Marketing to Hispanics takes center stage – Business Monday – Big brands are using hipper, more sophisticated campaigns with Latin celebrities and parties to help connect with consumers. Read more: Big brands are using hipper, more sophisticated campaigns with Latin celebrities and parties to help connect with consumers. STUDYING THE MARKET Miami-based Telemundo Communications Group did a study last year on the most coveted segment of the Hispanic market — the 18 to 34 age group. The study, named Gen YLA — Generation Young Latino American — found that what makes young Hispanics unique is that they live in a culturally fluid environment, navigating between Hispanic and American culture and shifting naturally between English and Spanish. “They live in both worlds, and they are the ones who are going to define pop culture in America for this generation,” said Diana Mogollón, general manager of Telemundo’s channel aimed at young, bilingual Hispanics, mun2. Mun2, a 10-year old channel with programming in Spanish, English and Spanglish, relaunched five years ago in anticipation of what Jacquelince Hernández, Telemundo Communications Group’s COO, calls “the big change.” “It is said that in every decade a new generation brings forth a big change. In the next 40 years the U.S. population will expand by one hundred million people fueled primarily by U.S. Hispanics,” Hernández said. As part of its efforts to cater to the needs of this market, mun2 is developing “dramelas” — original bilingual series that combine elements of the American dramatic series and the Hispanic telenovela. The first “dramela” — RPM Miami — debuted on May 1 and airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ALEJANDRA LABANCA   BY ALEJANDRA LABANCASPECIAL TO THE MIAMI HERALD   When Western Union and Johnnie Walker designed their new nationwide marketing campaigns this year they chose to put Hispanic artists and Miami venues at the center of their efforts — a move that reveals that Hispanics are becoming more relevant in U.S. marketing. The latest U.S. Census data has captured the interest of many chief marketing officers, says Emil Morales, senior vice president and general manager for TNS, a market research company. “The trend for 2050 is that 125 million people in the U.S. will be of Hispanic origin. Growth is going to come from this segment and companies that don’t get into this market now will be late for the party.” Marketing aimed at Hispanics is also getting more sophisticated as Hispanics become savvier consumers and companies learn more about them. “There’s a new differentiation about how the message is being communicated. It’s less functional and more emotional,” says Morales. Companies are using new communication channels to talk to their Hispanic customers either in English or Spanish and they are using trusted media personalities to reach the market at an emotional level. And since the Census showed that Hispanics are disproportionately younger than other groups, this year’s campaigns are younger and hipper. Companies such as Western Union and Johnnie Walker are organizing concerts and music contests and hiring urban artists, DJs and very young media personalities to throw parties for their consumers. Western Union teamed up with Latin Grammy winner and reggaeton king Daddy Yankee for its latest campaign “Love in a Thousand Languages/Amor en Mil Idiomas.” The campaign’s main feature was a music contest that encouraged Western Union customers to sing or shout out their feelings for their loved ones. A song in Spanish by an aspiring songwriter and musician from Virginia was selected among almost 1,000 entries in English and Spanish. The $10,000 prize was presented by Daddy Yankee at the April 2011 Billboard Latin Music Awards in Miami. “This campaign is much hipper than last year’s because we want to position ourselves as cool and relevant and engage the consumer in a less traditional way,” said Juan Pablo Valdés, vice president of Marketing for Mexico and the U.S. for Western Union. Yet, although acculturation is happening fast and Hispanics are becoming more sophisticated, wealthier consumers, they still have unique characteristics that are forcing companies to shift their marketing strategies to better reach them. Hispanics have a strong sense of community and they are social animals, says Leslie Pantin, president of Pantin/Beber Silverstein PR in Miami. “They want to build relationships with companies and brands before doing business with them, especially if you are going to sell them real estate or manage their money,” he said. Pantin designed “Arteaméricas” for investment bank Merrill Lynch. The Latin American art fair takes place every March in Miami and Merrill Lynch bankers invite their clients and prospects from all over the U.S. and Latin America to buy art and schmooze around the open bar. “This establishes relationships and creates an atmosphere of trust,” said Pantin. Merrill Lynch also gets the chance to show Hispanics and Latin Americans that it is fluent in their culture: “The art fair closes late and offers an open bar with a full range of liquor. Hispanics party late and expect a full open bar. If there’s no Bacardi, no 12-year-old scotch, no Grey Goose, it’s not a bar.” Read more: