Dark chocolate-covered blueberries and freesia-infused home fragrances used to be the types of things people would only discover in-store. But today, these types of items—things people didn’t necessarily know they wanted before they went shopping—are on consumers’ radar before they even enter the store. In fact, 50% of core consumer packaged goods (CPG) consumers report that they learn about new CPG products before going shopping.
As consumers spend more time on digital devices, especially on mobile, digital is becoming a leading source of that discovery at a time when there are arguably more new products than ever. How can brands reach people in this competitive world of media fragmentation?
While exploring mobile-savvy shoppers’ new paths of CPG discovery, we uncovered 3 important, intersecting shifts in the US: generational, cultural and behavioral. And we learned that these shifts are yielding big changes for brands—particularly as brands build momentum and staying power for new CPG products.
To better understand these important shifts, Facebook commissioned Nielsen to conduct a behavioral and attitudinal survey of adults within their Homescan panel in the US to understand purchasing behavior across 20 key CPG categories. Then, using custom fusion methodology, Nielsen was able to link the survey responses to their TV media and digital panels to explore everything from discovery, trial and purchasing of CPG products to media behaviors across TV, desktop and mobile.
Meet the core CPG buyers
What and how they buy
Core CPG shoppers are product switchers who enjoy novelty. Findings suggest that all 3 groups are brand-conscious, but they aren’t creatures of habit.
As savvy online shoppers, they’re using the web to their advantage to be more informed and more in control of their CPG purchases when they shop the aisles from home and in-store.
When it comes to grocery shopping, Millennials and US Hispanics are spending more time than other groups researching products online before buying. Our research shows:
How these savvy shoppers are buying is also changing as they embrace online shopping for daily household items. In the past year, Millennials, US Hispanics and Light TV Viewers bought a range of products online to stock their pantry and fill their medicine cabinets and cosmetic bags. Our research shows that Millennials are driving this trend more than older generations.
Their mobile phone is their constant companion. 77% of Millennials, 72% of US Hispanics and 70% of Light TV Viewers always carry their mobile phone with them.
Mobile is increasingly playing a bigger role when it comes to purchasing CPG products. The interest each group has in using their mobile phones while shopping—beyond comparing prices—signals mobile’s growing role as an in-store partner.
The newly defined road to discovery
As consumers spend more time on their mobile phones, discovery is happening in the palm of their hands rather than in front of the TV. Digital channels are quickly becoming the source of new news and innovation in CPG. This is especially true for Millennials and Light TV Viewers, who turn to digital before making in-store purchases.
While TV can be an effective awareness driver, increased media fragmentation means that these groups are becoming harder to reach via traditional channels. And here’s another place where these groups intersect: Millennials and US Hispanics are also likely to be Light TV Viewers; among Millennials, 81% are Light TV Viewers, and among US Hispanics, 74%.
Reaching beyond TV
To better understand the impact of consumers’ shifting focus, Nielsen analyzed the daily reach of the top 10 TV networks used by CPG marketers to explore how Facebook can help amplify TV’s reach of these elusive targets.
What it means for marketers
Meet the newly defined CPG consumers on their terms: As increasing numbers of Millennials, US Hispanics and Light TV Viewers become core CPG shoppers and buyers, brands need to adjust to their modern preferences and digital habits. The tactics used to reach Boomers in the past will not resonate with these younger, light-TV-viewing, mobile-savvy shoppers, nor with the generation quickly nipping at their heels.
Take advantage of “new to me”: As Millennials quickly move from college graduates to young professionals and then to spouses and parents, it’s a great opportunity for CPG marketers to take advantage of their swift life-stage transitions and introduce products that are new to them (but perhaps not new to market) at key moments.
Understand the journey of discovery happens in the palm of their hand: Recognize both that the next shiny new thing is being discovered online, increasingly on mobile, and that it’s never been easier to reach consumers where they are spending their time … outside of the sitting-on-my-couch moment.
We’re approaching the end of Hispanic Heritage Month (15 September to 15 October) and those channels that cater to Latino audiences have produced lineups of influential movies, rollouts of new series, and even a contest for first-time film-makers looking to break through into television. But as 1 October approaches, Latino audiences will still be tuning into their televisions as much as those in mainstream markets – if not more – and will find a very different landscape for them than just a few years ago.
There are about 54 million Latinos living in the US as of 2013, according to the US Census Bureau, making up approximately 17% of the population and 20% of the 18-39 demographic that advertisers crave. Those young Latinos, one of the fastest-growing demographics in the country, now have some new television options aimed at them.
