Monday, March 29, 2010

Share of Media Dollars Allocated to Hispanic Market Increased in 2009 Despite Recession and Near Double-Digit Cuts in Overall Ad Spending Among Top 500 Advertisers

Smart Marketers Seeking to Restore Revenue Growth Shifted Ad Dollars and Confidence to Hispanic Consumers According to Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA) 2010 Hispanic Investment Trends Analysis

MCLEAN, Va., March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Facing a bleak 2009, the top 500 advertisers sharpened their pencils and took bold steps to restructure advertising priorities and redistribute ad dollars to cash in on the powerful Hispanic market. Advertisers allocated 5.4 percent of ad dollars during last year's recession to reach and connect with Hispanic consumers, up from 5.1 percent in 2008 and slightly below the 5.6 percent historical high in pre-recession 2007. Although ad spending targeting non-Hispanics by the Top 500 advertisers dropped by 9.5 percent in 2009, Hispanic spending declined by only 4.4 percent. AHAA's preliminary trend analysis indicates marketers allocated a higher proportion of available resources to Hispanic media, shifting non-Hispanic media dollars to tap into the Hispanic market potential and optimize their overall results.

To benchmark investment and reallocation of ad dollars from non-Hispanic to Hispanic, AHAA recently issued the first Hispanic Marketing Investment Trends report analyzing trends over three years, 2006 through 2008. The report analyzes company and category changes in allocation and assigns the top 500 advertisers in the country to one of five spending tiers: Best-in-Class; Leader; Follower; Laggard; or Don't-Get-It.

In 2009, companies in the Best-In-Class tier increased their aggregate Hispanic spending an impressive 25 percent over 2008 compared to their non-Hispanic spending increase of only 11 percent. The number of companies in the Best-In-Class category, defined by their allocation of more than 11.8 percent of ad budgets to Hispanic media, increased from 32 to 40 last year with an average allocation of 21.4 percent.

Among Best-In-Class marketers are subscription TV giants DirecTV (allocating 40% of every media dollar against the Hispanic segment), Time Warner Cable, and Dish®; leading international brewers FEMSA (Tecate & Dos XX), Modelo (Corona), Heineken and SABMiller (MGD, Coors); auto insurance leaders State Farm and Allstate; telecom movers Metro PCS and T-Mobile; multinational packaged goods - foods corporation Groupe Danone, leader in fresh dairy products and bottled water; quick service restaurants appetite pleasers El Pollo Loco, Domino's Pizza and McDonald's; personal care, cosmetics & skin care category leaders Guthy-Renker (ProActiv) and Avon; shoes and apparel retail giants Collective Brands (Payless) and JC Penney; consumer packaged goods visionary Colgate-Palmolive; financial services firm and world's largest tax preparation service H&R Block; media, music and video games conglomerate Vivendi; health club leader Bally's Total Fitness; and the energy beverage Red Bull. AHAA's Hispanic Marketing Investment Trends 2010 complete report will be released in late April to its member agencies with full details regarding specific industry categories, company spending and allocation.

"The reversal in allocation to the Hispanic market during the recent economic challenges is a clear indication that marketers are recognizing the value of the profitable Hispanic consumer segment," says Gisela Girard, chair of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA) and president of Creative Civilization - An Aguilar/Girard agency. "The Hispanic market, by sheer population and buying power alone, should be among the audiences considered by advertisers to increase market share and bottom-line profit. As the association representing the Hispanic marketing industry, we are pleased that trends indicate advertisers are placing greater confidence in the nearly $1 trillion in buying power of the more than 46 million U.S. Hispanics."

With analysts forecasting moderate growth beginning this year and persisting through 2014, and the impending U.S. Census, which revolutionized Hispanic-specialized marketing in 2000, AHAA is predicting an even stronger 2010. The aggregate investment in Hispanic television, radio and print in 2009 among the top 500 advertisers was down only 4.4 percent to about $3.8 billion: a cut much less significant than the near double-digit decreases other market segments experienced. "The new results are encouraging and point toward positive change," Girard says.

"Hispanics shop more frequently than non-Hispanics and pay more attention to advertising," she continues, citing statistics from the Pew Hispanic Center. "Gen-Y Latinos (ages 18-29) and Gen-X Latinos (ages 30-44) control more than 60 percent of all Hispanic buying power and they are changing consumer spending in the American economy especially in entertainment, apparel and children's items. We hope more advertisers will recognize and understand the return on investment (ROI) the Hispanic market generates and prepare for the imminent documented growth of this dynamic and powerful population."

"Our 2009 report revealed that many corporations 'don't get it' and our 2010 preliminary findings indicate that it's the current Best-In-Class companies that are spending more in the Hispanic market in an effort to turn around their businesses," Girard says. Advertisers should continue to take a hard look at their investments and propensity for growth as the evolution of the U.S. Hispanic population unfolds over the coming year. Companies that don't consider the Hispanic market opportunity risk being left behind in the wake of the Census results."

The 2009 AHAA Hispanic Marketing Investment Trends report provides actual investments in Hispanic (Spanish, bilingual and English) media against a total national context. The data, analyzed by Santiago ROI, is provided by The Nielsen Company and reflects only measured media in TV, Radio and Print tabulated using Nielsen Monitor-Plus(TM). AHAA recognizes that effective below-the-line strategies are also being used in place of, or as a complement to traditional media; however, those figures are not included in the recent analysis.

For a copy of the 2009 Hispanic Marketing Investment Trends report or formore information, visit

About AHAA:
The Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA) is the national organization of firms that specialize in marketing to the nation's more than 46 million Hispanic consumers, the most rapidly growing segment of the American population. AHAA promotes the strength of the Hispanic marketing and advertising industry. AHAA agencies offer a unique blend of cultural understanding, market intelligence, proven experience and professionalism that deliver Hispanic market success for clients. AHAA agencies help organizations gain market share, increase revenue and grow profits by delivering the messages to reach America's Hispanic consumers with an estimated buying power of nearly $1 trillion. Visit for more information.

Source: Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies

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