culture, the era of assimilation is long over, according to a new study from OMD Multicultural and sibling analytics firm Annalect.
Latino culture is now part of the mainstream as the culture’s music, lifestyle, and politics are all making a mark in American culture and opening the door to what the study calls the “Era of Affirmation.”
It’s an era driven by the so-called “bicultural” Hispanic population -- Hispanics who speak Spanish and English, and who feel an affinity for both Latino and American cultures. Biculturals have become the largest segment of U.S. Hispanics, per the study, now accounting for 75% of the U.S. Hispanic population, which now totals about 50.5 million. And bicultural Hispanic millennials account for 65% of total U.S. Hispanics.
According to the study this demographic growth, and the concurrent economic and political power, have substantively impacted mainstream U.S. culture, and has led bicultural Hispanics to a mind-set that is “highly empowered and proud.”
“Biculturals exhibit a strong sense of duality and, depending on the situation, can seamlessly navigate their Latino and American cultures,” according to the OMD-Annalect report, entitled “Affirm This.” Engaging that population segment “has become complex, as the lines have blurred due to the stepping in and out of the two worlds.”
Overall, the study found, biculturals are “accepting” of advertising although biculturals with children in the household have a more positive perception of advertising compared to households without children. Nearly 60% of the segment perceive advertising as “a great way for me to get information about products and services,” per the report. The study also found that biculturals tend to be most receptive to TV and online ads compared to ads in other media.
Also, biculturals are more appreciative of ads that are inclusive of Latino culture with 52% saying they “appreciate ads tailored to me regarding products/services I use.”
As for specific brands the study reports that biculturals engage with Latino brands for a sense of “comfort and nostalgia of home,” while they turn to U.S. brands “for a connection to mainstream American culture.”
Biculturals’ ability to navigate seamlessly between their two cultures is innate, per the report. It comes to them naturally and effortlessly. Thus, engaging with biculturals requires an “all-encompassing approach and is no longer an either/or proposition.”
The study was based on a national online survey, among a representative sample of 1,002 Latinos, ages 18-49 and residing in the U.S. Respondents had the option of taking the survey in either English or Spanish. Recruitment criteria defined biculturals in terms of their language preference (i.e., Spanish and English), and cultural self-identification (i.e. Latino/Hispanic and American), placing more emphasis on those who were equally engaged in both languages and cultures. Those who exclusively associated with one over the other were not included in the survey.