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Hispanic CMO Thought Leaders Report: Making Waves

HispanicAd and the Adam R Jacobson Consultancy are proud to announce the fourth edition of Hispanic CMO, the most sought after publication in the U.S. Hispanic Market.

Distributed Nov. 5, it is now available for viewing and download for FREE.  Curated by Gilbert Dávila, Chair of the 2018 ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference and of Encino, Calif.-based Dávila Multicultural Insights, this report is independently produced by veteran journalist Adam Jacobson.

To download this year’s edition CLICK HERE.

Hispanic CMO enjoys more downloads and readership that any other mainstream or Hispanic focused publication combined, delivering over 9,500 downloads of the PDF version.

‘El Rey’ Founder Partners With VICE On New Hispanic Creative Shop

NEW YORK — The creative agency born from Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based VICE Media and the entertainment brand founded by Robert Rodriguez and supported with distribution from Univision have partnered up for an agency “partnering with brands seeking to connect with the rising U.S. Hispanic market.”

Virtue is partnering with El Rey to launch LA REYNA, bringing a new creative voice to a challenged segment of the U.S. advertising and branding arena.

LA REYNA’s creation is spurred by data over the last decade showing that births, rather than immigration, is driving U.S. Hispanic population growth. “This cultural shift has resulted in a surge of diverse tastes and interests, blurred lines of identity and a transcultural mindset among younger generations,” the companies note.

Rodriguez, a cult film director and founder of El Rey Network known for Machete and From Dusk Till Dawn, said, “Historically, the U.S. Hispanic population has been treated as one single entity. LA REYNA is an opportunity to abandon this ineffective approach and allow brands to connect authentically with this diverse audience. Virtue is an expert in developing culture platforms that speak to youth worldwide and in a moment where the market is demanding accountability, our strategic partnership is more than just an agency, it’s a game changer for the Latinx community.”

Virtue and El Rey claim that their combined expertise and resources “will enable LA REYNA to deliver strategic and creative services to brands, while leveraging the specialized teams – including analytics, production, and technology – of Virtue to round out a versatile agency offering.”

LA REYNA will be headquartered in Austin,  home to established U.S. Hispanic agency LatinWorks.

But, LA REYNA Chief Growth Officer Theresa Vargas Wyatt says her team is “going beyond just starting an advertising agency.”

She notes, “We have cemented a cultural hub in Texas generating provocative thought leadership, creative services and content that accurately reflects the nuances of Latinx.  Robert has spent 25 years redefining what it means to be a Latinx in entertainment, and the industry is just catching on. Now LA REYNA will redefine what it means to be a Latinx consumer.”

LA REYNA plans offer its brand partners:

  • Brand strategy & creative campaigns focused on the Latinx audience
  • Integrated production ranging from film to experiential
  • Brand IP and sustained programming, leveraging the entertainment and publishing roots of LA REYNA.
  • Cultural access, via LA REYNA’s network of Latinx creatives, influencers, and cultural figures


“Between El Rey’s film and entertainment roots and Virtue’s publisher pedigree, our respective expertise seamlessly compliments each other as we launch this hybrid organization – one part agency, one part production house,” said Virtue President Ryan Mack. “By combining our resources, capabilities, and insights, we hope to properly connect brands with this underserved, yet increasingly important, market.”

The key principals of LA REYNA include:

  • Omar Quiñones – Managing Director/Chief Strategy Officer brings over 15-year experience in advertising joins from Anomaly where he was Group Strategy Director.
  • Theresa Vargas Wyatt – Chief Growth Officer brings over 15 years of experience in business development specific to the Latinx consumer and joins from El Rey Network where she was Vice President Brand & Corporate Development.
  • Josh Stein – Chief Operating Officer joins from El Rey Network where he was a key member of the corporate development team. He has also held senior positions at Dr. Phil McGraw’s Bird Street Books, and the Latin-targeted lifestyle channel MiCasa.



In its first brand partnership, LA REYNA has teamed up with AB-InBev’s Mexican beer brand, Estrella Jalisco.

Together, they will be hosting an immersive and creative experience in Austin on Friday (11/2).

“Night of the Stars,” will celebrate the heritage of the brand and Mexico, while toasting to a progressive and innovative future.

