latin american celebrity influence

CREDIT: Emily Berl/Redux

OYE! co-founder Eric Diaz was featured in Inc. Magazine’s article on the value of social listening when marketing Latin American celebrity influence, and the purchase power of Hispanics. Read a snippet below or read the full article from the February 2017 issue of Inc. Magazine here.

In Hollywood, it’s assumed that star power comes in the form of Tom Cruise, Kevin Spacey, or Matt Damon. But few celebrities are as well positioned as Sofía Vergara to craft a second career — as the co-founder of one of America’s largest Hispanic-owned companies: Latin World Entertainment (LWE), is a multimillion-dollar licensing, marketing, production, and new-media empire she co-founded in 1994 with former music manager Luis Balaguer.

LWE has a global audience of more than 400 million, with 30 percent based in the U.S. It also represents some of the biggest stars in Spanish-speaking TV. There’s Alejandra Espinoza, the host of Univision’s new reality TV show La Banda, created by Simon Cowell and produced by Ricky Martin. And also Rafael de La Fuente, the Venezuelan actor known for his roles in telenovelas and the Spanish-language Nickelodeon series Grachi, who crossed over to the broader market after landing a part in Fox’s Empire.

In 2015, Hispanics controlled $1.3 trillion in buying power, according to an analysis from the Selig Center for Economic Growth. That’s up 167 percent since the turn of the century. If the trend continues, and it likely will, that number is expected to reach $1.7 trillion by 2020. At 57 million strong, people of Hispanic origin represent 18 percent of the U.S., making it the largest minority. Research from a recent McKinsey report predicts that number to reach 24 percent by 2040, and 29 percent by 2060.

“Brands want a sense of uniqueness, and if they’re endorsed by a well-known celebrity, the chances of their product being seen in a positive light increases,” says Eric Diaz, the co-founder of OYE!, a marketing startup that monitors real-time online Hispanic conversations.

These celebrities are key to making LWE a lucrative business — but finding the talent and matching him or her with the right product to market is what matters most. For brands to market effectively, the first step is to locate the bona fide personalities who are driving the cultural zeitgeist forward — one social-media post at a time. But it’s not cheap. Want Selena Gomez to sponsor your product on Instagram? According to D’Marie Analytics, that’ll cost you $550,000 — for just one post.

“Hispanics are twice as likely to seek celeb-inspired beauty looks versus the general market,” Diaz said. Big consumer brands have realized this, but Diaz also now works with tech startups like Square and Xoom to better target the Hispanic market.