Monday, November 16, 2009

The Hispanic Consumer “El Mas Chingón”

I was watching “Lopez Tonight” this week and as he went through his monologues, his quick wit, double meaning and specially the “gacho” comment (he said: “look it up in google”), it got me thinking more and more about the audience. Clearly, the audience seen at the studio was Latino, but I got to think more about the entire US Latino population, and not only about those who got to watch the show.

Follow me for a second, and from the perspective of a marketer we try to box in (even us Hispanic marketers) our targets, we call them “strugglers,” “modernos,” we name them “Ramiros”… depending what your take is in trying to identify the Acculturated, the Un-acculturated, the first or second generation, the Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cubans or Argentineans, we try to make it simple for our clients to assure they understand our target’s behaviors and their shared nuances.

But, have we thought how “Chingones” they are? I tell you, in my mind our US Hispanic Consumer is by far the “Más Chingón” in the entire continent (yes this target knows that “América” is one continent that goes from Tierra del Fuego all the way to Alaska).

Why? Because they know two and sometimes three sets of everything!

In music they know who Shakira is and listen to her, but they also know who Beyonce is and they listen to her too, but guess what? Beside being experts on Alejandro Fernandez, Horóscopos de Durango, Aventura, and Rieleros del Norte, our consumer also knows Hip-Hop, Rock, and R&B. Even the parents ask their children: “¿Qué escuchas hijo?” “ Jay-Z!,” Ah, ¿el boyfriend de Beyonce?”

Yes, our Hispanic consumer should deserve the credit of a radio station manager, because as soon as they are born or arrive to this country, they become experts in the different types of music our countries produce. For Mexicans they get to listen to Salsa, Bachata, Merengue and Reggaeton. For Puerto Ricans, they get to listen to Cumbias, Rancheras, Duranguense and Pop, and so on.

Although Music artist are celebrities too, our consumers get to know the rest of the universe of that artist’s life in the so called General Market. Ask your Tío Tito who Kardashian is and he will tell you: “Ah si… la vieja esa que no hace nada, pero está bien buena no?” Yes. Our consumer knows Paris, Angelina, Bratt and many, many more. Ask an anglo who Araceli Arambula is and I’m sure they will not have any idea who she is.

Don’t even get me started! This is the area where I think our consumer can kick the General Market’s consumer butt without blinking!

The Hispanic consumer keeps up with their local leagues of their country. Argentineans watch the soccer games of River, Boca and Rugby, while also keeping up with basketball. The second generation Latino could easily have a favorite soccer team from their country, follow their national team in the road to the World Cup, follow their local (US city) baseball, basketball and football team, plus an MLS team, while at the same time keeping up with Concacaf, Champions League and the UEFA. Can the General Market do that? Ah! And watch it in Spanish while, listening to the radio in English.

Ask a Latino about the Simpsons, the Latin Grammys, Betty La Fea and for that matter Ugly Betty, and they will give you a quick synopsis of each one of those programs and more. Ask them about El Chavo! And across the board, nationalities, acculturated, assimilated and even those who dare to hang with a Latino will know what “El Chavo” is.

Events - Movies
Go to a U2 Concert, to a Maná concert and then rush to see Los Tigres del Norte and you will see some familiar faces. The Hispanic consumer attends more events and across music genres than any other consumer. And it feels good to see a Latino around in a General Market concert, you almost feel like your chest is bumping! Latinos go to the movies more than any other consumer. They see more than 12 movies a year; can we now understand why they know all these celebrities?

Should I go on?

Our consumers without a second thought consume two parallel worlds. Our Latino consumer is very smart and savvy. Yes, “Lopez Tonight” puts more light into our Hispanic consumer and their ability to understand the slang of a Mexican, the nuances of a Puerto Rican and the intricacies of the General Market.

Give a little credit to our Hispanic consumer, because they are “Los Más Chingones”