Ford, GM, Xoom, Rosetta Stone Win ANA Multicultural Ad Awards

Judges Found Cultural Nuances and Creativity in Best Work

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Along with big marketers such as Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and McDonald's, little-known marketers Xoom and Rosetta Stone were winners at the ANA's Multicultural Excellence Awards this week. The awards were announced at the ANA's Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference in Miami.

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Xoom Corporation, an online money-transfer business, won the best U.S. Hispanic campaign award. Its campaign, "Save the pigs," featured a series of humorous TV spots created by Dieste that highlighted the tricky and excessive fees other money-transfer companies charge by poignantly portraying the real victims: piggy banks abandoned by owners fooled by those companies.

"It was irreverent but fun and unexpected," said Cristina Vilella, McDonald's Corp.'s marketing director for U.S. Hispanic and one of this year's judges. "It wasn't about the rational benefits of money transfer. The lesson is to encourage people to step out and cut through the clutter."

"At first when Dieste presented it, you just had to laugh," said Theresa Pasinosky, Xoom's director of marketing for Latin America. "They nailed the insights and the creative was so good we didn't feel like we were taking a risk."

The campaign broke in April 2012, and the company reported volume was 46% above a year earlier for the same month.

Another effective campaign was Rosetta Stone 's "Open Your World" by Alma, winner of the award for most significant results. Weekly calls to the language-learning company's call center increased from 1,000 to 4,500, and Rosetta Stone had to hire 50 new reps to manage the surge in volume. As conversion rates improved, the cost per order fell by 45%. In contrast to some other language-learning programs that play on immigrants' fears about not speaking English well, Rosetta Stone 's Hispanic campaign focused on progressing in life and making your dreams come true.

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Sharonda L. Britton, Walmart Stores' director of multicultural marketing and one of this year's ANA judges, was impressed by how winners translated insights into creativity, such as with Uniworld's Ford Explorer work (the winning campaign in the African-American category) and Heineken's digital campaign by the Vidal Partnership (the digital media winner).

In the Uniworld "Brand New" spots, families are transformed by buying a new Ford Explorer, and bemused observers comment on their new and different behavior, which includes surfing and sailing. In one spot, an onlooker comments "I heard they took up spelunking. Who does that ?"

"Uniworld showed a total market approach, leading with an African-American insight," Ms. Britton said. "The nuance was that when you're doing something new and different, people think you're brand-new. To tie it into a new car made it feel like the Ford Explorer was aspirational because it was becoming brand new."

Vidal's Heineken effort addressed the soccer fan's dilemma of being on a different time zone during a European soccer championship, and not wanting to hear the outcome of the game before watching it later. The solution: a social-media blocker that kept real-time scores from being revealed.

"They developed a digital add-on, and you could sign up on social media and Facebook to ensure you didn't see scores, messages or anything to do with the soccer game until you were ready to watch the game," Ms. Britton said. "That's very relevant to [Hispanic] consumers who overindex on social media."

General Motors and LatinWorks won best general market campaign; Western Union and its agency New A scooped the best Asian-American campaign award; McDonald's Corp. and Alma picked up best radio campaign and the Marine Corps Recruiting Command and Uniworld did the best print ad. The award for best LGBT campaign went to Allstate and Leo Burnett.

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