Latino Punctuality

While campaigning in Texas, the Hillary Clinton’s media team showed good understanding of the Hispanic culture…and voters.

Channel ’08, a blog, noted the following differeces between two T.V. spots that aired in Texas:

“As you can see in the screengrabs below, the Clinton campaign urges Spanish-speaking voters to arrive at caucus sites at 6:30 p.m., while the English-language ad urges voters to arrive by 6:45 p.m:”


Screengrab of a Hillary Clinton Spanish-language TV ad (YouTube). (Source


Screengrab of a Hillary Clinton English-language TV ad (YouTube) (Source:

Puncutuality is not a common trait among Hispanics, and it is ordinary for Latinos to plan accordingly. If you want a party to start by 10:00 p.m., tell your invitees to arrive by 8:00 p.m.; and be prepared for some late-comers to arrive by 11:00 p.m.

In non-social situation Latinos might be late to their appointments by 30-45 minutes, with the possible exception of a doctor’s appointment (in that case the doctor will be the one late.)

A word of Advice for marketers:

a) When planning community event such as a fair, festival or fiesta, announce its beginning time at least an hour before your scheduled activities begin.

b) When conducting focus groups or other qualitative studies with Hispanics, ALWAYS let know your that the session will begin at least 30 minutes before your official starting time (agreed with moderator and client), and tell the participants that they have to arrive at least 25 minutes earlier for registration purposes, otherwise they could lose their place. And even after making these allowances, expect participants to arrive just in time for the session.


One Response to Latino Punctuality

  1. Suzanne says:

    In our family we always asked “a la hora latina o americana?” “Americana al punto!” declares my father, and we all ignore him.

    My sister’s wedding started a a half-hour late (we were late) and the best man didn’t actually get there until after the wedding.

    So there you go — and we’re not even latino.

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