Identity Crisis? We Think Not


buzzfeed, rosario dawson, dieste, hispanics, hispanic heritage month, hispanic marketing, multicultural


By: Jesse Echeverria, Community Manager, @jesseechev | Sept. 15, 2014

September 15 marks the beginning of what has evolved into National Hispanic Heritage Month, or HHM.

Originally, President Lyndon Johnson approved the existence of Hispanic Heritage Week, only to be extended to be a 30-day period by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. Believe it or not, this month has been enacted into law on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

Enough of the history lesson, we know that this month has become a confusing time for many. Questions likes “Why does it start mid-September and end mid-October?”, “Why ‘Hispanic Heritage’?”, “Why do brands want to have a piece of the pie?”

Granted, the 30-day period question can be easily answered by seeing that various Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Honduras on the 15 alone, celebrate their independence day around this month-long time.

Why ‘Hispanic Heritage’? Well, according to the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 52 million Hispanics in the United States, totaling up to be 17% of the population, the largest ethnic minority. With these numbers being so significant, brands know it is crucial to engage with this market during this month.

Take a look at how Buzzfeed shows us how dozens of Latinos across the U.S. self-identify and answer the hashtag: #WhatLatinoMeansToMe. Yes, many included in the article are basically listing out three things describing what “culture” is to them, but you get the idea. Most relate culture with the following:

  • Love
  • Family
  • Faith
  • Hard work/Dreams

Being proud of who you are is a human necessity. It helps us with our level of happiness and ability to function throughout the day. We are all “earthlings” as Rosario Dawson mentioned, but we took the Buzzfeed example and asked our office if they could answer the hashtag #WhatLatinoMeansToMe.

Here are the results.