Home Depot paint line connects with Hispanics

Colores Origenes gives retailer some Latin flavor, will expand to all stores

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When Martha Kruse painted her kitchen recently, she chose a color called Rojo Oxido, or Rusty Red. The color picked by Ms. Kruse, Home Depot's senior manager-multicultural marketing, is the third most popular in the company's Hispanic-targeted paint range called Colores Origenes.

The range has been so successful since it was introduced in September 2005 that the company has plans that go way beyond the original 400 heavily-Hispanic stores in which the paint was originally sold.

"We're expanding Colores Origenes to all our stores, and it's now in rollout," Ms. Kruse said. "We expect it to be in all stores by the end of the quarter."

Colores Origenes grew out of an assignment Home Depot gave to the agencies pitching for its Hispanic account two years ago: Sell more paint to Hispanics. The Vidal Partnership, New York, won the account, but contender Grupo Gallegos' idea of creating a whole line of paints targeting Hispanics was so fresh and so compelling that the agency got the assignment to develop and launch Colores Origenes, although the business eventually moved to Vidal.

"With Grupo Gallegos, there was a simple but big insight that we call [color] names in a different way," said Ms. Kruse, who is Peruvian. "If you talk to me about Hunter Green, I don't get it. But Verde Amazonas, I do."

John Gallegos, principal of Grupo Gallegos, Long Beach, Calif., said that during research with consumers, they started suggesting names for colors. There are more than 70 colors now, with names that are not just in Spanish but are evocative of Latin tastes, scents and images.

Little stories

"Each has a little story," Ms. Kruse said. Horchata is a Mexican rice drink, and elote is the Mexican word for buttery yellow corn. Cafe Expreso suggests a social aspect to Cubans who love intensively strong coffee, and Mango Jugoso is a juicy mango.

The collection launched with ads from Grupo Gallegos showing images like a bright green turtle or a vivid orange monarch butterfly, each with a paint chip that captures the color. Ads end with the line "the new collection of colors with names you already know, to inspire you from the moment you hear them." Home Depot does not break out sales separately for the line.

A general Hispanic paint spot from Vidal broke in May. The ad is part of a new tribute strategy to home perfecters, Ms. Kruse said.

It’s caliente

The five most popular paint colors in Home Depot’s Latin palette

1. Almendra Tostada (toasted almond)

2. Sabor a Nuez (nut flavor)

3. Rojo Oxido (rusty red)

4. Cono de Vainilla (vanilla cone)

5. Jardin de Hierbas (herb garden)
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