El Rey is a cable channel currently carried in about 40 million homes that is co-owned by film-maker Robert Rodriguez and Spanish-language powerhouse Univision. It launched a 24-hour programming schedule in February of last year. “Our mission statement is to connect the most culturally diverse generation in history through fearless, bold, original, badass content,” says Dawn Holiday-Mack, the vice-president of audience strategy and insights for El Rey.
That means English language programming that can catch on with a mainstream audience but that is geared toward Latinos. “We don’t want a sitcom or a drama that is exclusively about anything we stereotypically attribute to a Latino family or household,” Mack says. “We want them to grapple with things that every household grapples with, but when you look at all the characters, you just don’t see white faces. That’s what we want to strive for. And diversity behind the camera as well.”
In contrast, according to a 2014 study from Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, no Latinos wrote pilots for network television during the 2011-2012 season. El Rey’s commitment to engaging English-language Latinos has translated itself into programs such as From Dusk till Dawn: The Series, based on supernatural movie directed by Rodriguez and written by Quentin Tarantino. There is also reality program Lucha Underground, about the Mexican professional wrestling circuit.
Mack says that El Rey’s audience is currently about 20% Latino, 20% African American, 10% Asian, and 50% white, though the specific demographics shift based on specific programming.
Fusion, a joint venture between ABC and Univision that launched in 2013 and is also in about 40 million homes, also focused on the English-speaking Latino audience, but has since changed its strategy and pivoted away from the Latino focus to try to attract millennial viewers in general. (But don’t confuse that pivot with Pivot, another channel aimed at younger viewers.) A spokesman from Fusion did not return repeated requests for comment for this story.
NBC Universo, a cable channel formerly known as Mun2 that launched this February, is striking a balance between programming that is in English and Spanish. The channel shows major sporting events like the Super Bowl, Olympics and World Cup in Spanish, but its entertainment offering consists of original programming in both languages, shows like Battlestar Galactica dubbed into Spanish, and some English-language programs with Spanish subtitles.
“When we’re doing a show and it goes into English that’s fine for us,” says Rubén Mendiola, president of NBC Universo. “I think that is a reflection of Latinos in the United States. A lot of us, we express ourselves better in English and sometimes better in Spanish. I think that back and forth is something that is more natural nowadays in general.”
What Mendiola sees as the big differentiation between his channel and others, however, is that it is more like an English-language cable channel like FX or AMC, with high-quality original programming that is edgier or more daring than the things found on broadcast television. In the Hispanic market that means no telenovelas, the dominant form of melodrama that is a limited run but airs every night of the week. Upcoming original programs on the network include El Vato, a story about a Mexican songwriter who moves to LA to become a huge star, and El Sexo Débil, about five successful men whose lives are turned upside down when their women leave them.
“I don’t see a lot of Latino characters and figures on the television,” Mendiola says. “For us to bring the American sensibility that we are used to but with Latino characters, I think that has been very welcome and very needed for Latinos in the United States. I think that’s important to have the younger generations reflected as all sorts of characters on television. That allows the younger generations to find a situation where they can do whatever they want.”
Telemundo, a broadcast network headquartered in Miami that produces 70% of its own content, is dedicated both to Spanish-language content and the familiar telenovela format, though the content is getting a lot more savvy for American audiences. El Señor de los Cielos, a ratings hit that draws about 3 million viewers and sometimes outperforms English-language networks in its time slot, is about a Mexican drug kingpin who is also dealing with his family, sort of like a Spanish-language Breaking Bad.
“We’re sticking to Spanish language because we think that’s our differentiating characteristic in being authentic,” says Glenda Pacanins, the senior vice-president for programming and content at Telemundo. She notes the language isn’t the key difference between her show and Breaking Bad. “The approach to how the story is told is very different. How they talk, the slang they use, the music: It’s very different. It’s very culturally relevant to our audience.”
But what if American Latinos stop speaking Spanish? Pacanins says that has been a question for the 20 years that she has worked in Spanish-language media and it has yet to happen. Both Pacanins and Mendiola note that many viewers are commenting about their Spanish shows on social media, but speaking in English, the language they’re more comfortable expressing themselves in. Experiments with targeting younger Latino viewers only in English are still so new that it’s hard to draw any conclusions about its effectiveness.
