Gabriel Reyes: Hollywood Marketing Guru Talks Latino Outreach in the Digital Age

Latinos are the new American Leaders, we need to stop seeing ourselves as outsiders and learn to lead our communities, Latino and non-Latino” –Gabriel Reyes

By Elia Esparza

Gabriel Reyes

Recently Gabriel Reyes, President of the leading Hollywood public relations and Hispanic marketing agency, Reyes Entertainment, announced his company was re-branding to adapt to the changing American digital landscape.

A Latino marketing pioneer, Reyes’ roster of media and entertainment clients includes networks ABC, CBS, PBS, FOX and studios Warner Bros. Pictures, Columbia Pictures, The New York International Latino Film Festival (NYILFF), WWE, The Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Latina Magazine, the L.A. International Latino Film Festival (LALIFF), and Coca-Cola’s the “Adelante Movement,” which is inspiring a new American Latina rising like we’ve never seen before.

We sat down recently with the man who was listed as one of The Hollywood Reporter’s “50 Most Powerful Latinos in Hollywood,” to talk about his re-branding to reflect the fact that Latinos are now the new young American consumers and there is no way to reach them without using technology and market to them in English.

He is correct in keeping up with the new generation Latino. What piqued my interest in interviewing him was when he said to us that his company works towards a new social consciousness that “unifies all groups under our shared American and human experiences.”

Let’s find out how he intends to do this.

Latin Heat: Gabriel, with the re-branding of Reyes Entertainment, what is your vision of the outcome? What do you expect the marketing/promotion paradigm shift to be?

Gabriel Reyes: Demographics and technology have changed America. Increasingly, we are a “minority” majority country and most of us are on the Internet and social media, connected via our mobile devices. The Reyes Entertainment re-branding marks a paradigm shift in not only how we market but also to whom we market: The rapid growth of the U.S. Latino population over the last decade, coupled with the aging and decline of the white non-Hispanic population are creating a new 18-49 consumer that is increasingly Hispanic. We’re also challenging the notion that people over 50 are not a viable market. Baby boomers are living longer and more active lifestyles, spending money and engaged on social media.

We expect the marketing paradigm shift to be: Cultural marketing via digital content, social media and mobile.

LH:  You have a new association with GAMAGI (Geo Advertising Market and Gaming Innovations), and we sense you’re preparing for something special and unique — What is Gabriel Reyes pioneering?

GR: Through our association with GAMAGI, Reyes Entertainment is involved in pioneering AugTag, a new augmented reality mobile application that allows users to tie their memories to a place by “tagging” important places with their photos, videos and other 3D images. AugTag users can see images using the proprietary AugTag 3D viewer and tap on them to interact, like, comment and share with other social media networks.

I am excited about our association with GAMAGI because Reyes Entertainment can offer to businesses the use of AugTag, or to create a turnkey, white label app, which they can use to create branded promotions using branded images and video content.

Watch the AugTag demo:

LH: You’ve been demonstrating AugTag lately. How do you contrast this with Yahoo’s Instagram, with its 100 million users, hashtagging, and recent phototagging? How will AugTag get noticed?

GR: AugTag is different because it is all about location and sharing important memories tied to a specific place anywhere in the world.  The technology was built with location services as its foundation and its myriad uses all hinge on users interacting with 3D images at specific locations.  AugTag lets you plant your flag, make your mark and hold a memory in a specific place.

Gabriel Reyes with Jennifer Lopez
Gabriel Reyes with Jennifer Lopez

LH: Tell us about your vision of how Latinos in the 18-49 year range are seeing themselves these days. What is the New American Latino?

GR: In this question, I refer you to the PLUS Identity Study conducted by LatinWorks and Ethnifacts. The study establishes new terms to refer to the evolving Latino market and identity. It  lays out a new reality where Latinos are no longer at the margins of American society but the engine of growth for the young American population and its work force.

In short: Latinos are the new American Leaders. We need to stop seeing ourselves as outsiders and learn to lead our communities, Latino and non-Latino.

LH: Based on the increased infusion of interracial (Latino marries Asian, Black, Anglo, etc.) Will they still be tracked in the same way?

GR: I’m not sure how the U.S. Census will track interracial couples and their children. I would suspect in the future, we will do away with such labels altogether.

LH: With the New Seniors/Baby Boomers—when looking at lifestyle—what aspect of said lifestyle is relevant and important to your clients?

GR: The American senior population is largely made up on non-Latino white baby boomers. They have active lifestyles and purchase in many categories related to retirement living such as travel, fishing, boating, recreational sports, healthcare, etc.  And they are wired! According to a recent Pew study, 53% of those 64 and older are online and many of them are using social networking sites and using smartphones.  AARP recently reported that 90% of people 50 and older own some type of mobile technology.  They are also a viable market, as far as we’re concerned.

LH: Doesn’t our always-online world, social media all the time, documenting what we’re eating, actually result in assimilation? Just as broadcast TV smoothed out regional accents, doesn’t social media flatten out cultural differences, too? Everyone is mainstream, it seems. Is this why you’ve changed the focus of Reyes Entertainment?

GR: Yes, our society is evolving quickly and social barriers are falling all the time. Social media has made us all ‘sharers’ and generators of our own multicultural content. Today, a Latino teen living in L.A. has black, Asian and anglo friends. They eat out at Thai restaurants and watch both Hollywood and indie films. It’s a ‘multi-culti’ country for the most part.

LH: Do you think Latino marketing will eventually become general market? Will Reyes Entertainment be venturing into transmedia storytelling/fan campaigns?

GR: Yes, I believe the Latino market is rapidly becoming the ‘general’ market.  The demographic make up of our country is very different now and the marketing terms which were created decades ago no longer serve us. We need a new paradigm and new terms to reflect the dynamic and ever-changing Latino population.

[See:  The Plus Identity Study:]

And, yes, Reyes Entertainment will also create branded content, special events and fan campaigns for our clients.

LH: Here is one last questions. A major part of your work is networking… is it hard hosting a networking event and not mixing in a little of your own personal touch?

GR: We must bring ourselves to everything we do. That is how we are authentic as we go about our business.

Thank you, Gabriel for sharing your expertise and foresight.

Stay in contact Gabriel Reyes and Reyes Entertainment:

Facebook        Twitter        YouTube        LinkedIn

Something you may not know about Gabriel Reyes:

When we asked him about the best kitchen moment he’s ever had, he smiled and replied that it was being in the kitchen with his mother.  “Making chiles rellenos. I still try to emulate her fluffy egg white batter (the secret to her luscious chiles rellenos).”

Gabriel Reyes is the founder and president of Reyes Entertainment, an award-winning, Hispanic public relations and marketing agency recently re-branded to include general market PR and marketing as well as digital content and mobile solutions. His awards include HPRA’s PRemio Award for Best Digital PR Campaign, Two PRSA Prism Awards for Excellence in Multicultural PR Campaigns for George Lopez and PBS’ American Family. Reyes also won five MarCom Creative Awards for FOX’s The Swan, George Lopez, and Ugly Betty.

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Elia Esparza is a leading expert in communications and journalism targeting the burgeoning Hispanic market and has produced and written dozens of articles. President and CEO of Always Evolving PR and a Communications Specialist, Elia, incorporates her 18 years experience in the areas of entertainment and education public relations, and marketing. promotions, market research and translations (Eng/Span).

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