Returning from a business trip to the Midwest on Monday, I had one thing on my mind: Getting back home to my uber-Spanglish bicultural existence in Miami. While at the Detroit airport, I stop into a shop to grab a bottle of water and a pack of gum when out of the corner of my eye I see the current edition of Forbes Magazine, with Sofia Vergara on the cover. I’m not ready to confess if it was Forbes powerful brand appeal that caught my attention or Sofia. In either case, I picked up the magazine and thought, “Ha. That’s cool. I didn’t realize Forbes had launched a Latino offering.” A closer look revealed that this was no Latino offering. This was Forbes general market magazine. They decided to not just focus on Sofia, because that would be too easy and a cheap way to sell magazines, right? So they widened the focus to address the Hispanic economic opportunity largely unrealized by U.S. Advertisers and general market media companies. The headline reads: “The Next Media Jackpot: Murdoch, Comcast and Disney Battle for Control of the $1 Trillion Hispanic Market”
On the one hand, it felt validating. It made me feel visible in a larger context. I had a positive reaction to the evidence in my hand that the powerhouses of general market media: Fox, Comcast and Disney, are trying to figure out how to capture my attention, figuratively speaking. No sooner did I have that ego-stroking reaction, another wave of more cynical reactions emerged. Thoughts like:
“Oh, now that Murdoch and Mickey are trying to get in, now I’m supposed to feel important?!”
“My momma told me I was special from the first time that baby doctor slapped my brown backside as a newborn. Are you tryin’ to say that Murdoch and Mickey have greater validating power than my momma?!”
“Forget you, Forbes, and Fox, and the rest of you phonies that are trying to get at us now. Hispanics have been a force for a while. What took you soo long?”
Then I took a deep breath, and realized that my conflicting reactions could be classified as clinically insane. “Easy, Alberto,” I whispered to myself. I was mixing smart business strategies by media companies with some pent up personal demons I thought I’d exercised. So I settled down, looked at Sofia on the cover of Forbes and everything felt just fine again.