“The Latinx consumer has always been a focus of our brand, but they are quickly becoming a major priority for the entire beer industry, not only because of their growth in population, but more importantly, the influence they have on culture,” said Yonathan Bendesky, Senior Brand Director of Anheuser-Busch Mexican Imports and a 2017 Hispanic CMO Thought Leader. “LA REYNA is poised to tap into that cultural influence and help it grow. The combination of Robert, Virtue and all the capabilities they offer is going to help our brand stay on the cusp of what’s happening in culture and show up in places that are meaningful to this consumer. We’re looking forward to partnering with them on this upcoming project and beyond.”

LA REYNA has also begun partnering with global collaborative workspace network, WeWork, on brand programming that will roll out in 2019.

The agency will also be housed in WeWork’s downtown Austin location.

Virtue is a global, full-service creative agency with 26 offices across the globe. It develops brand platforms, programs and campaigns that are culturally-rooted and youth-focused for clients such as Asics, AB-InBev, Cazadores, Unilever, Google, lululemon, Marriott Loyalty Rewards, Netflix, and Vega.

‘Adios, Telemundo’: Salida de Silberwasser Confirmed

MIAMI — In a surprise announcement, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises revealed that the search is on for its new President of Telemundo Networks.

After four years in the role, Hispanic media industry veteran Luis Silberwasser will be leaving the company on October 1. This will allow Silberwasser to assist with the transition in leadership at the Telemundo and TelExitos broadcast TV networks and at the Universo cable TV network.

The reasons for Silberwasser’s departure are not clear. However, NBCU spoke highly of him in sharing news of his pending exit. He “helped change the programming strategy and the positioning of the network” and bet on new genres and formats. “By drawing on his deep understanding of the U.S. Hispanic audience as well as his experience with international markets, Silberwasser was a key contributor in redefining Hispanic media and making Telemundo the preferred media destination for Hispanics today,” NBCU said.

Cesar Conde, Chairman of NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises and NBCUniversal International Group, noted, “Luis helped propel our rise as the definitive media and entertainment brand for today’s Hispanic consumer. He has made an indelible mark on our company at a time of great transformation. On behalf of everyone at Telemundo, I want to thank him for his dedication, partnership and invaluable contributions.”

Silberwasser added, “I’m extremely proud of what we have accomplished at Telemundo and the important role of this organization in serving the Latino community across America. Today, Telemundo is the clear leader, not only in viewership, but as the network that will take content risks and breaks stereotypes.  I am thankful to have had the opportunity to work with the best team in the industry and to have been a part of Telemundo’s groundbreaking success.  As I now embark on new content-making ventures, I will always look forward to seeing the Telemundo brand continue its tremendous growth.”

So, why is he leaving? A source close to the matter tells Hispanic Market Overview that aligning the leadership structure in a way that mirrors that of sibling NBC was the key desire for NBCUniversal. As such, it is believed that it is Silberwasser’s decision to depart and that it was an amicable one.

Word of Silberwasser’s pending exit arrived moments after NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises announced new leadership responsibilities of four key executives, which the Comcast-owned entity believes “will allow the organization to further accelerate its leadership position in media and as the choice and voice of Latinos today across all platforms.”

Beau Ferrari, EVP of NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises

Beau Ferrari will take a bigger role as EVP of NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises. Ferrari was appointed to the position in March 2017 and will now “closely partner with all content divisions and NBCUniversal teams across the portfolio.” Ferrari was previously EVP/Corporate Strategy and Development at Telemundo’s main rival, Univision Communications.

During his tenure, Ferrari also served as the first CEO and GM of Fusion, the ill-fated multiplatform joint venture with The Walt Disney Company. Additionally, Ferrari headed Univision Deportes and the launch of Univision’s sports network and served as Chief of Staff/Special Assistant to the CEO.

Prior to Ferrari joining Univision Communications, he was co-founder and partner at Royal Palm Capital Partners, a private equity investment and management firm. Ferrari began his career as an investment banker with Morgan Stanley & Co. in New York.

Concurrently, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises EVP Mónica Gil is adding the role of Chief Marketing Officer, overseeing all brand and corporate marketing, communications, corporate affairs and human resources. She joined Telemundo in January 2017 following a lengthy tenure at Nielsen.

Additionally, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises EVP/Digital Media and Emerging Business Peter Blacker is given the new role of EVP/Revenue Strategy & Innovation. In the newly created role, “Blacker will work across linear and digital platforms to amplify the company’s monetization efforts throughout all revenue streams.” Blacker is a 14-year Telemundo veteran.

