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'Cosmo Latina' Takes Aim At Bicultural Readers

English-language mag nixes family-friendly approach

Ben Goldstein

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When Hearst Magazines launches Cosmopolitan Latina in May, it will target an audience that brands are growing increasingly aware of: the millions of young, bilingual and bicultural Latino Americans. And it won’t be like the Spanish-language magazines that already dominate the market. For starters, it will be in English.

“What typically happens when you have a magazine or product targeted toward Latinas is, it has a very wholesome, family approach,” said the magazine’s editor, Michelle Herrera Mulligan. Cosmo Latina will provide “the kind of conversation that goes on when the door is shut, when we can talk about things openly and honestly.”

Cosmo Latina, which will start with two issues this year and a circulation of 545,000, will have half its ads coming from beauty versus one-fourth in the original Cosmopolitan. Advertisers in the launch issue include Estée Lauder, Procter & Gamble, L’Oréal USA, Lancôme, Christian Dior, Macy’s, Unilever, Calvin Klein and Coty.

Marketers and media companies have taken note of second-generation, bicultural Hispanics because they’re young, their numbers are growing fast and they have more earning potential than their less acculturated counterparts. Ad spending in Hispanic-interest magazines grew 18 percent in 2011, per Media Economics Group, versus a 3 percent decline in consumer magazines in general. But other than the 500,000-circulation Latina, most of those magazines are Spanish-language, creating a wide opening for outlets like Cosmo Latina that give advertisers a way to reach an important audience while staying in the comfort zone of English.

“The low-hanging fruit with marketers is the English-dominant,” said Enedina Vega-Amaez, publisher of Meredith Corp.’s Hispanic Ventures Group. Meredith Corp., with mass women’s titles like Parents and Family Circle, is building up its Spanish-language content online but also thinking about how to go after Hispanics who are English-language dominant.

There are risks to this strategy, though. Cosmo Latina, by covering topics like sex and dealing with conservative parents, could stir controversy by going up against traditional culture. And an English-language product needs to be compelling enough to pull in acculturated Hispanics who already consume mainstream media, not to mention the advertisers who are already reaching them through those means.

Cosmo Latina hopes more advertisers agree with Carol Russo, sales and marketing gm at Estée Lauder, which is advertising in both Cosmo Latina and Cosmopolitan. “We like to reach our customer on all platforms,” she said. “We think it’s an opportunity to either re-engage or potentially engage someone who may not have been reading Cosmo.”




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