Politico, December 11, 2011
By Randy Falco
Political observers regularly draw parallels between political communications and consumer marketing. Whether it’s increasing use of social media, data mining or breakthrough creative style, political campaigns and consumer ad campaigns are always watching each other — looking for the next great idea.
In 2012, no trend may be more important than efforts by political campaigns to learn from consumer brands’ response to the enormous opportunities that come from connecting with the U.S. Hispanic community.
We have seen the numbers and understand why parties and brands alike need to reach out to Hispanics. There are more than 50 million Hispanic Americans, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This is, by far, the fastest-growing segment of our population, driven by U.S. births. Every month, 50,000 Hispanics turn 18.
The Hispanic population is remarkably engaged in the political process — 84 percent of Hispanic registered voters turned out to vote in 2008. In addition, though the Hispanic community has in the past been located almost exclusively in a small number of states, some of the fastest-growing pockets of Hispanics are in places like Iowa, North and South Dakota and Ohio.
Today, young Hispanics switch easily from English to Spanish. They are deeply rooted in their own culture, yet readily interact with things most interesting to them in non-Hispanic culture. They choose to watch TV in Spanish not because they can’t understand English — but because English language TV doesn’t always understand them.