4 Tips for Reaching Hispanic Audiences

The U.S. Hispanic market is growing so rapidly that, if you’re not marketing to them, you’re probably missing a huge opportunity:

  • There are 57 million people in the U.S. Hispanic market.
  • They represent more than $1.3 trillion in purchasing power.
  • Eighty-three percent of U.S. adults in Hispanic TV households speak some level of Spanish in the home, with 52 percent speaking mostly or only Spanish.1

You can make a much bigger impact with a targeted Spanish language campaign tailored to the Hispanic consumer. Maybe you’re cautious about targeting this demographic. Maybe you’re afraid you don’t fully understand the Hispanic consumer. I’m going to highlight some factors to consider.

How to reach Hispanic audiences

1. Define your brand’s potential. Determine your specific goals and objectives: How do you want the Hispanic consumer to perceive your brand? Identify the challenges within the Hispanic market (these can differ significantly from the English-speaking audience) and consider which players are currently active. Last year, companies invested $7.83 billion in U.S. Hispanic major-media, including TV, cable, newspaper, magazines and radio.2 If that includes any of your direct competitors, shouldn’t you add your voice to the market?

2. Understand the Hispanic landscape. Cultural background, age, attitudes, behaviors and belief systems all shape the Hispanic population. It’s important to create strategies that are hyperlocal, because market size, purchasing power, age, acculturation and consumption channels differ depending on geography. Currently, the top Hispanic markets include Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago.

3. Reach Hispanics where they are. Brands often treat the Hispanic market as an extension of their current overall strategy, but the Hispanic consumer deserves to be treated with more attention and respect. This means creating an integrated media mix with traditional media as well as digital; broadcast remains a favorite amongst Hispanics when compared to the total U.S. population.3

  • Terrestrial radio: 41.3 million Hispanics tuned into weekly radio in September, up from 40.1 million Hispanics during the same period a year ago, and a sizable increase from 39 million in 2012.4 Regional Mexican remains the favorite format, midday the most popular daypart and listenership occurs out of home.
  • Online radio: Platforms such as Pandora continue to gain Hispanic consumers. One in four listeners are Hispanic, and seven in 10 Hispanics bought a product advertised on internet radio.5
  • Social platforms: It’s safe to assume Hispanics love social media; 26 million are on Facebook, 12 million on Twitter and 9.6 million on Instagram.6

4. Develop customized content. Developing culturally relevant creative will go further than simply translating creative to Spanish. Consumer packaged goods campaigns with custom Hispanic content delivered four times the return on investment compared to campaigns that simply translated English copy to Spanish.7 Follow the same rules as writing any other creative. Adding humor is always great, but keep in mind stereotyping is not helpful and can leave a bad impression of your brand. Messaging should speak to the Hispanic consumer – engagement is great way to spice up the creative. Spanglish is an option if you are speaking to the more acculturated Hispanic audience. Ultimately, Hispanic consumers want to feel a connection with your brand. 

“Developing culturally relevant creative will go further than simply translating creative to Spanish.”

A great example of marketing for Hispanics

The automotive category proves the Hispanic consumer cannot be ignored. In 2016, Hispanic buyers delivered 96 percent of Ford and Chevrolet's combined year-over-year retail sales growth, 33 percent of Nissan's, 35 percent of Toyota's and 100 percent of Honda's.8

Toyota has ranked as the top-selling brand among Hispanic consumers the past 10 years, according to R.L. Polk & Company. So what is Toyota doing right? Creating culturally relevant campaigns that engage Hispanics’ everyday life experiences.

Toyota’s “More Than a Car” or “Más Que Un Auto” campaign, developed by Conill Advertising, was based on research that revealed Hispanics view their cars as another member of the family, and sometimes give their cars nicknames. Hispanics could show their personal love for their cars by ordering free customized vehicle nameplates at MasQueUnAuto.com. Tens of thousands of people logged on to order nameplates. What’s nicer than a free nameplate? A free private concert with Grammy Award–winning artist Ricky Martin, sponsored by Toyota to thank one lucky Toyota owner. How awesome is that?

Read more about media and targeting:


  1. Selig Center of Economic Growth and U.S. Census Bureau; 2016/2017 Nielsen Television Universe Estimates (Hispanic Persons 18+)
  2. 2016 Ad Age Hispanic Fact Pack
  3. Jan. 1, 2012 vintage Nielsen National Universe Estimates
  4. Nielsen Hispanic Radio Listening Rises Big article 9/21/16
  5. Audio.ad/OHI Panel, May 2016
  6. Top 2016 Trends In Hispanic Social Media
  7. The Secrets to Higher ROI In Spanish Language TV, 2016 The Nielsen Company
  8. IHS Automotive's Polk market data unit

Tags: Branding & Advertising, Media Planning & Buying

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