Simmons Research develops breakthrough model to deliver most comprehensive findings on Hispanic behavior to hit the market

McLEAN, VA – February 12, 2008 – The Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA), the nation's leading trade organization of Hispanic-specialized agencies, signed a deal with Simmons Research to conduct the first major primary research study of Latino Cultural Identity. Drawing on Simmons' innovative and valued expertise in the Hispanic market, the study aims to build on AHAA's original initiative to explore the complexities of Hispanic consumers and put forth a new model that enriches Hispanic research beyond current acculturation and language segmentation metrics.

These inventive tools will provide marketers, planners and creative professionals with deeper insights into Latino consumers and segments within the Latino market. Latino Cultural Identity modeling will create the basis of a unified measurement of today's U.S. Latino and a uniform platform that can be embraced by the entire Hispanic marketing and advertising industry, as well as corporate marketers trying to reach this unique target audience.

“This new research is a fascinating outgrowth of the sophistication and evolution of U.S. Hispanic consumers,” says Jackie Bird, chairwoman of AHAA and president/CEO of Winglatino. “For marketers, the Latino Identity Study satisfies the need for more in-depth understanding of the factors that define U.S. Latino's cultural identity and will allow the possibility of target market segmentation based on these factors. We trust that the study will validate and contextualize AHAA's model of the multi-dimensional Latino, thus provide participating member agencies the unique ability to incorporate these insights in the account planning process and resulting creative work for our clients.”

Already more than a dozen Hispanic agencies have committed to purchasing the research with interest from nearly a dozen more expected as the research gets underway. “As a leading-edge agency in the Hispanic market, Conill always supports initiatives that bring new light to defining and understanding our consumers beyond conventional measures” says Tom Lanktree, VP/Director Strategic Planning for Conill Advertising. “Given its depth, we believe this project will help bring greater clarity to what drives Latinos, putting our teams in a much better position to create meaningful connections with our clients' brands.”

To fully address the numerous factors that influence Hispanic cultural identity, Simmons' research design will combine qualitative and quantitative methods. The key aims of the research will be to:

  • Understand and gain insights on the four key “Pillars” that form the core of AHAA's Latino Cultural Identity model: Interpersonal Orientation; Time and Space Perception; Spirituality; and, Gender Perception;
  • Explore other potential cultural identity factors as they relate to specific segments of the U.S. Latino population;
  • Gather tangible information for developing a standardized platform to gauge individual and collective Latino Cultural Identity
  • Increase the expertise and understanding about Latino consumers for the Latino marketing and advertising industry

The qualitative phase of the research is intended to generate in-depth dialogue and ideas on Latino Cultural Identity from the Hispanic consumer. In this truly innovative exchange, consumers will help define what makes a Latino, Latino. The ensuing findings and key learning will serve as a foundation to shape the quantitative work. The quantitative research component will draw on Simmons' 7,500+ Hispanic sample in the National Hispanic Consumer Survey (NHCS) to carry out a mail-based custom, bilingual survey on Latino Cultural Identity. Data results will be linked back to the NHCS providing research subscribers the ability to use these new touch points to provide a fuller dimension of the Latino consumer. In particular, it will allow users to cross-reference and leverage these new profiles against Simmons's existing database of 450 categories, 8,000 brands, 600 psychographic and lifestyle statements and Hispanic-only data (i.e., country of origin, nativity, generation, in-language usage and preferences across media platforms).

Focus group testing in Los Angeles is scheduled to begin this month and the data will be made available for the Fall 2008 release. For more information, please contact AHAA Executive Director Horacio Gavilán at (703) 610-0231 or hgavilan@ahaa.org .

About the Latino Identity Initiative:
In 2006, the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies embarked on a project to provide a more distinctive view of the Latino consumer landscape. Engaging the brightest minds in the Hispanic advertising industry, AHAA sought to explore the deceptively simple question, “What makes a Latino, Latino?” Clients have been asking it of agencies for years and AHAA wanted to provide a common definition and understanding of the identity of Latinos in the U.S. A review of more than 40 years of academic literature on issues of identity and culture from different perspectives – psychology, anthropology, linguistics, economics, sociology, management, health care and the arts – resulted in a hypothesis and model that acknowledged the qualities of Latino identity. For the first time, the conventional factors such as language preference and acculturation that once defined Latinos were challenged and AHAA presented four interrelated dimensions and cultural orientations that illustrated the heart of Latino identity. The next step was to test the conclusion with primary research.

About AHA:
The Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies ( AHAA ) is the national organization of firms that specialize in marketing to the nation's 45 million Hispanic consumers, the most rapidly growing segment of the American population. AHAA promotes the strength of the Hispanic marketing and advertising industry to the private and public sectors. AHAA agencies offer a unique blend of cultural understanding, market intelligence, proven experience and professionalism that deliver Hispanic market success for clients. AHAA agencies help organizations gain market share, increase revenue and grow profits by building the bridges and delivering the messages to reach America 's Hispanic consumers, who together have an estimated buying power of more than $800 billion.

About Simmons Research:
Simmons Research, an Experian Company, has been a leading chronicler of the American consumer for over 50 years. From the products that all Americans buy and the brands we prefer, to our Internet shopping behaviors, attitudes, lifestyles and media that we use. Simmons measures over 30,000 American consumers each year using statistically projectable samples. Simmons' samples include the largest representation of all Americans, including, Hispanic, African American, Asian and other consumers and are used by over 500 clients worldwide to provide the most complete picture available on America 's consumers. Visit www.smrb.com for more information.

For press inquiries, please call Elinor Kinnier at 703-610-0204, ekinnier@cmgresults.com



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