To Grab Latinos, Sony Emphasizes Education

Hits the Road to Put Products in Consumers' Hands

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- For Sony, figuring out how to reach the Hispanic market is less about brand building -- Latino immigrants know the global marketer from their home countries -- than about educating consumers about its technology products.
In partnership with 'People en Espanol,' Sony is encouraging Hispanics to take photos of each other with Sony cameras for possible use in the magazine.
In partnership with 'People en Espanol,' Sony is encouraging Hispanics to take photos of each other with Sony cameras for possible use in the magazine.

Five-month tour
This fall Sony Electronics is going directly to consumers with its most comprehensive Hispanic effort yet. In mid-October, La Experiencia Sony kicks off with a five-month mobile-lifestyle tour through Southern California. The tour will stop at retailers and events, setting up an inflatable dome to let people try out and learn about Sony products such as TVs, Vaio laptops, camcorders and personal-audio products, said Jeff Symon, president of Sony's Hispanic agency AIM, San Diego.

In a tie-in with Time Inc.'s People en Espanol magazine, people can take photos of each other with Sony Cyber-shot cameras and get pictures of themselves on the magazine's cover, Mr. Symon said.

Spanish-language website
Later this year, Sony will launch a Spanish-language website and distribute a bilingual shopping guide at retailers and to homes, he said.

"We're working on creating lifestyle imagery that is culturally relevant," said Tanya Diggs, Sony Electronics' director-corporate marketing. "It's not just putting brown faces [in pictures]; it's capturing moments."

Ms. Diggs said the images, which will be used by Sony and shared with retailers who can create their own point-of-sale materials, advertising templates and other merchandising efforts, capture special events in the lives of Hispanic families.

Multicultural focus groups
Sony is also finding insights in its multicultural focus groups. Members of the focus groups kept asking, for instance, whether the Sony Reader, a paperback-size device for downloading and reading books that is due out this month, can be used to download the Bible. That hadn't occurred to Sony, Ms. Diggs said.

"The only way to know that is to be part of the [multicultural] market," she said.
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