In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Campaign US is spotlighting Hispanic executives from across the industry. This interview with Rubi Chavez, Tastemade’s head of marketing, has been lightly edited.
Campaign US: What is it like to be a Latino/Hispanic in the advertising industry?
RUBI CHAVEZ: It’s so great to be able to work in such a dynamic industry and to bring positive change and representation for the Hispanic/Latinx communities. Tastemade is a modern media company, so working with advertisers is a key part of our business, especially with our 24-hour streaming networks. We launched Tastemade en Español one year ago with the goal of bringing quality Spanish-language lifestyle content to audiences that celebrate and represent Hispanic/Latinx culture in a positive way. I feel proud to be a Latina that works for a company that embraces diversity – it’s a part of our culture and our core values.
How has it changed since you first started?
We’re seeing diverse representation in advertising and marketing increase over time – most recently in the last few years, which is a huge change. Although we still have a long way to go, there have been many strides in this area, and more and more brands are actively doing their part to create change and make representation the norm. This is very encouraging considering that 40% of the U.S. population is a racial or ethnic minority. Organizations like ADCOLOR are helping push this forward by championing diversity and inclusion in advertising, and in the creative industries in general, so that there is more equal representation.
How would you like to see brands honor Hispanic Heritage Month this year?
Hispanic Heritage Month is a great way to celebrate the diversity and beauty of the Hispanic/Latinx culture. At Tastemade, we believe in celebrating diversity both in front of and behind the cameras. We celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with our biggest campaign to date, creating a series of promos that are running all month long across our 24-hour streaming networks to celebrate the culture and traditions of the Hispanic/Latinx culture. We also created and programmed a variety of Hispanic/Latinx-focused social content across our social platforms to celebrate the diverse culture and to promote local Hispanic/Latinx businesses. We also launched our “Be The Change” resource page where partners and consumers can get involved by finding more information on Hispanic/Latinx-owned businesses, books to read, podcasts to listen to and more. It’s also important to celebrate diversity internally, so we created a series of events for our employees, including a talk with TedX speaker, Monica Rivera, called “Latin Like Me,” to help inform and embrace our heritage and the duality of being a Hispanic/Latinx American.
Where has the advertising industry made progress with diversity and inclusion? What still needs to be done?
As I mentioned, diverse representation in advertising has increased over time which is a positive change. However, we still need to continue to make strides in this area – and not only in front of the cameras, but also behind the cameras. When there’s diversity in organizations, especially when those people are top decision makers or in leadership positions, diversity starts to become endemic and part of the norm.
What is something you love about your culture?
I love the richness and diversity of the Histpanic/Latinx culture, which represents over 20 Latin countries. We’re not all the same, but we have common threads that bring us together: our language, traditions, beliefs and so much more. Latinos are also anchored by family and community – it’s so beautiful to see how family is at the center of everything.
How would you like to see your culture represented in the industry and by brands?
Latinos are still seen as a homogeneous group by many, so I would love to see more representation of the many diverse backgrounds within the Latino community as it’s not just one size fits all. There’s room to see these different backgrounds represented and not just put into one bucket.