The ads for Colgate toothpaste and toothbrushes, Mennon deodorant, and Plax mouth rinse began airing June 12.
The buy was estimated by some at $1 million, and was split among 11 satellite and cable networks. Y&R Advertising, Miami, handled the strategy and buy, with creative completed by its regional network.
Included in the buy were USA Network, ESPN, CNN en Espanol, TNT, GEMS International Television, TeleUno, Canal Fox, Fox Sports Americas, Warner, Sony and Discovery Channel Latin America.
The list is significant for its breadth; historically, news and sports networks have won such placements at the expense of lifestyle and family-oriented channels, executives say.
Network sales executives were buoyed by the buy.
TV EXECS CALL IT A FIRST
"That's the first time anybody's come on and said, `We're going to saturate the market,' " said John MacDonald, director of advertising sales with TeleUno.
In a region that has seen scores of TV networks launched but only a handful succeed, the Colgate move validates regional TV as a viable buy, one that will deliver audience throughout the region, executives say.
Formerly, many package-goods companies felt terrestrial programming, like Mexico's Televisa or TV Azteca, was the best medium to deliver households.
Colgate-Palmolive VP-Global Media Roger Godbeer was said to have worked closely with Irving Plonskier, Y&R Latin American media director, to study the region and line up market support country by country.
Messrs. Godbeer and Plonskier would not comment by press time.
"It's big for us because you're talking about a company the caliber of Colgate-Palmolive being the first of its kind; it opens doors for the rest," said Daija Arias, VP-ad sales with GEMS.