For the first panel, reporter and correspondent Maria Hinojosa moderated, while panelists included Carlos Boughton, the brand director of Tecate and Tecate Light; Luisa Fairborne, advertising sales director for MTV Tr3s; and Marc Malovany, managing director of ALCANCE, an out-of-home media company. The panelists discussed their target consumers and how to identify Hispanics and Latinos in 2009.
"There is no Latina or Hispania. This culture is not monolithic," Boughton said, explaining that each county and its people are different. But Malovany said that marketing can focus on the common denominators, like language and the importance of family.
"Similarities unite [Hispanics and Latinos], more than their differences divide them," he said. Fairborne went on to discuss the target audience of MTV Tr3s, Hispanic and Latino youth, and how they live in the day-to-day.
"We are trying to have them comfortably live in both worlds" of their native country and the US, Fairborne said. "We are a global brand and we are giving them culturally relevant information. We see ourselves as being a unifier."
The second panel, moderated by journalist Marianne Murciano, featured Hinojosa; Matt Rooney, director of the Office of Economic Policy and Summit Coordination for Western Hemisphere Affairs for the State Department; and Brett Shevack, vice-chairman of brand initiatives for BBDO LLC. They discussed the influence of the Hispanic and Latino segment, including how younger generations are more engaged with different cultures, and how companies can use understanding of this segment to prosper.
"More and more, we're not a mass culture," Shevack said. "Any brand that develops real knowledge and respect for this community can truly grow beyond its competitors who don't."
Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist Eddie Palmieri and his band performed to end the evening.