Demystifying Acculturation

09/30/11 . Graciela Eleta

On Sept. 28, our Client Development Group held its first webinar in the series “Hispanic 411: Insights to Grow Your Business.” Led by myself and Senior Director Liz Sanderson, the webinar’s goal was to help marketers connect with bilingual Hispanics.

With insights reinforced by a new ethnographic video research study conducted by Univision in partnership with Encuesta, the webinar revealed the four keys to help marketers understand acculturation:

First, acculturation is not a linear journey. It is an ongoing and ever-changing process with no particular end-point; Hispanics don’t necessarily want to reach a “fully assimilated destination.”

Secondly, acculturation involves more than just language. Acculturation should not be confused with “Hispanics who speak English.” Language is a large passion point in the Hispanic culture, but so is food, family, music, sports, fashion, celebrities and spirituality. According to the study, bilingual Hispanics feel these passion points are integral to their identity and therefore feel a need to preserve them.

The third key to understanding acculturation is that it’s additive not subtractive. Hispanics are incorporating American values, aspirations, traditions, holidays, foods and music and layering these on top of their Hispanic culture. In the ethnographic study, young bilinguals revealed they think being bicultural allows them to experience the best of both worlds.

Finally, bilingual Hispanics’ cultural duality creates an appetite for all things Hispanic. They are drawn to media and marketing messages that accurately and fully reflect their Hispanic-American lives. Cultural relevance drives the consumption of content.

I am thrilled that many of you found our findings and marketing implications helpful. If you weren’t able to join us, I highly recommended listening to the replay of the webinar available here.

Throughout the coming months, Univision will host additional webinars showcasing insights on the Hispanic consumer. The next webinar on October 26 will discuss best practices when tackling Hispanic creative. We hope you join us.

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