Sofia Vergara is on fire. If you haven’t noticed, then it’s safe to assume you might not have ventured near a TV set in the past half-decade.
The actress is everywhere. She’s a one-woman commercial force.
A native of Columbia, Vergara rose to prominence in the U.S. by way of her beloved role as Gloria Pritchett – the beautiful, loving and occasionally tempestuous wife and mother on the hit television series Modern Family. Since assuming her star role, Vergara has gone on to acquire numerous endorsement deals with big-name brands, including CoverGirl, Diet Pepsi and AT&T among others.
For the third straight year, Vergara ranks as the top-earning actress on television according to Forbes. Don’t wrongly credit her success to simply having a pretty, easily-marketed face. She’s a talented, business-savvy entrepreneur who heads a multi-million dollar media empire. Through television success, advertising campaigns and the founding of her own talent management and entertainment marketing firm LatinWe, Sofia Vergara is poised at the forefront of U.S. entertainment and commercial enterprise.
And in many ways, she has become the face of the American consumer – a decidedly Hispanic face.
The Rise of the Hispanic-American Consumer
That Sofia Vergara’s influence and popularity coincide with today’s modern commercial climate is certainly no accident.
The fact of the matter is, the Hispanic population currently represents 17% of the US population and continues to grow exponentially with an expected 30% share of the total population by July 1, 2050.
That’s immense buying power.
What’s more, the U.S. Hispanic market has a significant digital presence. Hispanics are younger than their non-Hispanic white counterparts, take to technology like smartphones faster, and digest more content online. Hispanic Millennials play a key part in the digital ecosystem, often acting as an English-speaking segue to larger, primarily Spanish-speaking demographics, connecting American products to Latino buyers.
In whole, “digital” defines the Hispanic consumer base to a greater extent than any other major US demographic. And yet, when considering how readily available access is to these primarily digital consumers, US Hispanics remain largely underserved.
Reach, Receptiveness and Engagement
Mobile is where Hispanics are. The 2014 Digital Consumer report from Nielsen describes how Hispanics consume six hours of video content daily on their mobile phones on average – 90 minutes more than the US average. With nearly three in four Latinos owning a mobile phone (10% percent higher that national average), that’s a significant reachable audience.
Not only are Hispanics reachable, but they’ve also shown to be highly receptive.
A recent IAB study entitled “Hispanic Millennials and Mobile” found that 66% of Hispanic respondents say they pay some attention to ads on their phone. Twenty-one percent of Hispanics, after seeing an ad, choose to follow the brand on social media.
The Hispanic mobile marketplace is reachable, receptive, and engaged.
So why aren’t more brands taking advantage?
Indeed, some larger brands like CoverGirl and AT&T are beginning to successfully tap into the market, with Hispanic endorsers like Sophia Vergara establishing a major presence in the commercial ad space. But there is still a lot of room for improvement, especially within the mobile ecosystem.
More Than a Language Barrier
Some of the needed improvement can happen by simply learning the language. Easy right? Mobile ad brands need to understand that the Hispanic market isn’t merely one part of the digital ecosystem, but a driving force.
Studies have shown that Hispanics buy and use mobile apps at a greater rate than non-Hispanics. Yet according to BiTE interactive as published on AdAge, only 28 percent of mobile apps from top 50 brands had Spanish translations.
This is an epic disconnect. But it’s one that can be easily remedied.
Big brands like Diet Pepsi have already created a slew of ads in the Spanish language that feature Latino endorsers like Sophia Vergara. Mobile ads and applications need to follow suit and engage with an audience that already so actively engages with them.
Targeting the Culture
Hispanics are in no way a static audience. Many of them hold true to their native traditions and speak Spanish fluently. Many of them also enthusiastically embrace American culture and speak English as well.
Catering to such a multifaceted group isn’t merely about speaking their language. It’s about understanding their lifestyle, behaviors, and attitudes.
Alma, the multicultural ad agency celebrated for promoting a deeper understanding of Hispanic culture, has broken down this emerging bicultural movement into segments with the young “Fusionistas” leading market growth.
Fusionistas are engaged, tech-driven, and influenced by all forms of cultural expression. Reaching these consumers requires a commitment to advanced targeting methods – methods where mobile undoubtedly excels.
Mobile-fueled behavioral analytics and geo-targeting present countless opportunities. It’s up to brands to take advantage.
Hispanic Mobile Advertising In Action
The Mobile Majority recently ran a mobile ad campaign for FOX Deportes, the Spanish-speaking arm of FOX’s sports network, for the 2014 FIFA World Cup which targeted Hispanic users via contextual content (the apps and websites they were using prior to delivery of the ad).
These bilingual rich-media inline video units featured multi-option endcards while rich, Moroccan-themed backgrounds matched FIFA’s accompanying sites and digital properties.
The campaign’s endcard included three options:
- a real-time schedule of upcoming matches,
- an “Add-to-Calendar” functionality that allowed users to save game times on the fly, and
- pre-populated tweets that allowed users to share their love of the games and spread the Fox Deportes brand.
Flexibility was a cornerstone of the creative approach. Timed and pre-scheduled creative swaps were possible through the length of the campaign, allowing the in-line video units to be switched out after specific teams from the tournament won or lost, giving the campaign relevance throughout the entire World Cup.