|AOL's s Spanish-language site is at AOLLatino.com.
Mercy Lugo-Struthers, AOL Latino’s director of Hispanic marketing, said the campaign portrays Internet access from home as an empowerment tool that helps children get ahead.
The first round of ads play on the potential guilt of Hispanic parents who have not yet provided their children with online capabilities. In the TV spot “The Talk,” for instance, a young boy shyly raises the topic with his parents, asking “In school all the kids have it. … Why don’t we have Internet access at home?”
Ms. Lugo-Struthers said that about 5 million Hispanic households, and 13.5 million individual Hispanics, have Internet access at home.
Three times faster
“Hispanics are going online three times faster than the general market,” she said. “And I think those going online now are more likely to speak Spanish only.”
All together, America Online has 2 million Hispanic accounts, including both Hispanics using the English-language AOL service and Spanish-language AOL Latino, she said.
Interpublic Group of Cos.' Casanova Pendrill, in Irvine, Calif., is AOL Latino's creative agency and Market Vision, San Antonio, handles promotions.
AOL Latino will also extend more of its marketing program for the general market to Spanish-language consumers for the first time, including distribution of Spanish-language AOL Latino 9.0 disks in retail outlets, and a $50 bounty to members who refer a friend to AOL Latino.