This all comes at a time when Empire is the hottest show in town and multiculturalism has proven that it can be huge for ratings. The CW is pushing the telenovela format toward the mainstream with Jane the Virgin, which has been a critical hit and Golden Globe winner for the network. Netflix has seen success by allowing American subscribers to watch Spanish-language content it acquired from other markets. The streaming service launched its first Spanish-language original, the comedy Club de Cuervos this summer, and recently debuted Narcos, a show about Pablo Escobar and the DEA agents trying to capture him that is equally in English and Spanish, though subtitled for the general audience.
“Everyone is waking up to the fact that [Latino viewers] are a huge component to the audience of any series,” Pacanins says. “You have to do it in a way that is real for people and for them to say, ‘That is me.’ And I think mainstream media is trying to get there.”
While Hollywood tries to catch up to this growing population, still there were zero Latino lead actors or actress in the top 10 movies or scripted broadcast television shows in 2013, according to the Columbia University study. That means Latino-focused television continues to play an integral part in reaching this large and fast-growing segment of the population.
In order to keep current, Telemundo is now offering its content not only through broadcast, but also its website and mobile devices. According to Nielsen, Hispanic audiences spend more time watching video content streaming online and on mobile devices than mainstream audiences. In response, last week Telemundo launched the second season of Señora Acero not only on broadcast but simultaneously on Telemundo.com, YouTube, and streaming service Periscope, reaching more than 3 million total viewers on premiere night.
Even as mainstream outlets start to pay more attention to Latino viewers and with new frontiers popping up on cable, things are changing as rapidly on television for the Hispanic audience as they are for everyone else. What seems to be a new constant, however, is that the focus on this market is certainly going to grow.
"Saturday Night Live" alums Horatio Sanz and Fred Armisen are teaming up to launch "Más Mejor," a Latino comedy hub designed to meet the millennial generation where they live: online.
Más Mejor, meaning "more better," will launch as a joint venture between SNL creator Lorne Michael's Broadway Video Enterprises and the two veteran comedians who got their start on that NBC flagship comedy show.
It's designed to match both the tastes and lifestyle of millennial Latinos, who as we've previously reported, are markedly digitally savvy, and tend to voraciously consume online entertainment more than the average American youth.
As for the content, Sanz and Armisen see a lack of high quality comedy for millennial Latinos online, along with no central place on the Internet for them to find it, anyway. "There is no real hub for high-quality Latino comedy," said Sanz, according to Ad Week.
This Tuesday at Advertising Week, which coincidentally takes place during Hispanic Heritage Month, Sanz and Armisen, who has found success with millennial audiences through his TV show Portlandia, announced plans to launch Más Mejor starting Jan. 11 of next year.
Más Mejor will be both a digital, cross-platform hub for Latino comedy as well as a content studio and training ground, identifying, fostering and exposing new Latino comedy talent to audiences. Sanz said many of the comedians already have been producing comedy their own personal channels on YouTube.
But Más Mejor seeks to raise the aesthetic, production values, and quality of its content beyond the average online comedy series. "We're going to try and get the taste level a little higher," said Sanz, who is aiming for his Latino comedy hub to produce content in a similar style as SNL.
He also plans on producing content in both English and Spanish, which is a smart move: As we reported this week, a study by the Hispanic Millennial Project found that more than a third of millennial Latinos value bilingual entertainment.
Some of the comedy will come from a Mexico City-based studio called "What a Bear Producciones," run by executive producer Adriana Bello, who previously attempted to launch a Mexican version of "Saturday Night Live" without success.
"There is obviously a demand for this kind of content but unfortunately there is not much supply," said Bello to Ad Week.
Más Mejor will launch as a website, but to boost its reach, some of the digital entertainment hub's comedy will also be available through NBC Universal-owned Telemundo. It will distribute comedy through a bevy of its digital media, including its website, YouTube channel, mobile apps, and social media presence.
"Why recreate the wheel when we have existing partners like Telemundo digital, which already has such amazing reach?" noted president of Broadway Video Enterprises and new head of Más Mejor, Britta von Schoeler. "We're going to be everywhere."
Spanish-language TV host Don Francisco ended a 53-year career Saturday night, offering a last, emotional show in which President Barack Obama and his wife praised him by video and a constellation of Latin American pop stars thanked him for advancing their careers.
Don Francisco, whose real name is Mario Kreutzberger, praised his production team and fellow performers for making the show such a long-running success.
"Sábado Gigante" was seen in millions of households in the U.S. and Latin America and holds the world record for the longest-running variety program with the same host.
"A show is not done by one person," Don Francisco said as he bade farewell to his audience. "It is done by a team, by many people, many of whom you do not see, you do not know who they are, but they work hard, they put their hearts into it and their talent into it."
