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Hispanics increasingly receptive to auto ads, marketers say

January 15, 2016
Hispanics are flexing their automotive buying power in the U.S., and marketers are taking note.
"Why Hispanic Americans Are the Most Receptive Audience for Automotive Marketers" was a topic last fall at the 10th annual J.D. Power Automotive Roundtable.
The ethnic group is growing in size, prominence and influence, say two chief marketing officers, Jacqueline Hernandez of NBCUniversal’s Hispanic Enterprises and Content, and Jon Schulz of ad agency Viant.
About 56 million Hispanics make up almost 20 percent of the U.S. population. The number of them buying new cars increased from 10.9 percent in 2014 to 11.8 percent in 2015, according to Experian Automotive.
They are partial to Toyota, Ford, Chevrolet, Nissan and Honda, Hernandez said. "Those are the expected brands," he said, ‘but there are also the unexpected, including Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Audi."
To stay competitive, auto brands should pay attention to the ethnic group’s specific needs and interests, the two CMOs recommend.
"Focus on the story, not just the product," Hernandez said. "Be authentic; you can’t just repurpose creative."
Ads in Spanish and aimed at Hispanic audiences "do extremely well," she said. "Dubbed ads are less effective, but all aren’t bad." The duds are dubs that look obvious.
"Hispanics are heavy on mobile," said Schulz, citing a Viant survey of smartphone and computer-tablet device use. "Hispanic vehicle shoppers are twice as likely to find mobile ads persuasive. And digital video plays a much greater role in brand consideration for them."
The survey showed 22 percent of mobile-related ads are most likely to persuade a Hispanic auto shopper to purchase compared with 8 percent for non-Hispanics.     
Not just Hispanics are exposed to Hispanic advertising, Hernandez said. "About 14 percent of non-Hispanics live in areas where they are heavily exposed to the Hispanic culture. They’re seeing Hispanic ads."