With a $1.3 trillion purchasing power, U.S. Latinos rank among the top 15 global economies, an impressive powerhouse any way you look at it.
Daisy Exposito-Ulla foresaw that seismic shift in U.S. demographics long before the "Latino Boom" exploded into the American firmament in the late 1990s. What the seasoned advertising director saw was this: "Latinos are the new American consumer and for this demographic you need the new American agency."
Thus the advent of d Exposito & Partners, a marketing and advertising agency geared toward being Hispanic centered at the core, according to Exposito-Ulla. The Latino market is growing and consuming more goods, including fast food and beverages at all levels, from the vaunted millennials--the young group courted by just about everyone these days--to older generations, she adds.
Based in New York, the firm is headed by Exposito-Ulla, who has a long history of spearheading marketing projects toward the Latino consumer that date back to the mid-1970s. Made up of seasoned professionals (including her husband,
Jorge Ulla) and younger and creative people, her staff is looking to offer its clients a door into the Hispanic market at all levels
She is succeeding. The agency's goal is to reach not only the new target of most agencies looking to reach the Latino market, bilingual Hispanics, but the Spanish-speaking ones and the more assimilated as well.
Her clients include, among others, big names like McDonald's and Marie Callender's, Slim Jim, Tajin and AARP, the non-profit advocacy organization for people over 50.
From Hauana to Manhattan
Exposito-Ulla was born outside Havana. The birth took place in an apartment upstairs from her father's hardware store, which had belonged to her grandfather since he moved to Cuba from Spain during the 1920s.
During the revolution, her father, like many other middle-class business people in Cuba, supported Fidel Castro. But after Castro declared the country a socialist state, nationalized businesses and militiamen came in the middle of the night and made her dad hand over everything, including the keys to his store, the family decided to leave the country, Exposito-Ulla says.
The family settled in Queens in 1964. Bereft of most of their material possessions, they had to start all over, often working menial jobs for 80 hours a week; the experience influenced her for life, she says.
Assimilating to her new country was lonely and hard, Exposito-Ulla...