Some of the celebrities who made brief appearances include Enrique Iglesias, Gloria Estefan, Shakira, Marc Anthony, and Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles.
Iglesias reminisced about being scared and nervous during his first appearance on the show, and thanked Don Francisco for helping him reach success.
Marc Anthony appeared by video and recalled being on the show for the first time in 1993.
"That was a very important moment for me," Marc Anthony said, "because I was young and insecure and I felt as if I had graduated, and then I was surprised to find out that my father was there."
Colombian pop singer Juanes thanked Don Francisco "for giving me all your support, in good times and bad, I thank you and your entire team." Spanish opera singer Placido Domingo and pop star Shakira also sent him best wishes via video.
Jorge Ramos, the Univision journalist who recently made headlines after being thrown out of a news conference with Donald Trump, praised Don Francisco for being not only entertaining but also informative.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican, handed Don Francisco a congressional merit award. Puerto Rican singer Daddy Yankee appeared via video link from his concert at Madison Square Garden.
Among the staff, there were mixed feelings about saying goodbye.
"Obviously there is sadness in the team because an era is coming to an end, but we should be happy and proud of everything we've achieved through this show," said Cristian de la Fuente, one of the show's regular performers.
Don Francisco was joined onstage by his brother, his wife, his children and several grandchildren.
After the show, Don Francisco told a group of reporters that he would continue to work in media, but gave no details.
"I never thought we would get this reaction. It's very emotional to see that this show had such an impact, that we showed to the very last day how professional we are," he said.
As the immigration debate takes center stage in a presidential campaign marked by increasingly divisive and racially charged rhetoric, a new film MI AMERICA offers an on-the-ground look at some of the reality of this conflict.
The film is inspired by true stories from around the country and delivers a harrowing narrative on the conflict between disenfranchised Americans and immigrant workers. MI AMERICA opens in theaters on October 16th and is directed by Robert Fontaine who also stars in the film. The cast also includes Michael Brainard, Brad Lee Wind, Grant Boyd, Michael Derek, Stephen Booth and Annemarie Lawless.
The story explores the circumstances surrounding a brutal hate crime targeting five Hispanic migrant laborers. Rolando Ramirez (Robert Fontaine) has been assigned to this case by chance. This journey will force him to question his own identity, and beliefs, on what it means to be an American, and in turn, attempt to bring those who committed this crime to justice.
A hate-crime has been committed, that has upset the delicate balance of a small, ethnically diverse waterfront city Braxton in upstate New York. The film explores the circumstances around the kidnapping and disappearance of Five Hispanic migrant labors.
Rolando Ramirez (a Hispanic-American Detective, and a longtime resident of the community), has been assigned to this case by chance. Or was it fate? His journey will force him to question his own identity, and beliefs, on what it means to be a North American, and in turn, attempt to bring those who committed this crime to justice…some of whom were close friends from childhood.
Violence against Latinos and the story told in MI AMERICA is not unfamiliar to cities and towns across the U.S. where the conflict of disenfranchised Americans and immigrant workers have resulted in tragedy. The immigration dilemma and debate continues to rage on as we enter the politically charged battlefield of the 2016 election and Latinos continue to be targets.
This gripping murder mystery offers a potent opportunity to take a closer look at this dire issue in the media.
From the moment he stepped up to audition for John Ridley’s anthology series American Crime, for a role that on paper was familiar to him, Richard Cabral hoped to bring new light to a Latino archetype often misaligned in the media. As Hector Tontz, the gang member implicated in a vicious, drug-related murder, Cabral did just that, and in the process earned a Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Emmy nomination.
Hector is one of the few characters at the end of Season 1 to get a happy ending. He’s a free man, he has a new job, and the future looks bright for him and his young family. It was something no one would have seen coming, and not just because the cast wasn’t aware of their characters’ full arcs at the outset.
“Getting the (pilot) script I was like, “OK, this is a Latino figure. He has some dealings with the street and that was it,” Cabral says. “It was kind of vague, but I felt that reading into the character it already had a sense of a three-dimensional side. It was enough for me to play with.”
When John Ridley screened American Crime for the Shabazz Center and Homeboy Industries—which was instrumental in helping Cabral leave his real-life gang past behind—there were concerns that Hector was just going to be the typical drug-dealing gang banger. “John just kept on reassuring me, week in and week out, ‘Just trust in me Richard,’ ” Cabral says. “After towards the middle of the season I was pretty sold.”
