Verizon and J. Lo launch Viva Movil, a mobile retailer aimed at Latinos

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Jennifer Lopez lends her star power

Verizon didn't announce a new phone or herald the entry of new 4G LTE markets (though COO Marni Walden was sure to say there are 497 of them) during its CTIA 2013 press conference.

Instead, to the beat of hip hop, Jennifer Lopez took over the stage to introduce Viva Movil, a new mobile brand aimed specifically at the Latino community.

"I see Viva Movil as a part of a cultural revolution that's taking place in media and technology for the modern Latino," Lopez said during a presentation where she hardly swayed from the teleprompter.

The idea behind Viva Movil is to create a wireless shopping experience catered to the Latinos: stores will be staffed by bilingual employees, have play areas for children (Latinos shop with their children 3 times more than non-Latinos, Lopez said) and interested buyers can turn to the Viva Movil Facebook page or Lopez's own FB social hub to make their wireless purchases.

dedicated play areas

Concept interior of a Viva Movil store

Into the future

Lopez called the social-purchasing aspect of Viva Movil "game changing," noting that Latinos spend 1.5 hours more online than non-Latinos.

The Viva site ( is up, and phones like the Galaxy S4, iPhone 5 and BlackBerry Z10, as well as tablets, are already up for order. The plans, shoppers will note, are Verizon's, as are the devices, but Big Red is simply Viva Movil's wireless provider and has no actual stake in the company.

Viva Facebook

Viva social media

The first Viva Movil store will open June 15 in New York, though specifics beyond "on one of New York's busiest intersections" weren't shared. By the end of the year, stores will also open in Los Angeles and Miami.

Lopez is Viva Movil's chief marketing and creative officer as well as the the company's majority shareholder, but it's also a venture with Brightstar, a global distribution and services company and the country's largest Latino-owned business, as well as Moorehead Communications, Verizon's largest premium retailer.

Lopez said she will come into her role from a creative point of view and figure out ways to engage the Latino consumer in a way that makes sense for that sector.

"You have to understand this consumer - you have to understand we're American and we're Latino - there's a lot of things that go into that," Lopez said.

"I was born here in the Bronx in New York, my parents were born in Puerto Rico. That's a specific experience and I think that's the Latino we're talking about right now that's emerging and becoming a powerful group in the consumer market right now."

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.