Latinos Announce Arrival in English

Discussion
Apr 11, 2005
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Jaime Gamboa and Gabriel Grimalt, are two young American men of Latino ancestry who are making it big and they’re letting Los Angeles know with their new magazine, Tu Ciudad (Your City), which in contrast to its title is written entirely in English.

Tu Ciudad, reports The New York Times, is looking to zero in on Hispanics “who identify strongly with mainstream American culture while also cleaving to their Latin roots.”

Conventional wisdom in multicultural marketing circles up to now has emphasized Spanish as the language to connect with Latino consumers but recently that thinking has begun to be questioned by many including Messrs. Gamboa and Grimalt.

“We think this (Tu Ciudad) is going to shake up the way people see the Spanish market,” Mr. Grimalt said.

The inaugural issue of Tu Ciudad goes on sale May 20 in Los Angeles.

Manny González, senior brand manager at Diageo North America, oversees Hispanic advertising for Johnnie Walker Scotch. He thinks publications such as Tu Ciuda are long overdue.

“This kind of publication should have arrived a long time ago in Los Angeles,” he said. “We have very few vehicles to reach the acculturated customer. But now you’re seeing print space address that thirst for media options.”

Moderator’s Comment: If you’re buying ad space for a retailer or consumer marketer in Los Angeles and your audience is affluent Latinos, do you run in
Tu Ciudad or are you comfortable with your current English-language media choices?

Thanks to Lucia Fernandez-Palacios, media director at Dieste, Harmel & Partners, who spoke to the Times and put the idea for this discussion
in our head.

George Anderson – Moderator

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14 Comments on "Latinos Announce Arrival in English"


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David Morse
Guest
David Morse
15 years 10 months ago
What the people at Tu Ciudad are doing is brilliant. Here are some facts. 45% of Hispanics 18 to 29 are primarily English speakers (Pew, 2002). 57% of Hispanic teens 15 to 24 prefer English; 90% in New York and Miami (Morse, Tseng and Gonzalez, 2002). 89% of English-dominant Hispanics between 18 and 49 prefer English language television (Nielsen, 2003). Yet nobody markets to English speaking Hispanics as Hispanics. They watch English language TV and don’t see themselves — Hispanics make up only 4% of the characters on Prime-Time television, though they make up 13% of the population (Children Now, 2004). They watch Spanish language TV and certainly don’t see themselves. Sorry Don Francisco. Finally, an English language publication dealing with issues of interest is the right thing at the right time. These guys are going places. I disagree with the comments about the word “Tu.” No, it does not mean “We”, but I do think it is the right word. “Tu” conveys an intimacy like the words Thee and Thou used to in English.… Read more »
Ben Ball
Guest
15 years 10 months ago

Whether or not I want to advertise in Tu Ciudad is dependent on the heritage of my brand.

One of the most critical elements of credible and relevant messaging is the environment in which it appears. Audiences perceive messages based on who they are while in that environment.

All audiences have multiple personas, but this is a great example of the duality of acculturated Hispanics. Tu (or Su) Ciudad is printed in English because it wants to appeal to acculturated Hispanics while they are being Hispanic.

That’s a great messaging environment for Sabritas or Don Julio…but how relevant and credible is it for Goodyear and Gucci?

M. Jericho Banks PhD
Guest
M. Jericho Banks PhD
15 years 10 months ago

“Tu” is a very personal way of addressing someone. “Tu Madre” can cause a physical altercation (a fistfight).

How dumb. Zeroing in on Hispanics who are “cleaving to their Latin roots.” Have you ever consulted a dictionary for the meaning of “cleave?” It means “splitting” or “separating,” precisely the opposite of the intended meaning by the idiots at Tu Ciudad. If Tu Ciudad wants to make a statement, perhaps its editors could begin by editing. Ya’ think?

When rounding up the usual suspects for dumbing-down our country’s approach to Hispanic immigrants, please put Tu Ciudad at the top of the list.

Rupa Ranganathan
Guest
Rupa Ranganathan
15 years 10 months ago
George Anderson has raised a key issue, that is on the minds of marketers and agencies — The issue of language and culture and media choices. Tu Ciudad has certainly seized an important niche which has to do with a lot more than just taking count of how many Latinos in a certain target area, speak English or Spanish or both. Brands like Volkswagen are driving along this route quite successfully. If literature is a reflection of society, then, today’s prolific Hispanic media growth tells us that the Latino market we are looking at today is diverse, dynamic and reflects an Anglo-Latino duality that we must pay attention to. The issue at hand is not so much English or Latino for a mainstream marketer, but often “When English? and When Spanish?” for clearly the consumer moves swiftly along a continuum of cultural and linguistic zones which are frequently interchangeable. By taking a compartmentalized approach, the marketer could be sending an incomplete or warped message to this robust market. Skill lies in tapping into the right… Read more »
Ryan Mathews
Guest
15 years 10 months ago

Just a passing thought here, but if they are trying to make the point about language usage why didn’t they just call the magazine “Our City”? Feeling the necessity for a Spanish title seems a bit out of kilter with the editorial logic flow. Maybe it’s just me. Quein sabe?

