Ypulse Interview: Gonzalo Perez, Motivo Insights
- April 16th, 2009
- 1 Comments
Today’s Ypulse interview is with Gonzalo Perez of Motivo Insights, an independent consumer insights company that works with advertisers and marketers looking to connect with youth, urban and Hispanic consumers. If you fit that description or have an upcoming campaign that does, then be sure to catch Gonzalo at the Ypulse Youth Marketing Mashup Event in June where he’ll appear on a mobile panel at the Urban/Multicultural Pre-conference discussing new opportunities in the “urban” mobile space. Register today and take advantage of our Early Adopter Rates while you still can (Friday is the last day)!
Ypulse: What changes have you seen in the Hispanic youth market over the years? What aspects do you expect to continue to change?
Gonzalo Perez: This is definitely an important question. First and foremost the growth in population and the impact on the overall U.S. cultural landscape… With this growth in numbers comes a growth of influence, which will continue to change and evolve. Young Hispanics are influencing mainstream culture as well as their own households. You can already see their buying influence through their role as gatekeepers within the home, translating and being the go-to person for older family members who are not as comfortable with the English language and American culture. And in the mainstream you see this with their cultural influence on entertainment, fashion and music.
[With this influence] I think there’s also an increase in empowerment.. In generations past, young Hispanics were looking to blend in a little more, assimilate more, acculturate more. Young Hispanics now are proud to wear the badge of being Hispanic.
I’ve heard first hand young Hispanics talking about non-Hispanic friends wanting to learn Spanish, wanting to learn about Hispanic food, culture, etc. You see a Pan Hispanic sense of pride, whether that that be a parade, radio stations playing crossover Hispanic artists like Shakira or Daddy Yankee… [Hispanic youth are] wearing their flags on their cars and speaking Spanish and speaking spanglish to show pride in their culture.
YP: In what ways has Hispanic youth culture remained traditional and how have they adapted to modern youth culture?
GP: It’s definitely a combination of both. There’s definitely a hybrid identity today that young Hispanics are exhibiting. They’re taking from their national Hispanic roots and mashing that with American culture. They want to maintain their cultural side, they see the value in that for their own personal growth. And many things Hispanic are appealing to mainstream culture. There’s been a definite rise in stories in the media as well as a rise in Hispanic actors and actresses. They’re definitely looking to maintain cultural ties and identity, but they want to balance that with mainstream U.S. culture ... this way they can be accepted participants of youth culture, but still be a little different.
YP: Could you name a brand or two that has done a successful job of connecting with young Hispanic consumers? Which ones and how?
Well, I used to work for this company, but I think MTV Tr3s—MTV’s Hispanic targeted channel. They’ve definitely been able to leverage that equity they’ve been able to build with youth culture and add a Latino flavor to that. They make it personal and make it culturally relevant. Even their playlist is bi-cultural. You can see Daddy Yankee right next to 50 Cent. So yeah, MTV Tres is one brand that’s been able to do that successfully
And most recently, Universal Studios partnered with Mr. Cartoon, a icon in graffiti, tattoo and car culture. He’s also a Latino from California who has a lot of credibility with the urban youth culture. He designed a mural for the “Fast and the Furious” movie that contributed to the overall buzz for the movie and really helped ramp up the marketing efforts. For the opening weekend, a recent Variety article reported that 46% of the audience was Hispanic.
YP: What common mistakes do brands make with this audience? How can they be avoided?
GP: Two common mistakes. [One is] assuming young Hispanics can be marketed to like all Hispanics or older Hispanics and taking the traditional Spanish language approach.
[The other] is assuming that young Hispanics are like all young people. There are cultural differences that distinguish them from general youth.
The way to avoid these mistakes is by understanding Hispanics in the most meaningful way possible. Through a lot of market research and plugging into the different lifestyles.
YP: Now to switch gears a little bit, what recurring trends have you seen in mobile as far as the youth market?
GP: One thing that has obviously come up in self expression through mobile is ring tones.. that’s one way young consumers will continue to express themselves and show creativity. There will also be an increase in focus on the urban youth market with mobile. I think Boost Mobile has done a good job of appealing to that segment. Beyond their traditional marketing efforts, they had an initiative where they encouraged urban youth to participate in community service, and in exchange, rewarded them with concert tickets for shows in their area. This is a different way to remix mobile and community. I’d also say we’ll continue to see an increase mobile web content, especially as it pertains to the urban market. Multicultural consumers are accessing mobile content in a big way and I don’t think that will end anytime soon.
YP: What can attendees expect to take away from your presentation at Urban/mulicultural pre-conference?
GP: I think what they can take away is a deeper, better understanding of what we call the urban youth consumer and how their preferences for mobile are unique… versus general market youth consumers and also some ways to leverage mobile to stay connected to urban youth.
More on Gonzalo:
Gonzalo Perez partners with marketers and advertisers who seek to connect with today’s youth, urban and Hispanic consumers. He most recently collaborated with brands such as MTV, MTV Tr3s, ESPN and Pepsi on key consumer insights initiatives. Motivo Insights also partnered with Alma DDB, the award winning Hispanic advertising agency, and co-directed The Intelligence Group’s 2008 Latino Intelligence Report, which provides marketers and advertisers with an in-depth look at today’s Latino youth consumers. He began his work in branding and consumer research over 10 years ago at The Bravo Group, a Young & Rubicam subsidiary specializing in advertising to the U.S. Hispanic market, while managing accounts including AT&T, Citibank and the U.S. Army.
For more coverage of urban/multicultural youth culture, check out the new Ypulse Urban Channel.