shopper, shopping, buying, hispanics

Hispanic Market Continues to Attract Advertisers During the Recession

August 11, 2009 05:00 PM
by Anita Gutierrez-Folch
Although U.S. Hispanics have been hit hard with unemployment, advertisers are targeting the Spanish-speaking population in record numbers.

Companies Invest in Spanish-Language Media

Despite the recession, a large number of companies—“especially consumer-product companies and financial-services firms”—are aggressively targeting the U.S. Hispanic market through advertising in Spanish-language media and sponsorship of community events, Beatrice E. Garcia writes for The Miami Herald.

Quoting TNS Market Intelligence, a market research firm, Garcia explains that overall, “[m]ore than $5 billion was aimed at the Hispanic market in 2008.” As the fastest-growing minority group in the United States, Hispanics constitute a desirable target for advertisers and investors alike. State Farm Insurance, for instance, is one of the top 10 companies to market to Latinos, a prominent sponsor of the hit show “Sábado Gigante,” and has invested almost $58 million in Spanish media advertising, together with the sponsorship of community fairs and sporting events.

Mark Gibson, assistant vice president for advertising for State Farm, believes that aggressive marketing is an interactive process that relies on active consumer participation and engagement. “Consumers are savvy today,” he told The Miami Herald. “They understand when they are being advertised to.”

Background: Hispanics hard-hit by the recession

Many of the industries that employ a majority of Hispanics—construction, retail, manufacturing and hospitality—have been greatly affected by the economic downturn, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A 2008 Pew Hispanic Center study found that Hispanic workers have lost 156,000 jobs in the construction sector. As of July, the unemployment rate for Hispanics was 12.3 percent, higher than the overall rate of 9.4 percent for the entire labor force.

Opinion & Analysis: Why invest in the Hispanic market?

According to The Miami Herald, the Hispanic population in the U.S. is growing at such a phenomenal rate that Hispanics will become the largest minority group in the country within the next four years, comprising 16.6 percent of the overall population. This long-term expectation defies the current effects of the recession, leading investors to remain attached to the Hispanic market and confident in their buying power.

“The long-term view is still very positive if you look beyond the next year,” Manuel Lasaga, head of Strategic Information Analysis Inc., told the Herald. “Product companies don't want to pull out because they already have money invested in this market.”

Most Recent Beyond The Headlines