Rolling Stone magazine made history this month with its first-ever Spanish language cover. Well, secondary cover, anyway. The November 22 issue features James Bond star Daniel Craig on the cover, but a secondary cover on the back of the issue features reggaeton star Pit Bull with all headlines in Spanish. More importantly, the “Música Latina Especial” also contains ads in Spanish.
But Rolling Stone didn’t fall into the old Spanish-only routine for its Latino audience. The articles in the 15-page section are written in English with interview sidebars in Spanish and no translations.
“The acculturated Latino is using both Spanish and English in the house and outside of the house,” Rolling Stone publisher Matt Mastrangelo told the New York Times, adding that Pitbull is the kind of artist who personifies that bicultural identity. Razzetti adds that 17% of regular Rolling Stone readers are Latino.
The issue drew the interest of big-name household brands Gain, Brawny and Charmin that usually shy away from the largely male Rolling Stone readership. This was, in part, because Proctor & Gamble, which owns the three brands, is a client of Lapiz, the Latino ad agency that coordinated the special issue with Rolling Stone. Lapiz also wrote special ads for their clients for the issue.
Asked whether he considered the Rolling Stone placement to be Spanish-language or general market, Gain marketing director for North American fabric care at Procter & Gamble Sundar Raman replied, “Those distinctions are blurring as we speak.”