September 29, 2014
Advertisers in the US are drawing on the specific strengths of channels like online and outdoor when planning their Spanish-language campaigns, according to a paper in the Journal of Advertising Research.
Amy Jo Coffey, an associate professor of telecommunication management at the University of Florida, discussed this theme in her article, "The Power of Cultural Factors in Spanish-Language Advertising".
Coffey's survey panel included over 130 executives from US brand owners and agencies, and a mix of English-only advertisers and marketers who employed other languages to promote their goods and services.
Fully 73.2% of advertisers had leveraged bilingual advertising. Coffey also found that 12 languages had been used in communications at some point, led by Spanish on 93.9%, ahead of Chinese and Portuguese on 12.2%.
Digging further into the result, Coffey broke out the factors most-closely correlating with the individual media channels the participants chose to invest in.
At the broad level, she discovered, "cultural traits and preferences" played a key role across all the platforms featured in the study.
"This consensus highlights this factor's shared valuation by advertisers who are trying to reach Spanish-speaking audiences in the United States," Coffey said.
Looking beyond that overall statement, however, the research revealed some significant variation by medium, such as out-of-home and the internet.
As an example, the "size of the demographic group" served as the most-influential indicator as to why brands utilised outdoor ads to reach this cohort.
Turning to online, the "availability of separate metrics" regarding this demographic was an especially influential factor for predicting where Spanish-language advertisers would spend their money.
"The current study found that media platform is a mitigating factor in how advertisers perceive audience value and may affect how strong a role other demographic and market factors play into the advertiser's investment decision," Coffey suggested.
Indeed, the audience's "dependency on a non-English language" and frequency of foreign-language media consumption were not found to be significant predictors.
And if the rising affluence of Hispanic households has usually been viewed as a central consideration, Coffey found it was "not positively related" to spending on Spanish-language audiences on any platform.
"The current study demonstrated … that although household income likely is important, it is not the driving factor in linguistic market segmentation," she said.