Hispanics Receptive to Auto Ads, Say Marketers

To get Hispanics into car dealerships, auto brands should pay attention to the ethnic group's specific needs and interests, say two CMOs.

Steve Finlay, Senior Editor

December 29, 2015

1 Min Read
Experian says Hispanic Americans are buying more new cars this year
Experian says Hispanic Americans are buying more new cars this year.

Hispanics are flexing their automotive buying power in the U.S., and marketers are taking note.

“Why Hispanic Americans Are the Most Receptive Audience for Automotive Marketers” is a topic at the 10th annual J.D. Power Automotive Roundtable.

The ethnic group is growing in size, prominence and influence, say two chief marketing officers, Jacqueline Hernandez of NBCUniversal’s Hispanic Enterprises and Content, and Jon Schulz of ad agency Viant.

About 56 million Hispanics make up almost 20% of the U.S. population. The number of them buying new cars increased from 10.9% in 2014 to 11.8% this year, according to Experian Automotive.

They are partial to Toyota, Ford, Chevrolet, Nissan and Honda, Hernandez says. “Those are the expected brands, but there are also the unexpected, including Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Audi.”

To stay competitive, auto brands should pay attention to the ethnic group’s specific needs and interests, the two CMOs recommend.

“Focus on the story, not just the product,” she says. “Be authentic; you can’t just repurpose creative,” he says.

Ads in Spanish and aimed at Hispanic audiences “do extremely well,” Hernandez says. “Dubbed ads are less effective, but all aren’t bad.” The duds are dubs that look obvious.

“Hispanics are heavy on mobile,” Schulz says, citing a Viant survey of smartphone and computer-tablet device use. “Hispanic vehicle shoppers are twice as likely to find mobile ads persuasive. And digital video plays a much greater role in brand consideration for them.”

The survey says 22% of mobile-related ads are most likely to persuade a Hispanic auto shopper to purchase compared with 8% for non-Hispanics.     

Not just Hispanics are exposed to Hispanic advertising, Hernandez says. “About 14% of non-Hispanics live in areas where they are heavily exposed to the Hispanic culture. They’re seeing Hispanic ads.”

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