With no built-in organic Latino elements, the film Straight Outta Compton was not expected to attract a large Hispanic audience for a number of reasons:
- African-American themed films, particularly period features and biopics, have historically drawn less than 10% of their box office from Hispanics
- There were no Latino cast members
- The film was perceived as only appealing to African-American audiences
- The studio had a bare bones budget
- The height of NWA’s popularity was more than 20 years ago
- There was a belief that the film had limited relevance and appeal beyond the West coast.
Despite all this, H+M Communications, working with Universal Pictures, had six weeks to:
- Catapult the film into the Hispanic cultural zeitgeist via a minimum of 100 million social media impressions from unpaid endorsers who would advocate for the film to create awareness and urgency among Latinos beyond L.A.
- Generate a minimum box office contribution of 10% from Latino audiences.
Research and test screenings revealed that when Latinos heard about the film from a source they trusted, they would see it and upon seeing it found it relevant and in turn would recommend it to their peers.
Census data also revealed that Compton and South Central LA communities that were predominately African-American at the time the film was set were now upwards of 50% Hispanic. Similar demographic shifts were also found in traditionally African-American communities throughout New York City, Chicago, Houston and Miami.
There were also organic Latino ties to NWA’s first album, which included a song by Latino rap pioneer Krazy D; recording artists such as Pitbull, who had self identified as fans of the group and/or sampled NWA’s music in their own recordings; and dozens of culturally relevant Hip Hop influencers spanning Latino celebrities and graffiti artists who were themselves influenced by their music and narrative.
H+M leveraged Pitbull’s affinity for NWA to strike an unprecedented unpaid partnership that included takeover of his Facebook (60 MM+ fans) and Twitter (21 MM+ followers) pages, where he debuted two film clips and various images that gathered 3+million views in the six days leading to the film’s opening.
A private screening of the film was also held for Pitbull, after which he posted recommendations on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (which has 2 MM+ fans). Pitbull contributed in excess of 200 million impressions across his platforms. H+M also brought film talent to Miami for an exclusive advance screening and Q&A for Hispanic tastemakers and influencers that generated 200+ million earned media and social impressions.
The agency surprised the cast with a mural created by Latino artists/NWA fans TATS CRU, juxtaposing the film art with images of Miami personalities, including Pitbull, who posted a picture of himself in front of the mural. They also engaged dozens of Latino digital content creators and social media stars that passionately and at no cost supported the film with 250 million+ impressions through their combined 150+ million fans and followers. In addition to Pitbull, these included JLO, Thailla Ayala, Ximena Cordova, Chingo Bling, Marco Rubio and Jackie Fuerrido.
Of the 890+ million total unpaid impressions generated in support of #
The campaign’s success was perhaps predominately reflected by the fact that Straight Outta Compton earned $60.2 million in its opening weekend, with Hispanics representing 21% of the opening weekend audience. The film went on to earn $161 MM at the domestic box office.
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