Len Lewis
Guest
Len Lewis
15 years 10 months ago

Any retailer doing an ad campaign should not be limiting their media buy to one publication — no matter what.

However, it also depends on who your customer is. Tu Ciudad may be a great choice for more affluent second and third generation Hispanics — probably younger people as well. However, many people are going to continue looking at weekly flyers and newspaper ads for the best prices on commodity items. Again, the question is — who’s your audience?

Charles Magowan
Guest
Charles Magowan
15 years 10 months ago

Language police: “Tu” is the second person determiner meaning “your” not “our.” “Our City” = “Nuestra Ciudad.”

The use of the familiar form of the second person indicates the publishers are skewing the magazine towards the younger audience. Older persons would be more likely to use “su” when addressing strangers.

Eva A. May
Guest
Eva A. May
15 years 10 months ago
As long as the Hispanic market continues to grow, Hispanic marketing budgets continue to grow, clients and advertisers wish to narrow in on specific targets within the Hispanic market, and Hispanic immigrants continue to acculturate while maintaining their awareness of and pride in their Latino heritage, there is plenty of room for more precise targeting of Hispanic consumers by communications companies, in both English and Spanish. However, I do not believe that “Tu Ciudad will shake up the way people see the Spanish market” – existing English-language communications vehicles (including cable networks such as SíTV and shows such as Dora the Explorer, English-language magazines such as Latina, Urban Latino, Bello, Catalina and Batanga) and an innumerable stream of trade articles about targeting Hispanic consumers in English using culturally-relevant media/communications vehicles should have already made this strategy a viable and top-of-mind one by now. Instead, the creation and publication of Tu Ciudad sounds like it will increase the number of worthwhile options available to companies seeking to target acculturated consumers in Los Angeles. I agree with… Read more »
George Anderson
Guest
15 years 10 months ago

Thanks cmagowan. The New York Times had it right but yours truly, as you correctly pointed out, did not. We’ll fix it straight away.

Jerry Gelsomino
Guest
15 years 10 months ago

For those of us who are burdened by speaking only one language, particularly when you live in a city like Los Angeles, Tu Ciudad might be an important addition to our periodical choices. Particularly if articles and features demonstrate shared concerns of both anglo and hispanic cultures for the future of Los Angeles. Can Tu Ciudad be the mediator between cultures? Is there an Asian/Anglo magazine concept also waiting in the wings?

It is interesting that this new publication emerges as the city is in the midst of a mayoral campaign that has highlighted candidates from different cultures.

Regarding the name, somewhere along the line our ancestors evolved ancient languages, resulting in the word ‘City.’ ‘Tu Ciudad’ sounds much more passionate and evocative. I like it.

Rochelle Newman-Carrasco
Guest
Rochelle Newman-Carrasco
15 years 10 months ago
It’s all about understanding the “bi” in “bilingual” and “bicultural” and how it translates into “buy-ing” behavior. The whole Spanish language thing has been distorted over the years. There has always been an opportunity for English language publications targeted at Latinos (and of course there are examples that exist today like Latina, and other examples that tried and failed like Si Magazine). The emphasis on Spanish has had to do with several factors including a) critical mass within an “untapped market segment,” b) a media infrastructure dominated by Spanish language broadcast and c) politics – as clients short circuited as to which of their agencies would handle creative and media buying that would ultimately run in an English language environment but that was culturally targeted. And then of course, there’s budgeting. With budget limitations, choices have to be made and targeting options may get left out in the interest of not slicing the pie too thin. The title of “Tu Ciudad” is fine in Spanish. Again, the audience is bilingual and bicultural. And just like… Read more »
Paul Vogelzang
Guest
Paul Vogelzang
15 years 10 months ago

I believe you “run” to ‘Tu Ciudad.’ The problem is not doing it. More and more media is fractured, and we’re all familiar with the bombardment of advertising thrown our way each day. I believe to not take advantage of a targeted approach in this market is a major error, in some cases maybe approaching a “slight” or ignorance, which is telling to the consumer.

Manny Gonzalez
Guest
Manny Gonzalez
15 years 10 months ago

You actually would advertise in traditional English-language print, Spanish-language print, and English-language Hispanic print (Tu Ciudad)…it is NOT an either-or proposition. And if you have brilliant creatives, you could conceivably run the same ad execution in all three. Media decisions should be principally guided by cultural relevancy (will I really be able to engage and energize my target consumer in this environment?) and content/context quality (is this environment the best fit for my brand’s personality — or will it even enhance it?), and secondarily by language.

penny hocutt-barboza
Guest
penny hocutt-barboza
15 years 10 months ago

The bilingual individual not only wants to be recognized as a native speaker but also desires to be given credit for his/hers ability to speak and read and write two languages. This type of media has merit from a bilingual stand point as well as a following among those English speakers who wish to communicate with Spanish/English individuals. Set the trend.

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