VIDEO: Why Are Latinos Popular Targets of Food/Beverage Companies?


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Here’s a day in the life of two fictional—but not unusual—youth, Pedro and Javier.

  • Morning: Listen to a J.Lo song Javier downloaded from Dr. Pepper’s website, which tells of Latina Grammy street parties and truck tours to find to get free sodas.
  • Lunch: Use downloaded coupons to get free hot chocolate at McDonald’s.
  • After school: Go to a Cinco de Mayo music concert sponsored by Burger King and get free burgers; at home, eat cookies and go to Nabisco’s branded website to play video games; go to McDonald’s Latino website and play brand-and-sports-mixed video games.
  • Dinner: Drink Coca-Cola and eat food as Pedro’s mother takes photo of meal to upload to Univision contest sponsored by Coca-Cola.

“What we have here is non-stop target marketing” among Latino youth, said Sonya Grier, associate professor of marketing at American University, at the recent 3rd Annual Salud America! Scientific Summit. “Ethnic minorities, especially Latinos, are attractive targets for food and beverage marketers.”

Target marketing, Grier said, is when marketers segment the full population into groups—or “target markets”— that respond similarly to marketing actions. That is, these markets will think alike, buy alike, and respond in the same way to marketing prompts.

Marketers are increasingly positioning their product in ways that resonates with target market groups’ needs, wants, beliefs and lifestyles.

But why are young minorities a rising target?

Minority youth consume an average of 13 hours of media content a day, almost two times as much media as white youth, Grier said.

Latino youth are avid Internet and mobile device users, and they’re the leading users of social networking.

They also watch more than two hours of TV than all youth.

“[Research] shows that minorities may be more favorable to target marketing efforts. Persuasion is driven by the notion that [minority characters in advertisements are] someone that looks like me,” Grier said. “As a minority, that’s nice to see, because you don’t always see it on TV. So you pay more attention, respond more to it, you’re more likely to go with the position or product they advocate.”

See Dr. Grier’s full presentation here or watch this unique video on target marketing.

By The Numbers By The Numbers



of Latino kids have obesity (compared to 11.7% of white kids)

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