NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- At a time when print advertisers are more likely to cancel schedules than make new long-term ad commitments, State Farm is going to buy every back cover in 2009 in Reader's Digest's monthly U.S. Hispanic magazine Selecciones.
This will be the first time Selecciones puts an ad on the back cover. Reader's Digest made a similar move last year, opening up the back cover to advertisers for the first time and signing up Unilever's Dove brand for that prime spot for a year.
Eager to be there for Latinos
State Farm has ramped up its marketing to Latinos. In 2007, the insurance company, which works with Miami-based Hispanic agency Alma DDB, increased its Hispanic ad spending by 90% to $36 million, according to Ad Age's Hispanic Fact Pack. The print ads are part of State Farm's ongoing campaign themed "Alli Estoy" ("I am there").
The print ads focus on major life experiences, such as buying a new car and planning for the future, with State Farm there to help realize your dreams.
One of State Farm's "Alli Estoy" TV spots this year about a Mexican band grew into a whole branded-entertainment project about musicians who met through a State Farm commercial and achieved their dream of forming a successful band with concert gigs and a CD. That branded-entertainment project was named one of Ad Age's Marketing 50 last month.
The first of the 12 Selecciones issues with a State Farm back cover, dated January 2009, goes on sale Dec. 16.
"In these challenging times, advertisers have to be very strategic with their ad dollars," said Cindy Hack, publisher of Selecciones. "We're feeling the pinch like everyone else but responding with innovative marketing solutions."
Ad pages dropping
The schedule is a much-needed boost for Selecciones. According to the Media Industry Newsletter, Selecciones' ad pages for 2008 fell by 15.3% to 400 pages, a much bigger drop than parent Reader's Digest, down 4.17% in 2008. Selecciones was flat in 2007, with measured ad revenue up 0.7%, according to Ad Age's Hispanic Fact Pack.
Among the other top Hispanic titles, the biggest monthly, Time Inc.'s People en Espanol, grew by just two ad pages, or 0.2%, in 2008, according to MIN data. Latina, the No. 2 title, saw a 13.9% drop in ad pages in 2008.
Selecciones, the fourth biggest Hispanic title, has had three publishers this year. Former publisher Elizabeth Bradley left in January 2008 after six years, and was succeeded by Elaine Alimonte, previously the magazine's associate publisher. She became VP-marketing and sales development/RD Community in September, and was succeeded by Cindy Hack, formerly the associate publisher at Golf for Women.