Getting Latinos to vote

March 31, 2008

The Century Foundation just released a very interesting analysis by Tova Andrea Wang of the  2008 Nevada caucaus, focusing on Latino voters mobilization. Her specific recommendations may be considered simple or of common sense for professionals that already work and know the U.S. Latino population. But for newcomers in this area, the following considerations can be great starting point for an effective Hispanic outreach campaign.

— Doing voter registration at Latino social gatherings and sporting events, where potential voters were in an enjoyable, relaxed environment.

— Holding several mock caucuses around the state — many in Spanish — to teach Latinos about the process and how to participate.

— Creating a Spanish-language Web site to inform visitors about the caucus process.

— Creating a Spanish-language telephone hotline, which was available in the weeks before the caucuses and on voting day.

— Using a Hispanic marketing firm rather than a political consulting firm to create materials uniquely targeted to the Spanish language audience.

 Read the full report here.

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Under the same moon music (bonus video)

March 31, 2008

This is one of the funniest scenes of the movie:

Read my review here.


Under the Same Moon (Music Video)

March 27, 2008

I just found the a video clip of the song “Por Amor” from Los Tigres del Norte promoting the movie Under the Same Moon. Really cool!


American Airlines and Major League Soccer announce partnership

March 25, 2008

American Airlines (AA) just announced a major sponsorship deal with Major League Soccer (MLS) that will establish it as the “Official Airline of Major League Soccer,” the “Official Airline of MLS Cup,” the “Official Airline of the MLS All-Star Game,” and the “Official Airline of the SuperLiga.”

The deal gives the airline access to millions of U.S Latino soccer fans who follow local teams from cities such as Chicago, New York, D.C., Columbus, and L.A., as well as star players like David Beckham, Mexico’s Cuauhtémoc Blanco and Duilio Davino.

La fanaticada del fútbol (soccer fans) will be exposed to AA’s offerings and services to Latin America and México on regular league matches as well as in the SuperLiga, which is a tournament played every year between MLS teams and Mexico’s Primera Division (professional league). SuperLiga is a competition that usually evokes passion among fans and that is followed by more than 10 million T.V. viewers from both sides of the border.

AA seems to understand that a fútbol game is the best opportunity for targeting Latino males, since no other event can provide at least 90 minutes of their undivided attention.

The AA-MLS partnership will generate a lot of interest among Latinos — but will AA be able to fully meet that demand for information? I hope that AA has in the works a better Spanish-language version of their Web page to meet that demand.


Don’t miss Under the Same Moon/La misma Luna

March 23, 2008

Under the Same Moon is a must-see movie for every professional working with the Hispanic community in the U.S. Directed by Patricia Riggen, the movie possesses a prime cast of Hispanic/Mexican actors and actresses such as soap-opera star Kate del Castillo (Rosario), Mexican diva Carmen Salinas (Dona Carmen), former congresswoman and actress María Rojo (Reyna), Ugly Betty’s América Ferrara (Marta) and comedian and Broadway actor (in Rick Najera’s Latinologues) Eugenio Derbez (Enrique) , and a great performance by the young but experienced Adrian Alonso (Carlitos). As an added bonus, the film features a special appearance by Norteño music super-stars Los Tigres del Norte.

FOX Searchlight provides the following synopsis:

UNDER THE SAME MOON (LA MISMA LUNA)tells the parallel stories of nine-year-old Carlitos and his mother, Rosario. In the hopes of providing a better life for her son, Rosario works illegally in the U.S. while her mother cares for Carlitos back in Mexico. Unexpected circumstances drive both Rosario and Carlitos to embark on their own journeys in a desperate attempt to reunite. Along the way, mother and son face challenges and obstacles but never lose hope that they will one day be together again. Riggen’s film is not only a heartwarming family story; she also offers subtle commentary on the much-debated issue of illegal immigration.

