Hispanic Shops Step Out of Traditional Territory

Alen, Pepsi, Remy Martin all tap Latino agencies for general U.S. campaigns

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Hispanic agencies like to fret about general-market agencies trying to steal their business, especially as awareness grows that the number of English-speaking, acculturated Hispanics will likely increase faster in the future than that of Spanish-dominant recent immigrants.

But Hispanic shops aren't doing too badly themselves. When household-cleaning-products marketer Alen, the family-owned Procter & Gamble of Mexico, decided to target the general market in the U.S. for the first time, the company turned to its U.S. Hispanic agency, New York-based Ole. Ole's first general-market work is a viral campaign that delves into female fantasies with a sexy young Cleaning Hunk who appears in a housewife's living room and insists on cleaning the house. A TV spot and viral e-mail invite recipients to sign up to win one year of free housecleaning (or a check for $5,000) and directs them to a more risque version of the video at cleaninghunk.com. On the Web site, visitors can watch the Cleaning Hunk strip off his shirt to use as a cleaning rag, and remove his pants when the fascinated housewife spills coffee on them (when he removes his underwear, he is shielded by a strategically-placed can of Alen's XtraPine household cleaner).

big name wins

In a recent account review, the Hispanic agency La Comunidad was the winner when Remy Martin pitted the Latino shop against African-American agency Fuse and at least one general-market agency for the cognac marketer's agency of record assignment.

And take a look at Pepsi's current ad campaign. The media schedule for the Hispanic spot "Rain" starring Eva Longoria of "Desperate Housewives" flitting lightheartedly through the showers is 50% Spanish-language TV and 50% English-language networks like ABC and cable, where a general-market spot in the same dancing-on-the-street style starring Jimmy Fallon and Parker Posey is also running. The next work from Pepsi's Hispanic shop, Omnicom Group's Dieste, Harmel & Partners, Dallas, will target acculturated U.S. Hispanic teens.

Although there seem to be more examples of Hispanic agencies going beyond their traditional Hispanic target, it's not new. McDonald's Corp., for instance, has used its Hispanic agency DRM DDB, Coral Gables, Fla., as the lead agency for "Big Mac" assignments for years.
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