Latinos, Inc: The Marketing and Making of a People

Latinos, Inc: The Marketing and Making of a People

Latinos, Inc: The Marketing and Making of a People

Latinos, Inc: The Marketing and Making of a People

Synopsis

"Davila has entered the back rooms of a new and important sector of the advertising industry, shedding light on the people and businesses that are working to exploit the marketing hot buttons of Hispanic USA. "Latinos, Inc. could become a scholarly milestone, a vivid portrayal of the strange marriage between cultural anthropology and merchandising strategies that forms an elemental ingredient of U.S. consumer society."--Stuart Ewen, author of "PR! A Social History of Spin

"A work derived from prodigious fieldwork that sets a standard for the ethnography of cultural institutions in their varied corporate forms and market participations. "Latinos Inc. provides a rich, fascinating, and fresh empirical venue for theories of identity and ethnicity in the U.S."--George Marcus, author of "Ethnography Through Thick &Thin

"An insightful and compelling account of Hispanic marketing and television as it becomes a significant force in U.S. corporate media. In its rigorous attention to the culture of marketing, "Latinos, Inc. fills a significant void within the literature on mass communications, marketing, and television studies."--Chon A. Noriega, author of "Shot in America: Television, the State, and the Rise of Chicano Cinema

"Davila is the first to show us the world of Latin media through the eyes of advertising and programming professionals; the first to comprehend how Spanish language network television has reconfigured Latino identity; and the first to fully delineate the plurality and heterogeneity of Latino audiences. She enables us to understand the formative role played by advertising and commercial culture in shaping the contours of contemporary Latino/a identities. "Latinos, Inc.sets a new standard for scholarship in ethnic studies and cultural studies."--George Lipsitz, author of "The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics

Excerpt

“Latinos are hot, and we are not the only ones to think so. Everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon, and why not? We have the greatest art, music, and literature. It's time we tell our stories. ” With these words, actor Antonio Banderas welcomed all to the first advertising “Up-Front” presentation by the Spanish TV network Telemundo. Summoning advertisers to “jump on the bandwagon, ” he echoed a promise that is repeatedly heard in corporate headquarters and at advertising conventions alike: that Latinos are the hottest new market and that those who target them will not regret it. That Latinos are hot is not at all surprising. It is becoming increasingly common to see aspects of Latino culture popularized in mainstream culture, with salsa outselling ketchup and taking over dance floors, and a growing number of corporate sponsors interested in Latinos as a target market. That a famous Spaniard like Antonio Banderas should become the spokesman of U. S. Latino culture, which is overwhelmingly Mexican, Puerto Rican, Hispanic Caribbean, and Central American, is also not surprising. Although Latino social movements in the 1960s defined themselves against anything Spanish, such distinctions have since been countered by the growing consolidation of a common Latino/Hispanic identity that encompasses anyone from a Spanish/ Latin American background in the United States.

Central to this development is Hispanic marketing and advertising. Long before the current popularization of Latin culture, this industry first advanced the idea of a common “Hispanic market” by selling and pro-

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