Lastly, Ronald Day has been elevated to EVP/Entertainment from SVP/Programming at Telemundo Networks. It’s a swift rise for the longtime former Univision executive, who rose to SVP/Programming & Promotions in his 16 1/2 years at the operation. Today, Day will be responsible for programming, talent and promotions of prime-time, daytime and specials for Telemundo and Universo Networks.

The new leadership team will report to Conde and will be based at Telemundo Center in West Miami, which opened in March 2018.

The digital multicast TELEXITOS , launched and operated by the Telemundo Station Group, will continue to be led by Barbara Alfonso.

What’s next for Silberwasser could be the biggest topic of conversation in Miami, New York and Los Angeles. He joined Telemundo Networks as President in August 2014 following a lengthy run at Discovery Communications, exiting as EVP/Chief Content Officer for Discovery Networks International. From 1991-1997, Silberwasser was a brand manager for Procter & Gamble Co. in Latin America.

Silberwasser’s exit comes amid widely reported turmoil at Telemundo’s No. 1 competitor — Univision Communications. But, it also comes as Azteca América is gearing up for a massive relaunch under new owner HC2.

So far there’s only speculation on where Silberwasser may be going.


— Radio + Television Business Report,

Discovery Finds A Direct-To-Consumer CEO

Taking a page from Hispanic media companies including Univision Communications, New York-based Discovery Inc. is taking a big leap into the direct-to-consumer arena.

Chances are Discovery’s U.S. Hispanic and Latin America-targeted cable channels are integral to the D-to-C initiative’s success.

In a major move,  Peter Faricy is taking the newly created role of CEO/ Global Direct-to-Consumer. He’ll be charged with overseeing Discovery’s global digital and direct-to-consumer businesses.

Faricy joins Discovery from Amazon, where he led the growth of the Amazon Marketplace, the company’s third-party seller business, and previously led Amazon’s successful music and movies categories. Faricy has also held leadership roles at Borders Group, Ford, and McKinsey.

“Peter is a world-class executive, with an extensive track record of building some of the world’s most successful direct-to-consumer products and businesses,”  Discovery President/CEO David Zaslav said. “We are excited to welcome Peter and his vision and skill set to the Discovery leadership team as we accelerate our pivot to become a next-generation media company engaging passionate communities of fans around the world on every screen with trusted, high quality brands and content.”

Faricy reports to Zaslav starting Sept. 17.

With Faricy’s arrival, Discovery Networks International President/CEO JB Perrette will continue to lead the overall Eurosport business and will work together with Faricy on direct-to-consumer product rollouts across international markets.

O’Connor Joins Lee In The Univision Departure Lounge

Six days after Isaac Lee resigned as Chief Content Officer of Univision Communications, the company’s Chief Revenue Officer “has decided to step down.”

In an announcement distributed after 4:30pm Pacific on Monday (7/23), Univision’s New York business office confirmed the departure of Tonia O’Connor after 10 1/2 years of service with the Hispanic media company.

Univision, in a statement, noted that O’Connor played “a key role” in the company’s expansion from three networks to 17 broadcast, cable and digital networks. Unfortunately, Univision has largely failed to keep up with the rapidly changing viewer habits and interests of today’s Hispanic market, losing audience share to NBCUniversal Hispanic Enterprises’ Telemundo and big properties — namely the FIFA World Cup.

These declines have put extreme pressure on Univision to produce, and the exits O’Connor — like Lee — may be viewed by some as collateral for its steady decline and lack of scalability with English-preferred Latino consumers.

In a telling sign, it was Univision’s Board of Directors that collectively offered a comment about O’Connor’s decision to leave Univision.

“For more than a decade, Tonia O’Connor has been a key figure in transforming Univision from a niche media asset into a major player in the U.S. media landscape. We greatly appreciate her leadership and the important role she played in driving the company’s growth, negotiating complex transactions and developing new revenue streams. We thank her and wish her well and continued success in her new endeavors.”

O’Connor added,  “I am incredibly proud of helping transform Univision into a media powerhouse. I will always treasure my experience and colleagues from Univision, which I will carry with me as I take on new challenges and continue to make an impact.”

