Advertisers pinpoint Hispanic demographic

Growth in Hispanic populations is leading to the need of adjustments in marketing and advertising strategies to target these demographics. According to the 2000 census report, 35.3 million people, or 12.5 percent of the United States’ population, are Hispanic and numbers are expected to rise.

In Tallahassee the Hispanic population is the third largest, ranking behind whites and blacks, according to the 2005 American Community Survey. This same ranking carries over to FAMU, with Hispanics being the third largest population on campus.

Gabrielle Johnson, who works in the creative department of BBDO Atlanta, a large advertising agency, commented on the need for Hispanic advertising.

Johnson, who has worked with clients such as AT&T, the Georgia Lottery and Capital One, said advertising geared toward Hispanics is “not even a trend, it’s going to be here forever.” She emphasized that the market is only going to keep growing.

Johnson said her agency calls in people of all backgrounds to translate the ads into the language of their demographic. However, not all Hispanics are partial to ads in Spanish.

Barry Solomon, who is in charge of the advertising program at Florida State University, said the older demographic is more likely to be partial to ads in Spanish, but said it “depends on cultural issues. By third generation most immigrants speak English.”

Advertisers may be making things even easier by making ads bilingual.

“If you notice now on many products they’ll have both languages,” Solomon said.

According to estimates by HispanTelligence, a Hispanic business research company, Hispanic purchasing power is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2010.

With such a large untapped market, advertisers are spending money to try to research the market and tap into it. The amount of money spent on the advertisements varies based on the customer base, Solomon said.

The Hispanic market is “not as misunderstood as you think because more and more advertisers are utilizing Hispanic-focused advertising,” Solomon said.

Other professionals in the advertising industry agree that the process of reaching any market must begin with research.

“You can’t just have a cool ad and hope those people run out and buy your product,” said Clay Shiver, who works for Fletcher Martin as a creative, or the person who develops the idea for an ad. “There’s got to be a lot of research.”