8 Lessons From Turn It Up: Súbelo

Oct 24, 2019

Take Your Hispanic Strategy To The Next Level.

Hispanics make up 18% of people in the U.S., but are grossly underrepresented in media and advertising. That’s why we hosted Turn It Up: Súbelo, an experience for advertisers looking to elevate their cultural marketing strategies.

Súbelo means Turn It Up in Spanish. The event put the spotlight on Hispanic culture storytelling, bringing together music and creative experts to show advertisers how to connect with their Hispanic consumer through the power of sound.

Missed the event? Not to worry—here are 8 lessons that will help you build and enhance your Hispanic strategy.

1. Understand the Unique Experiences of your Consumer We are all part of our own cultural narrative and Hispanic consumers are no exception. While fundamental experiences tie us together as humans, the gap between our experiences widens and contributes to our identity. Given the unique experiences of Hispanic consumers, their identity is closely connected to their ethnicity.

2. Cultural Context is Key Speaking to different cultures doesn’t mean simply translating an ad. Understand the context of your message and how it would resonate with your audience. Steve Keller, Sonic Strategy Director at Pandora, pointed out how brands need to “focus on meaning and identity creation. We need to actually start looking for cultural connections through cultural context: symbols, user imagery, even corporate culture.” It’s important to also understand how much background information is needed in an ad. While non-Hispanic white consumers don’t require a ton of context and require that you tell it upfront, Hispanic consumers respond much better to ambiguity, especially if it has some flair to it.1

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3. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Sound Every culture has a sound. As marketers, we can leverage audio as a way to connect with consumers that want to see themselves represented. “We know that the way to the heart of Hispanic consumers is through their ears,” said Lauren D. Williams, Vertical Marketing Director at Pandora. “Sound enhances their experiences and transports them to moments that have played a role in defining who they are.” Sound can also be a powerful storytelling tool. Roberto Alcázar, Founder and Executive Producer at EO Integration, carefully uses sound in his creative work to bring audiences closer to a brand, noting “Sounds and music in particular offer brands an opportunity to make a deep connection. As we use theatre of the mind, we get further immersed into a message.”

4. Dig Deep for Powerful Insights Hispanic consumers want to see their culture reflected in advertising, but only if it’s done in an authentic way. “Engaging with Hispanic consumers means more than throwing in a Latin music track,” said Alberto Santiago Deida, Multicultural Creative Director at Pandora. “It’s about understanding the insights that would make that sound meaningful.”

5. Acknowledge the Diversity of Hispanic Communities “LatinX heritage is many and it’s one,” said Claudia Oddo, Audience Marketing Manager at Pandora. “It’s hundreds of cultures that echo through music into sub-genres and are amplified by the voices who tell their rich stories.” Need an example of how diverse Hispanic culture is? Just look to the dozens upon dozens of subgenres that exist and the stories they tell about the places they originated.

6. Amplify the Voices of the Underrepresented For years, Hispanic marketing and media has failed to represent people from different classes, races, and genders. However, Hispanics today are speaking up and standing up for Afrolatinidad, LGBTQ+ communities, immigration, mental health, and gender equality. Ensure your message properly represents a diverse group of Hispanics and support the issues that matter to this community. “Our music is fun and spicy, but also thoughtful and defiant,” said Azu Olvera, Head Of Latin Artist & Industry Relations at Pandora. “Not everything is black and white—and there are two sides to every coin.”

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7. Direct Your Message to a Real Person Sometimes we get so in the weeds of our marketing strategies that we lose sight of the human behind them. The best approach is to keep a real human in mind and direct your communication to that person. Juleyka Lantigua-Williams, CEO of Lantigua Williams & Co., shared her unique approach to creating meaningful and authentic podcast content: "I make shows for a single listener and the people in her life. Her name is Kenia. She's 26, Afro-Latina, college educated and living the life she fashioned for herself as a young professional. She is politically tuned in, socially engaged, and very close to her family. Our shows enrich her life with information that has the cultural context she seeks, while reflecting the values that continue to shape her. From concept to publication, I ask myself two questions: Will Kenia like this? And will she share it?"

8. Be Consistent Don’t be a tourist of the culture, but most importantly, don’t engage then abandon them at the drop of a hat. “Consistency is key,” said Pili Montilla, Emmy-winning TV Host & Producer, “It’s important for both agencies and brands to be aware that one-offs don’t generate results and that successful campaigns take time to gain traction. Unfortunately, I’ve seen brands invest a lot of money, time, effort, and energy into campaigns, but they call it quits once they start to gain traction and generate buzz. This is not only frustrating, but can backlash on the brand. Building a campaign slowly with consistency generates better results than coming in with a big bang to then retract.”

These steps will help you create meaningful connections and find great success with your Hispanic consumer.

Does your brand plan to reach this powerful and engaged audience? Find out how in our latest infographic here.

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