biculturalism is not a new phenomenon, many media companies and their advertisers have begun to focus their attention on biculturals, and are now working to develop effective strategies for engaging them.
Biculturals are an elusive audience in today’s complex media ecosystem, aggressively adopting new media platforms and behaviors. While biculturals have the highest multichannel penetration (91%) of all Hispanic identity segments, their capability to watch TV content on alternative platforms is similarly universal (95%). Bicultural Hispanics spend almost 3 in 10 viewing hours watching streamed content—higher than other Hispanic identity segments—and less time watching live, programmed TV. Notably, 38% of bicultural Hispanics have watched a made-for-web TV show, such as Netflix or Hulu originals, in contrast with 27% of TV content viewers overall. This places bicultural Latinos squarely in the competitive fray between traditional media brands and new players seeking to grow and retain audiences in an increasingly fragmented media space.
“Media companies now recognize that biculturals are a unique, targetable market, but creating content for this audience poses a creative challenge,” notes Adriana Waterston, Horowitz’s SVP, Marketing and Business Development.
Leveraging cultural cues is integral to appealing to bicultural Hispanics, the majority of whom are bilingual. While 3 in 4 hours of biculturals’ self-reported viewing is in English, they maintain a strong connection to Spanish-language media and Hispanic culture. Two-thirds (65%) of bicultural Hispanics say that staying connected to Hispanic culture is important to them. Furthermore, at 30%, penetration of Spanish programming packages is highest among biculturals.
“This audience revels in flowing between two identities, feeling equally at home among Latino and non-Latino peers. They reject inauthentic efforts to box them into cultural silos or dictate to them what bicultural Latinos ‘should’ watch,” explains Waterston.