Cabral says the tough topics tackled in American Crime—how a murder affects all the different people of a community—made him and his costars bond deeply on set. “We were in a bubble in Austin,” he says. “Every single one of us went through a dark place. But it was OK because when you looked to the left and you looked to the right we all knew that we were on an individual road but at the same time kind of going through it together. There was a real sense of camaraderie, a strong bond, but not just an acting bond. It was spiritual.”
It’s been a little jarring for Cabral after coming off an experience like that, getting an Emmy nom, and now having strangers know more about him and his gritty past. “This is yesterday—a buddy of mine has a Mexican restaurant,” Cabral says. “He was like, ‘Hey, Richard, I’m looking at you on the news and I’m proud. We’re going to name a burrito after you.’ It’s nothing like changing or helping a person find themselves, but who would’ve thought that I would make it to a point in my life where somebody would be naming a damn burrito after me.”
Cabral is hoping his newfound notoriety will help him do more. “It’s opened a whole different door because it’s not just about being an actor no more,” he says. “It’s about being a voice in the community. There’s so many ways to be a voice and that’s what I’m figuring out. Being an artist, being an actor, it’s about telling stories that could heal, that could open up discussion that could make the community better. There are many (Latino) stories that need to be told and haven’t been told right. If I could help be that voice then that’s what I’m going to do, because this is a reality for me.”
Cabral is one of several cast members returning for Season 2, as a completely different character in a new storyline. “First of all, I’m a hero,” he says. “Me looking like a criminal gang member is going to be thrown out the window. I’m not implicated in the crime. I’m helping trying to figure things out. I’m on the good side.”
Cabral returns to the American Crime set in October. Season 2 will air next year.
During a conversation with HuffPost Live on Wednesday about her new memoir, Becoming Maria, actress Sonia Manzano looked back on her time playing neighbor Maria on the iconic children's show "Sesame Street" and discussed the pressures of being a minority on television.
Manzano told HuffPost Live that when she was hired on "Sesame Street" at 21 years old, her fellow cast member Matt Robinson told her that part of her job was to "make sure the Latino content was correct." She said she was nervous to make waves, but eventually made her voice heard.
"There was a fruit cart on the show that had apples and bananas and the usual fruit, and I went up to the producers the next day, and I'm quaking in my boots and I'm saying, 'You know, if this was a diverse community, there would be, like, coconuts and yucca and plantains in that pushcart,'" Manzano said. "It was there the next day, and I said, 'Well, alright!'"
The actress said that while she was happy to be a voice for the Puerto Rican community on "Sesame Street," she doesn't think such advocacy should be required of all actors of color.
"If it's in your heart to have a platform, then by all means, use your celebrity-dom to further your platform. But I don't think we can put that on people and [tell them], 'You have to be a representative.' That doesn't seem fair at all," she said.
Manzano pointed to the intense pressure placed on minority-centric television shows, like ABC's "Fresh Off The Boat," which she said are often "so scrutinized" and held to a higher standard than other programming.
"Why can't people of color just be as mediocre as everybody else and make a lot of money?" she said with a laugh.
Comcast Cable today announced the company is now accepting proposals for two substantially Hispanic American owned, independent English-language networks that it will launch in select Comcast markets by January 28, 2017.
Today's announcement is part of the company's commitment to launch 10 independently owned and operated networks as part of a series of public interest commitments made by Comcast in connection with the NBCUniversal transaction completed in 2011. Of the 10 networks, all of which are to launch by 2019, four will be majority African American owned, two will be operated by Hispanic American programmers, two will be substantially Hispanic American owned, and two will be independent. These criteria were established based on several agreements Comcast entered into with leading diversity organizations in 2010. Since then, five independent networks have already successfully launched, including ASPiRE, BabyFirst Americas, BBC World News, El Rey, and REVOLT.
"We are committed to delivering programming that reflects the interests of our customers and are eager to review many innovative network proposals with the potential to bring new and exciting content to our customers," said Greg Rigdon, Executive Vice President, Content Acquisition for Comcast Cable.
Criteria for selecting the next two substantially Hispanic American owned networks that Comcast will launch include: the content of the network; whether the network is fully financed; whether the network's ownership and/or management group(s) are well established, have relevant experience, and are substantially owned by Hispanic Americans; whether the network is already launched and has existing MVPD distribution; price; and whether the network and its potential carriage provide value to Comcast and its customers. Comcast will accept proposals for every major genre, including general entertainment, movies, music, kids, news, and sports.
Applicants may visit http://corporate.comcast.com/diverseprogramming to submit a proposal and learn about the terms and conditions. Proposals are due by October 9, 2015, and the two networks will be selected in the coming months.