Commentary

Speak The Language

Speak The Language

Carlos Pelay. President of Media Economics Group, providing competitive intelligence for the advertising and media industry, recently summarized several new research studies and sources concluding that they continue to underscore the importance of the Hispanic market and of using Hispanic media to reach them. And, he says, some of the latest research helps to strengthen the second plank in the Hispanic marketer's sales pitch: "Why in Spanish?"

In late April, New California Media (NCM), an association of over 400 print, broadcast, and online ethnic media organizations, released findings from a California study, observing that:

- ethnic media were effective in reaching sometimes hard to reach (by general market media) ethnic populations. According to the NCM study, ethnic television stations, radio stations, and newspapers reach 84% of African-American, Asian-American, or Hispanic adults in California.

- a significant percentage of Hispanics, African-Americans, and Asian-Americans in California prefer ethnic media to their English language or general market counterparts. 51% of Hispanics, for example, preferred Spanish language radio stations to English language. Hispanics also showed a strong preference for Spanish language television (43%) and to a lesser extent, newspapers (23%).

- 40% of ethnic Californians say they pay more attention to ads in their native language than to English language ads. 66% said that businesses that advertise in the ethnic media "seem to understand my needs and desires better than other companies." And, 63% said that they are "more likely to buy a product or service advertised" in an ethnic oriented publication or program with advertising loyalty highest among Hispanics.

An interesting aspect of a study by the Roslow Research Group was that the increased effectiveness of Spanish-language ads was not due strictly to language ability. Even among bilingual Hispanics, commercials in Spanish were more effective than those in English. Commercials in Spanish were 3.4 times more persuasive among bilingual Hispanics and 6.0 times more persuasive among Spanish-dominant Hispanics. And, in a repeated study in 2001 among teens, commercials in Spanish were 40% more effective at increasing ad awareness levels, 16% more effective in message communication, and twice as persuasive as ads received in English.

And, another Roslow Research Group study from earlier this year shows that Hispanics are increasingly turning to Spanish-language online media as well. The study found that, on average, "now more time is being spent online using Spanish than English."

Taken together, concludes Pelay, these studies all underscore the key importance of using Spanish-language media by marketers and advertisers. Not just in traditional media like TV, Radio, and Newspapers, but increasingly also online. Find out more here.

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