Liz Sarachek Blacker: November 2011 Archives

I moderated a panel on top brands and social media last month at the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA)’s annual conference in Miami. Discussions at that workshop and at AHAA overall demonstrated to me personally that the Hispanic agency may be at the dawn of a new age, one with great opportunity on the horizon. While there are those who might still hold on to the fears of the past, I challenge those naysayers that there is actually a SURGE of business, confidence, and optimism about today’s Hispanic or Multicultural advertising & marketing agencies.

Today we are in a place where it is more than relevant to hire someone who speaks both languages of your intended consumers, who may actually be THE target for your products and services, and understands how to culturally connect with the brand, audience, or community. Indeed this is a distinct advantage that agencies with a dedicated multicultural approach have in the marketplace, especially with the proliferation of clients interested in strategies for multicultural and multiplatform media here and globally.

This is something the IAB Multicultural Council, a group focused on collaboration within the multicultural digital space and engaging new marketers to come aboard, shared at its first ever U.S. Hispanic Marketing Agency Day this year, “Clicko-de-Mayo”, where we discussed the growth of the Hispanic online market & how marketers can capitalize on this important demographic, as well as releasing valuable research about Hispanics online called “U.S. Latinos Online: A Driving Force.”

iablog_senecaclickodemayo.jpgSeneca Mudd, IAB, kicking off Clicko-de-Mayo 2011

I encourage my colleagues to applaud the lead of agencies putting forth innovative and creative strategies and who are doing excellent work, be they large or small shops. Larger “general market” agencies such as Starcom’s Tapestry, MediaVest and MV42 or Group M’s Mindshare & MEC, and/or Digitas, OMD, among others, continue to see significant growth in the Hispanic digital space. However, let’s also look at the indicators of success, relative to digital and industry stature, of these smaller Hispanic shops:

Casanova Pendrill - New AOR for Denny’s, launched an online Spanish-language gaming experience for Nature Valley, developed launch campaign for Fun-Da-Middles, new baking mix from General Mills which included three English-language webisodes and a how-to online video.

Conill - The oldest USH agency won the 2010 Multicultural Agency of the Year by Advertising Age, a repeat from 2007, continues to pave the wave with innovative programs for T-Mobile and Toyota.

Dieste - The ADCOLOR Industry Coalition awarded Dieste’s president & CCO, Aldo Quevedo, the 2011 Legend Award. Dieste is the only Ad Age Multicultural Agency of the Year three time winner.

Grupo Gallegos - Recently awarded two North American Effie Awards for its work with the California Milk Processor Board and the Ad Council for Hispanic Scholarship Fund. After the launch of “Mucho Mas Que Leche,” 57 percent of Hispanics reported buying milk more than once a week, compared to 48 percent in 2009.

Lopez Negrete - Recently won a WebAward by the Web Marketing Association in the category of Best Internet Service Provider Website, for their work on, Verizon Telecom’s Hispanic Website.

I recently asked Alex Lopez Negrete, President, CEO and Chief Creative Officer, Lopez Negrete about his Hispanic agency and digital in particular. And he replied “Ours is not a Hispanic agency trying to do digital work for its clients. Rather, we are a Hispanic agency that has worked diligently to develop a full-service digital unit. When you are sitting at the table with the major digital agencies in the general market, there is no way around it. Your clients have high expectations, and you need to deliver.”

During NY Advertising Week 2011, I was impressed to see The Vidal Partnership’s continued efforts on our industry’s behalf as they produced a series of panels on the digital and multiplatform transformation of multicultural/new general markets. This same week, I had the pleasure to see an old friend, Isabella Sanchez of Zubi, who told me they are breaking ground on a new office in Miami, another good indication that Hispanic agencies are indeed growing!

I also had the pleasure this year to meet Ola Mobolade, Managing Director, Firefly Millward Brown and author of “Marketing to the New Majority”. She too feels optimistic about this moment in multicultural advertising and “ethnic agencies” as she calls them, telling me that “the current cultural evolution is turning the tides in their favor. As the US transforms into a majority-minority nation who better to lead brands through this diverse mainstream than multicultural marketers? While general market agencies are quickly getting smart about this new mainstream, the ethnic shops have a far longer track record of marketing to non-white consumers. If they can find a way to approach this climate as an opportunity rather than a threat, they’ll be in a great position moving forward.”

And there are many others doing great work; Alma DDB, D’Esposito, Media 8, Sensis and Siboney, as well as kbs+p’s Ramona!

Hispanic agencies are indeed poised to maintain and grow their digital assets and revenue in the years ahead across platform and we wish them continued success, buena suerte!

About the Author

sp_sarachekblacker_liz.jpg Liz Sarachek Blacker

Liz Sarachek Blacker is a co-founder of the original IAB Hispanic Committee in 2002 (now called the IAB Multicultural Council) and is Chief Revenue Officer at Terra USA. She can be reached @lizsarachek.