Hispanic Heritage Month

I sat down to write a blog post on the marketing of Hispanic Heritage Month.  After a couple of quick searches, I discovered a few interesting things:

  1. Google Hispanic Heritage Month and you come up with close to 9.5M hits. Google Black History Month and that number jumps to close to 47M.
  2. Someone else had already written my blog post.

To clarify the second point, I ran across a September 16 post by Leslie Berestein Rojas, curator of NPR Southern California Radio Station KPCC and award winning journalist. In this post, titled “Hispanic Heritage Month: A time to be marketed to, or something more?” Rojas does an excellent job of setting up Hispanic Heritage Month from a past, present and possible future context. As a 24-year Hispanic marketing veteran, I agree with her and fellow Latino bloggers’ observations this national celebration of Hispanic cultures is ripe for corporate takeovers. But what holiday isn’t? How does a 40% discount on a flatscreen TV during the “4th of July Blowout” commemorate our forefather’s independence victory?

Nonetheless, I applaud marketers’ efforts to reach out to our Hispanic communities across the country. Sure, some may do it better than others. For example, Walgreens is taking this time of year to recognize and promote their Hispanic vendors. Bravo for giving these important businesses increased visibility in their stores that will hopefully turn into increased sales this and future months. That’s smart business.

Other companies choose to highlight their commitments to causes important to our community. Education being one of the most critical. This year Colgate proudly announced the return of its scholarship program, “Haz la U” or “Make the U” which encourages high school seniors to apply for the opportunity to win a $15,000 educational grant, or one of ten $2,500 additional grants. Managed by the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, this program goes beyond offering scholarship money, but provides financial assistance for life expenses such as books, rent and food. Great program.

Welcome back Colgate. And thank you.

Image courtesy of CCAC North Library