O’Connor joined Univision in January 2008 as Chief Commercial Officer and President of Content Distribution. She was promoted in July 2017. Before taking the role at Univision, O’Connor spent 13 years at Gemstar-TV Guide, serving as EVP/Distribution.

Her first career role was as an outside mobile sales representative for Bell South, from 1991-1993, following her graduation from Syracuse University.


In December 2010,  Univision Communications made the bold move by turning to an individual with a background in Hispanic and Latin American trade publications to take over leadership of its news operations.

The appointment of Isaac Lee as President of News for the Univision Network eventually led Lee to ascend to the role of Chief Content Officer of Univision Communications.

With declining ratings and Univision’s poor financial state grabbing headlines of late, Lee emerged as a central figure among those seeking to put a finger on why Univision now lags Telemundo at both 9pm and 10pm weeknights.

Lee on Tuesday (7/17) became the latest victim of Univision’s woes, tendering his resignation.

In a press release, Univision said the move was done following his “successful completion” of a mandate to align the content operations of both Univision and its longtime Mexican partner, Televisa.

Under Lee, the first-ever global pilot season in Spanish-language television for Mexico and the U.S. was initiated.

But, Lee was a central figure overseeing not only Univision News and Univision Digital, but also all content including The Root, The Onion and Gizmodo Media before ascending to the joint role as UCI and Televisa in January 2017.

That connection to Gizmodo and The Onion may have come back to haunt Lee. As Radio + Television Business Report reported July 10, Gizmodo and The Onion are on the block. There was no mention of Fusion, the English-language entity that was originally launched in partnership with The Walt Disney Company.

The GMG digital portfolio includes Gizmodo, Jezebel, Deadspin, Lifehacker, Splinter, The Root, Kotaku, Earther and Jalopnik; The Onion portfolio includes Clickhole, The A.V. Club and The Takeout.

Daniel Coronell, who succeeded Lee as President of News, continues in that role.

UCI Chairman Haim Saban thanked Lee for leading Univision’s content team “with integrity and courage and helping elevate and position Univision in mainstream American media. He understood the relevance that Univision has for Hispanic America and served the audience well. Isaac has vision and knows how to execute. I wish him well and expect more exciting things from him in the future.”

Lee’s accomplishments at Univision also include the creation of the Los Angeles-based content development and production hub Story House Entertainment, which developed three seasons of the series “El Chapo,” co-produced with Netflix; and the documentary “Science Fair,” which won Sundance’s Audience Award in 2018. A new drama, “Tijuana,” set in the Mexican border town, is in production. Two additional docu-series, “Murder Mountain” and “Who Killed Malcolm X,” also co-produced with Netflix, are in production.

What is Lee’s next destination? Univision notes that he will start his own production company.

“I want to thank my extraordinarily talented and hard-working colleagues at Univision, as well as Haim and the entire Board, for all the support I have received in my nearly eight years at UCI,” Lee said.

Lee emerged as a possible leader at Univision in the mid-2000s, as Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of PODER Magazine. His resume includes roles at Zoom Media Group and as the editor of Semana magazine in Colombia in the late 1990s.

His biography can be found here.


Univision’s New Commander: A Former Media General?

Speculation is rampant that Univision Communications is finalizing a formal announcement that a former LIN Media CEO who then stewarded Media General’s merger with Nexstar has been given the CEO role at the fiscally challenged Hispanic media company. This individual also spent a decade as CFO of Telemundo and is presently on WAPA parent’s board of directors.

Univision’s ‘Multi-Year Transformation’ Not Free Of Layoffs

Flights from nearby Miami International Airport aren’t the only thing around here taking off. It appears upward of 150 people are also taking flight, for good, from Univision Communications.  It’s the second, and deeper, round of job cuts at the Hispanic and millennial-focused company in eight weeks. The company explains it is part of its “multi-year transformation initiative.”

Telemundo Captures Copa América Rights In U.S.

Telemundo Deportes, the exclusive Spanish-language home of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, announced today it is adding to its world-class sports content portfolio the exclusive Spanish-language U.S. media rights to the 2019 Copa America to be held in Brazil.

The 2019 Copa America will be the 46th edition of the quadrennial international men’s soccer championship organized by South America’s soccer ruling body CONMEBOL. Copa America is the oldest international continental soccer competition and it determines the continental champion of South America.