I must say that just by watching the movie’s trailer, which ran for months, I was deeply moved by the story. The movie exceeded my expectations, and I experienced a roller-coaster of emotions going from tears to laughter in a couple of frames. Yet, the story has room for strong social and political messages regarding immigration. During the course of the movie we can see how sometimes the “migra” (INS officials) use excessive force to capture undocumented workers in a tomato farm, and how Rosario’s employer, a house-wife from Beverly Hills, mentally abuses her, firing her and then denying her payment of the salary she had earned.

But a line by Enrique encompasses the full message of the movie, and depicts the life of millions of immigrants that come to the U.S.(not an exact quote): “Crees que a uno le gusta trabajar todo el día para medio tragar, vivir escondiendose de la migra..lo hacemos por un sueño” (“Do you think that one enjoys working all day to barely eat, and live hiding from the INS…we do it because we have a dream.”)

And that dream can mean sending $300 dollars back home every month, like Rosario did, which makes a difference for her child between attending school or selling candies in the street, between having a somewhat low-middle class life or living in poverty.

La Misma Luna offers marketers targeting Hispanics in the U.S. a glimpse, and maybe some understanding, of the life and needs of undocumented workers, a segment that represents as many as 12 million people.


Hispanic Holidays: Cinco de Mayo

March 21, 2008

Do Mexicans celebrate Cinco de Mayo?  YES!

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican patriotic celebration that has been adopted in the United States as a Festive Holiday for both the Hispanic and the General markets. The day celebrates the victory of the Mexican army over the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.  Cinco de Mayo is commonly mistaken as the Mexican Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16th.

However, Cinco de Mayo is also a date that represents a symbol of Mexican and Latin American unity and patriotism. In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated with parades, carnivals, civic events and even with live representations of the battle. In the U.S., the celebration was adopted in the early 1930’s. Cinco de Mayo became a celebration in southwestern towns and cities with a high Mexican population. During the 1960s, the Chicano Movement adopted Cinco de Mayo as a celebration of Mexican culture. Since then, Cinco de Mayo evolved into a bi-cultural festivity that expressed the Mexican-American identity.

During the 1980s a big commercialization process took over the Cinco de Mayo celebration, when the alcohol industry began to market it as an excuse for celebration and heavy drinking among all segments of the U.S adult population, and especially among young people.

For Spanish-dominant Hispanics, Cinco de Mayo represents an opportunity to celebrate their patriotism and identity. Across the country carnivals, street celebrations, and concerts take place on May 5th, and in some cases they last for more than two days. Examples of these events are: Celebración del 5 de Mayo en la Placita Olvera (Los Angeles), The National Cinco de Mayo Festival at the National Mall (Washington D.C.), and the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta (Portland, Oregon). 

Every year before the Cinco de Mayo celebration, big advertising campaigns are launched promoting alcohol consumption targeted for both the general market and the Hispanic markets. Thus, Cinco de Mayo represents a gateway for brands such as Miller, Budweiser or Coors to reach the Hispanic population.

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Image source: http://www.marumontero.com/cinco.htm


Hispanic Holidays: Semana Santa (Holy Week)

March 13, 2008

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Photo source: http://www.burningwell.org

In most Latin American countries where Roman Catholic is the predominant religion, Easter is one of the most celebrated holidays in the year. The observance of Easter lasts a week, referred as Semana Santa (Holy Week), starting with Domingo de Palmas (Palm Sunday) and ending with Domingo de Pascua (Easter Sunday). The celebration of Semana Santa represents an opportunity for Hispanics for spiritual renewal, usually achieved by attending to mass and following Roman Catholics traditions or sacraments.

At the same time, Semana Santa is also a time used to gather and travel with immediate and extended family members. It is not uncommon to find an entire town or region on vacation.

In Mexico, for example, it is customary for employers to grant time off during the days of Semana Santa so that families can take this time to travel to beach destinations within the country.

For younger generations, in particular, Semana Santa is a time to travel and have fun with family and friends, a tradition that it is maintained even when living abroad.

From a marketing perspective, Holy Week represents good opportunity to promote social messages that could be linked to family values, personal improvement, and travel.