PepsiCo Approaches Latin Marketing From A New Angle

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Senior Director of Cultural Branding for PepsiCo Javier Farfan says his company is approaching their brand marketing in a way that puts Latinos at the core of its target audience.

Marketing to Latinos is traditionally an afterthought, Farfan told Fox News Latino. But for PepsiCo these days, the trick is either to create products up front that will appeal both to Latinos and the mainstream American audience, or to create ads that can crossover.

Farfan points to their use of Sofia Vergara as a spokesperson for Diet Pepsi. We’ve noted Vergara for exactly this appeal. The ensemble sit-com star is the only one of her ten castmates to garner four major product endorsements since she began appearing in the hit show Modern Family. She’s also the only adult in the cast who is Latino.

“It is a powerful thing when Latinos start seeing themselves in the media,” Farfan says. “They are being part of a broader conversation.”

And that’s what sets PepsiCo’s approach apart from many competitors. They communicate to their Latino audience that they are not a peripheral component of the brand’s overall market share. This empowers Latino buyers and leaves them with a good feeling about the brand.

Besides using Latino spokespeople, PepsiCo is also garnering more detailed market research about those Latinos who are not recent immigrants, but are already a part of the fabric of this country. Farfan says he accomplishes this by studying border cities where Latinos have lived a bicultural identity for generations.

“Pepsi has a more nuanced view of the Latino demographic,” said Jake Beniflah, who has established a nonprofit organization called the Center for Multicultural Science. “Instead of looking at and conceptualizing consumers as Spanish speaking and culturally different, they are segments within the Hispanic population. Some are closer to mainstream consumer, some are closer to their home country.”

With socially responsible businesses being so popular amongst Gen Y consumers, why not use your Latino marketing dollar to communicate to your target audience that you support breaking the stereotypes that persist about their community? Couldn’t hurt your brand.