Online Exclusive: Hispanic Marketing

MOBILE PHONE GIANTS STEP UP HISPANIC ADVERTISING

T-Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Sprint Ready Large-Scale 2005 Campaigns

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The battle for U.S. Latino mobile phone consumers will heat up in 2005 as two marketers have recently picked their
T-Mobile has moved first with a new flock of Hispanic commercials.
first U.S. Hispanic ad agencies and another has switched Hispanic shops.

Fast start
T-Mobile USA got off to a speedy start and broke its first Spanish-language advertising after awarding its estimated $20 million new Hispanic account to Publicis Groupe's Conill Advertising of Los Angeles. Working in conjunction with T-Mobile's general market agency, Publicis West, Conill created two commercials that humorously lampoon other providers' costly rates.

In one spot, three hikers in a forest fear they are being stalked by the legendary bloodsucking "Chupacabras" monster but resist calling for help because of high roaming charges -- even though the cost-conscious cell phone owner is wearing a potentially lethal goatskin jacket.

"Roaming!" he protests. "Goatskin!" his friend retorts.

'Chubacabras' monster
"Chupacabras" literally means "goatsucker," and myth has it

One new T-Mobile spot features a potential encounter with a vampire-like Chupacabras, or 'goat sucker' monster.

the vampire-like creature feeds on the blood of cattle, goats and, at times, humans. It began as an urban legend in Puerto Rico about a decade ago and has become familiar to other Hispanics.

Evening rate drops
In the other T-Mobile ad, a dying grandfather wants to speak to his relative Emilia one last time. The relatives gathered around his hospital bed try to dissuade him from making the pricey cell phone call. One mustachioed male relative, after checking with the doctor to see if grandpa will last till the rates drop at 7 p.m., dashes off and disguises himself unconvincingly as the missing Emilia.

Still to come: Virgin Mobile named independent La Comunidad, Miami, to help the mobile phone service provider enter the Hispanic market in 2005, with an estimated $10 million ad budget. And Sprint moved its estimated $20 million account in November to New York-based independent Vidal Partnership from BVK/Meka, Miami.
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