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Cervecera de Puerto Rico Enters Mainland US Beer Market in Florida

Written by admin on . Posted in Caribbean, Marketing

Medalla lands in Florida,'y friita!'

Medalla lands in Florida,’y friita!’

Earlier this year, Puerto Ricans, and frankly everyone in Florida, had reason to rejoice and celebrate with the news that Cervecera de Puerto Rico would begin exporting to the mainland US, starting with Florida.

While Puerto Rico is better known for its world class beaches, and entertainment and athletic talent–think Benicio del Toro, Ricky Martin, and Roberto Clemente–it is not often that the island’s products make it past its surrounding turquoise waters. Bacardi Rum, originally a Cuban brand that saw its success bloom globally long after its move to neighboring Puerto Rico (gracias a Fidel…), is a rare exception.

Cervecera de Puerto Rico brews an outstanding, world-class, award winning beer, so its success in the US seems highly likely. It is a family business started by three brothers back in 1937. Today, the company is in the hands of the family’s third generation with President Carmen Amalia Valdes.

Cuba develops its own Social Network

Written by admin on . Posted in Caribbean, Digital, Marketing, Social Media, U.S. Hispanic

Red Social Cuba

Red Social Cuba

Facebook is without a doubt the dominant social network around the world, although there are certain countries where other networks predominate. Brazil has Orkut, China has Ren Ren and Russia has VKontakte. Cuba never had its own network until now, with the advent of Red Social. Created by the Cuban Ministry of Education with the aim of connecting universities around the country, the social network is only accessible through an intranet on the island.

News of the network was first reported on the Cuban blog La Chiringa de Cuba by Carlos Alberto Pérez Benitez. The site uses a Facebook clone address that is inaccessible from the United States (just try it: http://facebook.ismm.edu.cu/).  It is also interesting to note that last year Cuba launched its own sort of Wikipedia, Ecu Red which offers a Cuban view of things (often with a strong political tone). Given the political uprising in Egypt earlier this year, which was fueled by participation on Facebook, closed regimes are nervous about the potential for political organizing on social networks. This may explain Cuba’s decision to start Red Social. And since only 2% of Cubans have internet access, it’s unlikely that Facebook will be pursuing legal action about the very similar designs and the use of their domain name any time soon.

Cuba: Poised for change

Written by admin on . Posted in Caribbean, Marketing

Cuba Change

Cuba Change

In a New York Times article on August 2nd, I learned that the Cuban government plans to legalize the buying and selling of property at the end of the year. The implications and knock on effects of this could be tremendous. Property sales would encourage much-needed renovation, creating jobs. Banking would expand because, under newly announced rules, payments would come from buyers’ accounts. The government, which owns all property now, would also benefit greatly. It would collect taxes on the sales of homes and apartments where money in the current system passes under the table.

While the current plan seems to prohibit foreign ownership, there is still a role for Cuban emigrants, specifically those living the US. Cuban-Americans can take advantage of Obama administration rules letting them send as much money as they like to relatives on the island, fueling purchases and giving them a stake in Cuba’s economic success. Money transfer companies like Moneygram and Western Union are well-poised to capitalize on the influx of money to the island.

Many people remain skeptical of the government’s promise to release control, and only time will tell how it plays out.

The marketing environment in Cuba

Written by admin on . Posted in Americas, Caribbean, Marketing

Potential Cuban Consumers

Potential Cuban Consumers

No one can say when Cuban markets will open up to American companies, but some people are preparing for such a situation with glee. Marketing to Cubans will present unique challenges, as this is a market that is unaccustomed to modern marketing. In a way, this presents both challenges and unique opportunities.

Matthew Creamer talks with the young Canadian marketing exec Adam Armstrong in “How You’ll Advertise in a Newly Capitalist Cuba” , who had the unique opportunity to direct the marketing campaign for Cerveceria Bucanero, a local Cuban beer. He observed that there was a desire in Cuba for capitalism and capitalist ways. Even Cubans hunger for the new, new thing.

Internet penetration is under 3 percent and mobile penetration is just as bad. Nevertheless, Cubans are not hermetically sealed from the world, as they are exposed to tourists from Europe and Canada, as well as other Latin American countries. Because of a relative lack of sophistication, Armstrong argues that Cuban consumers don’t need complex messages; images of smiling, happy young beer drinkers proved quite successful. The issue of whether any sort of extensive case study on the Cuban consumer can be used for real-life purposes remains to be seen. But for now, the Cuban market remains untapped, and eager to be marketed to.

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