“We are extremely pleased to join forces with CONMEBOL and the Copa America tournament,” said Ray Warren, President, Telemundo Deportes. “It is a world class event and perfectly aligns with our approach to partner with owners of the biggest and best global sporting events to bring them to our Spanish-language audience in the U.S.”

“We are delighted with Telemundo’s recent acquisition of media rights for our most prestigious and oldest Cup of national football teams. This partnership will ensure that all Spanish-speaking football lovers in the U.S. territory will enjoy the Copa America 2019,”  said Alejandro Dominguez, President, CONMEBOL.

The winner of the 12-team tournament will earn the right to compete for the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup. Chile will be the defending champions and other participating countries include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela and invited teams from Japan and Qatar.

Telemundo Deportes is the exclusive Spanish-language home of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, offering more than 1,500 hours of World Cup coverage from Russia across all platforms, including the live streaming of all 64 World Cup Russia games. Having recently completed the Group Stage, Telemundo Deportes’ broadcast of the 2018 FIFA World Cup has reached more than 30 million viewers and positioned Telemundo as the #1 Spanish Language TV Networks in Total Day since the beginning of the tournament. To date, Telemundo Deportes’ Digital World Cup presentation has accounted for the four most livestreamed events in Spanish-language history and has streamed more than 1.6 billion minutes.

Telemundo Deportes, one of the leading providers of sports content in Spanish in the United States, is home to two of the world’s most popular sporting events: the FIFA World Cup™ through 2026 and the Summer Olympic Games through 2032. In addition, Telemundo Deportes broadcasts the Premier League and FIFA World Cup™ CONCACAF qualifying matches for most of the region, including the Mexico and USA national teams’ away matches. Telemundo Deportes is also home to “Titulares y Más,” the #1 sports news, entertainment and commentary show in Spanish and “Boxeo Telemundo Ford,” the #1 boxing program in Spanish, among other recognized sports properties.

The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) is the continental governing body of football associations in South America and one of FIFA’s six continental confederations. The oldest continental confederation in the world, its headquarters is located in Luque, Paraguay, near Asunción. Founded on July 9, 1916, in Buenos Aires, it is comprised of ten-member countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. The confederation is responsible for the development, organization and governance of South American football’s major tournaments. CONMEBOL national teams have won nine FIFA World Cups and clubs have won 22 Intercontinental Cups and four FIFA Club World Cups.

MP & Silva served as CONMEBOL’s exclusive consultant for Copa America.


Some 82% of marketers expect to increase their digital spend as a percentage of their total advertising budget.

Further, nearly 80% of marketers plan to increase their investment in analytics or attribution solutions in the next 12 months.

Those are some of the key findings from the Nielsen CMO Report 2018, the first in an annual series of CMO reports by the audience measurement company.

The research, based on in-depth U.S.-based CMO interviews and extensive survey data, made it clear that it’s not more data that marketers are looking for, rather better insight.  Only 25% of marketers reported being highly confident in their ability to accurately measure return on investment (ROI). 

Across nearly all business verticals, marketers reported large shifts in how they evaluate, measure and budget across media channels. 
They also revealed how important digital media has become to their overall marketing efforts.

  • Eighty-two percent of marketers expect to increase their digital media spend as a percentage of their total advertising budget in the next twelve-months (by an average of +49%)
  • Search and social media were ranked the most important digital channels by over 73% of participants
  • The proof of digital media effectiveness, however, remains unclear; only 26% of marketers surveyed were highly confident in their ability to accurately quantify digital media ROI

While respondents didn’t – in general – rank traditional media as highly as digital, they made it clear that traditional channels remain critical to brand building and its associated top-of-funnel marketing metrics including brand awareness, recall and favorability. 

  • Less than a third of respondents expect an increase in traditional media budgets over the next 12 months
  • Television continues to hold its own as the most important traditional media channel by over 51% of participating companies;  30% of respondents ranked TV as extremely important to their marketing strategy
  • Proving ROI remains a challenge for traditional media as well;  Only 23% of marketers were highly confident in measuring traditional media ROI

The report demonstrated that brand advertisers are increasingly organizing themselves in more channel-agnostic ways with customers at the center of their strategy. Four years ago that was not the case for over 70% of companies.  Now nearly as many marketers (62%) reported being organized in a way that supports an omnichannel approach with unified reporting structures and revenue goals.  Challenges with omnichannel marketing execution persist, however, as only a quarter of brand advertisers are highly confident in their current marketing technology.  Respondents reported a need for an easier approach to marketing technology that better integrates multi-channel consumer data and insights in one place.

