Hispanic ad spending: Great expectations

Author: Editors of Media Life Source:  Media Life


Dollars will flow to TV and digital in greater amounts than ever before

Hispanic ad spending has soared over the past five years.

But there’s a feeling that it could, and should, be even higher.

It won’t quite get there in 2016, though it will once again see substantial gains.

Media Life predicts spending on Hispanic media will grow by 14 to 17 percent this year, based on conversations with and input from media buyers and media analysts.

That growth will more than triple the rate of 4 to 5 percent for overall media forecasters are projecting.

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Political spending will help fuel part of that rise, of course.

Though Democrats have long had a stranglehold on Hispanic votes, Republicans are expected to pursue this key bloc in 2016 with presidential candidates including Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush boasting impressive popularity among Latinos.

Meanwhile, radio, newspaper and magazine spending has held up better for Spanish-language than English-language media, in part because there are fewer choices of where Hispanics can get their news.

Their hometown radio station or newspaper is often one of three or four media choices for news about their community, compared to dozens of choices for English-language media. Because of this, the audiences for these media have held up better, which keeps advertisers happy.

Plus, Hispanic online advertising is poised for huge growth this year.

While Latinos are huge consumers of mobile and social media, advertising has been slow to follow them there. Three-quarters of Hispanics own smartphones, according to Nielsen, and they use more mobile data than the average consumer.

Yet online spending is still dwarfed by TV spending, according to Kantar. As advertisers become more comfortable with mobile and social, Spanish-language sites should see a surge in spending.

Still, for all its potential, Hispanic media won’t achieve its just share of ad dollars until it’s fully integrated into media plans.

For all the growth it has seen, it remains an afterthought for many buyers, often finding its way onto media plans only after the client steps in and specifically requests it. And this is so even as so much Hispanic media buying has shifted to the general market agencies.

But Hispanic media has one thing working in its favor, and that’s the growing awareness among advertisers of the sheer size of the Hispanic population in the U.S.–some 54 million, or roughly 17 percent of Americans–and their continued growth.

They are also seeing more Hispanic faces in all forms of English-language media, which can be a major force in building awareness.