Hispanic-owned marketing agencies grow in size, scope
Many of the largest Hispanic-owned agencies in South Florida help brands connect with prospective customers in English and Spanish and other languages as well.
Alma is a Hispanic advertising agency in Miami helping Americans see Latin culture in a new light.
Consider an English-language TV commercial called Disfruta that Alma produced for McDonald’s to promote the restaurant chain’s fruit smoothie beverages: The 30-second spot shows a crowd of young Latinos and Latinas throwing paint-filled balloons at each other in a frenzy set to rock music.
"I like to say we’re Hispanic professionals as opposed to professional Hispanics," said Luis Miguel Messianu, president and chief creative officer of Alma. "We are a Hispanic agency; that’s our core. But we handle general market accounts, too."
Alma isn’t an isolated success story in Miami’s multilingual marketing world. As the CNC’s 16th Biennial National Conference puts a spotlight on “Hispanics in America’s Future” on May 17 and 18 in Miami, Alma and other leading Hispanic-owned marketing agencies in South Florida rank among the nation’s largest. They have grown in size and scope as corporate and institutional brands increasingly target the growing U.S. Hispanic population.
Their creative output is far from monolingual. Many of the largest Hispanic-owned agencies in South Florida reflect the area’s multilingual character by helping advertisers connect with prospective customers in English and Spanish and other languages as well.
Culture can speak louder than words in any language. Nielsen, the TV-audience measurement company, said in a report last month that "Hispanics are the largest immigrant group to exhibit significant culture sustainability and are not disappearing into the American melting pot."
But as the Disfruta commercial for McDonald’s demonstrates, some ads aimed at Hispanics are not much different than ads meant for the general market. "The biggest trend is there’s a blurring of the lines," Messianu said. "Hispanic advertising is starting to look more mainstream, and general market advertising needs to become more multicultural."
Language clearly is an important component of advertising, but "the new language is culture. That’s what we’ve been preaching," he said. "It’s not only about language. Cultural affinity is the new language."