Over the years, we have been reporting that today’s Hispanic consumers are looking more than ever to connect with their heritage, seeking authentic Hispanic cultural stories.
This creates a significant opportunity where creators and producers partner with brands to evolve the marketplace, moving from a content strategy that still relies on important assets from Mexico and Latin America to one that prioritizes ideas that are native to the U.S. Hispanic consumer, mainly representing their life between their Hispanic and Anglo cultures.
Back in 2008, we at alma were pioneers in identifying this trend and called this group Fusionistas, consumers that fusion both cultures living as 100% Hispanics and 100% Americans, without feeling the need to trade off any aspect of their lives.
Recently a new deal related to Hispanic content creation was announced, uniting two major industry players, NGL, co-founded by actor and activist John Leguizamo and industry leader David Chitel and mitú, a leading digital media publisher. I chatted with Chitel about this deal; below is an edited version of this conversation.
Isaac Mizrahi – How did the deal happen?
David Chitel – NGL and mitú have been on a parallel path for the past ten years. NGL has grown into the leading Latinx digital B2B entity, while mitú has done the same in the B2C space. Our business models are complementary, and the combination and scale of the two make us indispensable to advertisers seeking a U.S. Latinx connection in-language, in-culture, and in-context. Our unique focus is 100% U.S. Latinx and is unmatched in the industry, given all the tools we offer advertisers to meaningfully connect with our audience across platforms, language preferences, life stages, and beyond.
Mizrahi – Why Now?
Chitel – Given all the fragmentation in the Latinx media and entertainment space, it made sense for NGL and mitú to join forces to create new opportunities for the community and advertiser partners we serve. Both of us have grown tremendously over these past few years, and the timing for our respective companies and the market at large made a lot of sense. The community is seeking more content that speaks to them, and advertiser demand is at an all-time high. The timing could not have been more perfect for our two companies to combine.
Mizrahi – What is the opportunity around Hispanic/Latin content?
Chitel – It’s well-known that both NGL and mitú are pioneers in the New Generation Latinx (NGL) space. Having coined the term “NGL” 20+ years ago, no one is better positioned than us to move the needle when it comes to creating content for bi-lingual, bi-cultural, and English-speaking Latinos in particular. To quote my friend and business partner, John Leguizamo – “America may not realize it yet, but Latin prototypes are being created right now, and not just by me. They are these mambo kings and salsa queens, Aztec lords and Inca princesses, every Hernandez and Fernandez, whom this country will one day understand and respect.” The time is now for a company like NGL to help drive the Latinx narrative across media, marketing, and entertainment. With John on our team and leveraging mitú’s production resources and audience reach, NGL is exceptionally well positioned to do just that.
Mizrahi – What is the content gap?
Chitel – One could argue that there’s no shortage of great Spanish-language content available here in the U.S. and worldwide. The gap that exists in the U.S. is specific to Latinx content that is in-culture. By “in-culture” I’m referring to Latinx-themed content and/or content that features a mostly Latinx cast. Behind the camera, there’s also a huge gap to be filled in writer’s rooms and in the areas of showrunners and executive positions of power with the ability to change the Latinx narrative across media and entertainment.
Mizrahi – What exactly will the new organization do to change that?
Chitel – NGL, and mitú specialize in creating content that speaks directly to the U.S. Latinx audience. Whether branded content, documentaries, TV specials, IRL and virtual events and beyond, it’s in our DNA to shine a positive light on the Latinx community across everything we do. The size, scope, and resources of our combined company have exponentially grown due to this merger. In particular, we have a 14,000 sf facility in East Los Angeles that is already today a vibrant studio producing content for the many platforms through which we distribute. We intend to double down on our studios business to provide more opportunities for Latinos in front of and behind the camera and for advertisers to connect organically with our audience. The best is yet to come.
Initiatives like this deal will further strengthen the marketplace with high-quality, authentic content that will resonate with the Hispanic consumer. I predict more deals in the months and years to come, creating a Hispanic content boom. Marketers should closely track this process and ideally should have their own Hispanic content strategy to complement their advertising efforts.