As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, Variety and Variety Latino conducted a first-ever nationwide survey to measure the brand power, appeal, and influence of today’s top Latino film and television actors based on U.S. Hispanics’ emotional connection to them.
Reflecting the survey’s findings, we ranked the celebrities in a list titled “POWER OF LATINOS: 20 MOST INFLUENTIAL STARS.”
For this task, Variety Latino commissioned Celebrity Branding Authority Jeetendr Sehdev to survey a random sampling of Hispanic men and women, in both Spanish and English, across a wide range of U.S. cities, incomes, acculturation levels and age groups.
Aimed at ranking the overall appeal and influence of Hispanic stars among members of their own community, the survey measured parameters such as perceived authenticity, accessibility, relatability, likeability, grace, style, humor, community involvement and activism, and social media popularity.
What we learned about the U.S. Hispanic audience through the survey was fascinating. Here are a few of the standout stats:
- 78 percent of people surveyed agree that Latino celebrities who have crossed over into Hollywood from Spanish language media are good role models for the community.
- 83 percent agree that humor permits a heightened emotional connection and increases engagement between themselves and the celebrity.
- Latino celebrities who speak positively of the obstacles they’ve overcome are 35% more admired by Hispanics than they are by the general market. “As an immigrant community we all take risks not just celebrities,” said one person surveyed. “I would rather take a risk than wonder what could have been.”
- Hispanics use the Internet up to 30% more than the general market to keep up with pop culture trends and 8 in 10 Hispanics describe their relationship with Latino celebrities who have a strong social media presence as “more fulfilling and enjoyable.”
- Hispanic men admire Latino male celebrities who are not only attractive to the opposite sex but also relatable, as in, “I can see myself in him.” On the other hand, Hispanic women admire celebrities who project mainstream ideals of femininity. Relatability is less important.
- Latino actors and actresses who have strong individual streaks and look to stand out in a crowd are 5 times more engaging to Hispanics.
- 7 out of 10 Latinos say they relate more to celebrities who are doing things on their own terms.
- Latino celebrities who have reinvented themselves, through the way they look or the roles they assume, are up to 61% more admired than those who haven’t.
- Those Latino stars who demonstrate a strong work ethic are up to 55% more relatable to Hispanics than the general market. “We are very hardworking and believe in hard work,” said another person surveyed. “Like celebrities, we also have to work hard in both our personal and professional life. I relate to that and it doesn’t make me feel alone.”
- Latinos respect celebrities who utilize Spanish in a way that integrates their culture into the mainstream in a relevant and current manner (think Pitbull’s “Dale!”).