Bringing Latino Flavor into the People’s Choice Awards with Honey Bunches of Oats.

By Lili Gil, Media Contributor & Managing Partner, XL Alliance  (HispanicCMO.com)

For most Hispanic marketers, branded entertainment campaigns and event integrations tend to be limited to the usual Latino events and award shows.  However, Post Honey Bunches of Oats is taking a unique twist to kick off 2012 with the People’s Choice Awards. With a vision for total market planning, leveraging resources and realizing that Latinos are navigating the bicultural and bilingual entertainment-waters, the cereal brand has ventured to bring some Latino flavor and crunch into a “general market” show.

After all stars like Enrique Iglesias, Selena Gomez, Pitbull, Don Omar and Sofia Vergara are in the list of nominees, so why not celebrate Latino influence in the mainstream with marketing cross-over?

62% of Hispanics are U.S. born, making them the emerging majority of Latinos that are comfortable living in the two worlds.  Unfortunately that statistic is misunderstood by many marketers that assume “they speak English, therefore I don’t need to do anything special,” while ignoring the power of cultural relevancy and emotional insights that transcends language.

An article published by Hispanically Speaking said that, “Latinos identifying themselves as bicultural spend the majority of their TV viewing time – 72% – with English language TV and 28% with Spanish language programming.” According to the Maximo Report, a study co-sponsored by MTV Tr3s and conducted by Motivo Insights and the New Generation Latino Consortium, “30% of young, bicultural Latinos actively seek out “mainstream” English-only content, while 50% seek content that could be defined as bicultural or bilingual. About 70% said they like to see English-language ads appearing on predominantly Spanish-language TV channels. Instead, they look for programming where “they are the star,” “their lives, entertainment interests and issues are authentically represented,” and “their American and Latino sides meet,” according to the report summary.

It boils down to this: cultural-relevancy…both in English and en Español! Many Latinos don’t see themselves or their voice properly represented in the so called “mainstream media,” but those making an effort to connect and stand out within it are being noticed and hitting el corazón unexpectedly. From ads like the Volkswagen commercial that ends in full Spanish or a McDonald’s commercial with hints of Spanglish during primetime television to media giants launching Latino properties like Fox News Latino, Hispanics at NBC, NBC Latino and The Huffington Post Latino Voices, the game of engagement is changing. Why? Because of the relevancy gap in the mainstream…and this is what Honey Bunches of Oats is banking on with an unusual Latino twist during the People’s Choice Awards.

“At Post, we are not translating whatever we’re doing for the ‘General Market’ while simply checking the box for Hispanics. We’re taking a full ‘Total Market’ approach to truly own the show with all of our important consumer targets with the objective to increase the over-all impact to Honey Bunches of Oats. This is something that I have not seen many brands do well in traditional award shows and somehow they forget about the very important bicultural Latina. Typically marketing is managed by separate General Market and Hispanic teams that don’t work together and programs often seem very disconnected after execution. At Post, we lead with insights that aid in generating a well thought out and relevant content for our consumers to enjoy.” said Mike Foley, Brand Manager, U.S. Hispanic and Export, Post Foods.

Some of the brand’s Hispanic digital strategies, managed by XL Alliance, include bringing top Latino influencer to the viewing party in New York City with other bloggers and influencers to enjoy a remote red carpet fun and show experience. Also a LIVE RED CARPET TWITTER PARTY will be hosted on January 11th, starting at 7/6C, uniting Latino fashionistas, reporters and critics to share the best moments, celebrity encounters and more under the hash-tag #HBOatsLatinoVIP. Also the brand is launching its@HBOatsLatino twitter in parallel with the show.

The brand’s facebook page www.facebook.com/pensemospositivo and the new twitter handle will also engage fans and followers during the red carpet and show by providing exclusive photo and video content and live updates. In parallel, the general market Honey Bunches of Votes campaign will grant their online community exclusive access to the People’s Choice Awards, and they will be presenting two categories, “Favorite New TV Drama” and “Favorite New TV Comedy,” which will remain open for voting until night of show on PeoplesChoice.com.

Congratulations Honey Bunches of Oats for your vision and for realizing that Latinos matter in every-day American pop-culture. You serve as a great example for others to realize the importance of total market planning and cross-over branded entertainment!

Stay current with Hispanic Marketing insights and subscribe toHispanicAd.com . And stay connected to the latest happenings in news and pop culture with a Latino business perspective watching YouTube’s 1st and Only Hispanic Business Channel: Moments to CultuRise with Lili Gil. Contact: Twitter @liligil or visit myculturalintelligence.com .

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Categories: NGLC Conference

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