“We conducted the research for the Nielsen CMO Report 2018 with one central goal, to give voice to brand advertisers who are facing some of the most daunting challenges of their organizations,” said Eric Solomon, SVP of Product Marketing and Strategy at Nielsen.  “What we heard was that despite the prevalence of new advertising and promotional channels and significant investments in data and technology, marketers are still struggling to generate and prove sales results in an increasingly omnichannel world.”

Download a copy of The Nielsen CMO Report 2018 here

Moncada-led MLC To Rep ‘Chiquibaby’

MLC Media Services on July 1 will assume responsibilities for all on-air network sales and radio station affiliation of the nationally syndicated Spanish-language program “El Show de Chiquibaby” in the U.S.

The program, hosted by Stephanie “Chiquibaby” Himonidis, is currently airing in 32 radio markets.  She is also host of the Telemundo show Acceso Total, which airs in more than 12 U.S. markets. This summer she will be traveling to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup to be part of the “Un Nuevo Día” morning show team.

She will also host her daily radio program and share her experiences from Russia on social media.

Chiquibaby has been a host on stations serving Hispanics owned by CBS Radio, Univision and SBS.

“Adding Stephanie’s Show to our list of Spanish-language syndicated programs is a strategy that will help us deliver relevant premium content to our station partners and advertisers,” said MLC Media Services CEO Carlos Moncada. “We are thrilled to welcome such amazing and verse talent that reaches fans across television, radio and social media.”

Hispanic Market Overview 2018: Now Available For Free Download

The Adam R Jacobson Consultancy, in association with, is proud to announce the release of the annual Hispanic Market Overview state-of-the-industry report.

The Hispanic marketing and advertising industry’s annual State of the Industry report, Hispanic Market Overview includes insight and observations from such key players as:

  • Alex López Negrete, López Negrete Communications
  • Isaac Mizrahi, Culture Marketing Council (CMC) and ALMA
  • Gaby Alcántara-Diaz, Semilla
  • Larissa Acosta, Wells Fargo Bank
  • Fernando Fernández, D’Expósito & Partners
  • Stacie deArmas, Nielsen

Thanks to our partners, this report is available via free download:


López Negrete Communcations

Infusion by Castells
d expósito & partners




By Adam R Jacobson

A decade ago, there was an attempt by an editor at a now-defunct trade publication focused on Hispanic marketing and advertising to start a tough conversation about the industry’s next 10-20 years.

Always the futurist, trends and observations were gathered. Pen was put to paper, and then fingers to keyboard. From 2010 through today, nine Hispanic Market Overview reports have been produced – each with a unique and informative encapsulation of where the U.S. Hispanic market is heading. At the same time, the Hispanic Market Overview reports have served as a “primer” for what was once termed the “Hispanic Chief Marketing Officer.”

Yet, no one wanted to address the changes we long saw coming. In 2010, there was concern that the U.S. Hispanic marketing and advertising universe was ripe for contraction. We even suggested that, come 2030, the U.S. Hispanic market would be very similar to the African American marketplace of 2010 — fully integrated and “total market” in scope, with a handful of media brands specifically targeting this consumer group.

We were assailed for such a suggestion. Hispanics are different, we were told again and again. They continue to embrace their culture.

BINGO. That statement, more than any other statement we’ve heard from Hispanic marketing pioneers to today’s most active agency leaders, speaks volumes of the rapid change taking place in Hispanic marketing and advertising.

Of course, there are major changes taking place for all advertising shops – not just those that have identified themselves as “Hispanic agencies” or specialists until now. Programmatic is, for better or for worse, a reality brand managers and Hispanic shops must work with, not against. Data-driven analytics are driving more campaigns than ever before. Efficiencies are a budget must, but as demonstrated by Wells Fargo Bank in a newly launched campaign we discuss in this year’s edition, don’t have to be simple transcreations.

Why? Because, it is all about cultural relevancy.

But … to what extent? The release of the 2018 Hispanic Market Overview comes concurrent to the first-ever Culture Marketing Council annual conference, taking place June 4-6 in Los Angeles.

For those who aren’t in the know, it’s not the first-ever conference for this group, but the first-ever conference for a group that just changed its name from ahaa, founded as the “Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies.”

The name-change is a case study in how the U.S. Hispanic market is an amoeba, shifting shapes in an ever-evolving manner that requires intelligence from experts. That’s where CMC members, and others that have been highly active “Hispanic” marketing and advertising pros, come in.

Alex López Negrete has carved his teeth on highly successful Hispanic market efforts for some of the world’s biggest brands. Yet, the biggest news coming out of his Houston-based agency involves a campaign created for the Middle East, with spots in Arabic.

Is this indicative of where the U.S. Hispanic advertising and marketing industry needs to go?

Maybe for some, maybe not for others. Gaby Alcántara-Diaz has become the go-to expert on how to reach the upscale Latino consumer. Heritage shops such as D Expósito & Partners and longtime industry leaders including Liz Castells and Isaac Mizrahi continue to focus nearly all of their efforts on Hispanic ROI solutions for their clients.

And, it’s not like brands who have been actively targeting Hispanic consumers are suddenly ceasing that activity. Instead, it’s the same old song: Categories ripe for growth that have been ripe for growth for nearly a decade, combined with “total market” challenges that have led to lower returns resulting from taking the Cheap Channel, rather than the ROI River.

There are many idea generators when it comes time to produce this annual report. But, we never thought one of those would be the classic Elton John album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

The four-side opus, released in 1973, opens with a two-song medley titled “Love Lies Bleeding/Funeral For A Friend.” The lyrics include the following line:

Oh it doesn’t seem a year ago
To this very day
You said I’m sorry honey
If I don’t change the pace
I can’t face another day

While playing this album, on the record player, those lyrics struck us. One year ago we fretted that the death of Hispanic marketing and advertising was upon us. Ernest Bromley is retired; his shop shuttered. Great voices of the past, such as Carl Kravetz, have been dimmed. The Smithsonian Institution has a museum exhibit now dedicated to what was, what had been just outstanding – and now a part of the American past.

Yes, we’re holding a funeral for ahaa, and we’re still very concerned about the future of “Hispanic” marketing and advertising. But, we’re not mourning the death of the U.S. Hispanic market in any way, shape or form.

Rather, we are rededicating our passion and commitment to telling marketers and advertisers why the U.S. Hispanic consumer is – and will continue to be – an integral part of the diversity and culture-minded efforts that are now reshaping the ways companies communicate with consumers.

From Target EVP/CMO Rick Gomez to Comcast VP/Multicultural Communications José Velez-Silva, the embrace of culture marketing will do much to guarantee the continued importance of Hispanic-specific outreach.

Until mid-May, we at Hispanic Market Overview weren’t convinced. We asked Mizrahi and Mr. López-Negrete what they thought of the rebranding of ahaa to CMC, because we weren’t so sure removing “Hispanic” from the name of an organization focused on the U.S. Hispanic market was such a smart idea.

On Memorial Day, a visit to Pearl Harbor was made, with the afternoon spend enjoying the famous Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head State Monument. It was a great lesson in culture marketing. Everywhere we looked, there were Japanese tourists and residents rubbing elbows; signage and ads included Japanese messaging, while Hawaiian Airlines offers an in-flight magazine all in Japanese. There are also Filipinos, and native Hawaiians that are increasingly using the Hawaiian language. All converged that evening for a 20th annual Lantern Floating Hawaii ceremony to remember relatives, friends and fallen service members. More than 30,000 people attended the event, televised live on Raycom-owned broadcast stations serving the Hawaiian islands. It was a truly multiethnic event that, while somber, demonstrated the power of inclusion, creativity and community.

Creativity, community, and culture are the focal points of the 2018 CMC Annual Conference.

Hispanic Market Overview takes it one step further, by showing how evolving, imagining and inspiring can yield continued growth and extend the life of an industry that’s changing every day. But, these metamorphoses are welcomed and far from a harbinger of death.

That 45-year-old Elton John album concludes with a masterpiece of a song called “Harmony.” After mourning the loss of Marilyn Monroe and pounding the way through “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting,” John sings:

Harmony and me, we’re pretty good company
Looking for an island in our boat upon the sea

It was a great image to put into perspective where we’re collectively heading. The yellow brick road extends far for the U.S. Hispanic marketer and advertiser, and involves a journey that may include some not-so-smooth navigation. But, with the perfect harmony of cultural wisdom and resonant messaging, the future looks to be a bright one.