Grupo Gallegos Buys General-Market Shop

Responding to Demand From Clients Such as Target for Promotional Services, Hispanic Agency Acquires Nine Two

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In a sign of the movement toward a total market that encompasses all consumers, U.S. Hispanic agency Grupo Gallegos is buying a general-market promotion shop. The deal lets the agency ramp up quickly in the fastest-growing segment of Grupo's business and be more aggressive in the full retail environment that everyone shops in.

"There's probably not a more diverse place than the checkout," said John Gallegos, founder and principal of Grupo Gallegos.

Grupo Gallegos' successful milk campaign 'Mucho mas que leche'
Grupo Gallegos' successful milk campaign 'Mucho mas que leche'

Grupo is acquiring Nine Two, a 12-person promotions agency with annual revenue of just over $1 million and clients like Denny's, Mr. Gallegos said. "We realized we needed to acquire rather than build out because so many clients are asking us to do this."

That includes Target and the California Milk Processor Board, which became known in the Hispanic market for Grupo's award-winning Spanish-language TV spots but is currently most interested in promotion. In one integrated effort, Grupo reinvented vitamin-rich milk as a beauty product like shampoo or cosmetics and came up with packaging that placed milk in places like a pop-up store in the cosmetics area of Macy's. Mr. Gallegos said his client was delighted when CVS drugstores asked for similar milk promotions.

"It's not about having a Hispanic presence, it's about the total marketplace, like the Macy's pop-up stores," he said. "How do you create a program and activate it nationally, not just in Hispanic high-density areas? It's not a Hispanic Burger King, it's a Burger King. We need people who understand how to do effective promotions for [marketers like] Target ."

Grupo and Nine Two will move together next spring into Grupo's new, bigger office in California surfing mecca Huntington Beach.

Don Reddin, who started Nine Two in Orange County in 2004, said Grupo's approach came at a time his power tool client Makita was asking for bilingual videos and Spanish-language print ads. "One of our most important accounts was saying 'You need to come up with events around Mexican football and Hispanic audiences'," he said.

In a reflection of California's population, three of his 12 staffers happen to be Hispanic, including a Mexican-born art director and a finance manager from Peru.

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