Reaching Hispanic Audiences through Advertising

Hispanics are the largest minority group in the United States – 1 in 5 Americans is Hispanic. Additionally, by 2025, the group will account for 12% of all U.S. buying power. Brands that invest in reaching this growing market can unlock increased profits and market share growth.

It’s especially important to approach Hispanic marketing authentically. Research from the Hispanic Marketing Council (HMC) finds that more than half of people ages 13 to 49 have quit a culturally illiterate brand. Additionally, Hispanic parents note that the top reason they’ve quit a brand is due to disrespect for their own or another racial group.

How can advertisers ensure that they are respectfully and accurately representing the experiences of Hispanic Americans? As brands increasingly develop ads that speak to the Hispanic community, it’s important they follow strategies for success. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated from September 15 to October 15, we’re offering a look at how brands and agencies seeking to engage with the Hispanic population can make a lasting connection.


Acing Hispanic Advertising

System1’s Feeling Seen USA report was developed to assess how ads that are mindful of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) perform in comparison to the average ad. We analyzed 58 diverse U.S. ads, with 17% of them focusing on the Hispanic population. Our Test Your Ad platform measures viewers’ emotional response to each ad and assigns it a Star Rating (from 1-Star to 5-Stars), which predicts each ad’s long-term brand building potential.

The ads showcasing Hispanic stories scored a strong average of 4-Stars among the general population. When viewed by a custom sample of Hispanics, the average rating of the ads increased to an even stronger 4.4-Stars. We refer to this uplift among the diverse audience as the ”diversity dividend.” It’s something that many of the ads in “Feeling Seen USA” experience, which showcases that they truly speak to the diverse audience being represented.

So, what does strong storytelling look like?

One of the standout ads that centers around a Hispanic character is “First Customer” by McDonalds, which was developed by Alma, a leading multicultural advertising agency. It scores an impressive 4.9-Stars with the general public and the highest possible score, 5.9-Stars, among Hispanics. The ad focuses on Gabriel, a teenage boy working the McDonald’s drive-thru for the first time. His family is so excited for this milestone that they are his first customers. Every parent can relate to the pride they’d feel in this moment and every teenager can imagine the embarrassment, surprise or even happiness that they’d feel at seeing their parents arrive at their workplace.


Investing in Hispanic Audiences

Hispanics have $2.5 trillion in buying power and while Hispanic marketing is currently a multi-billion-dollar industry that is poised for even greater growth in the years ahead, the HMC points to a surprising statistic about advertising and the Hispanic population. It notes that despite making up more than 18% of the total U.S. population, only 6% of overall industry investment is spent toward the Hispanic community.

In order for brands to effectively engage with Hispanic audiences, it’s important for them to accurately represent the culture in advertising. At the same time, it’s essential to remember that there is not a singular definition for Hispanic. The U.S. Hispanic population is incredibly diverse, made up of Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Spaniards, Peruvians and other groups.

Casting the right actors, telling stories that explicitly celebrate cultural nuances and showcasing inspiring individual experiences is key. Often, working with a multicultural agency that is well-versed in the history, present trends and future desires of particular groups can help brands entertain audiences, which leads to long-term benefits like increased profits and loyalty from a growing community.


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