Clamato switches ad focus back to Hispanic audience

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Mott's USA has all but abandoned its efforts to push Clamato tomato cocktail into the mainstream, and once again plans to aggressively reach out to its core Hispanic audience.

Beginning this week, the Cadbury Schweppes unit will launch its largest-ever national Hispanic advertising campaign -- an estimated $5 million -- to increase Clamato consumption among the fast-growing population segment. The effort represents a shift for the brand, which Mott's attempted to position to the clam-fearing general market in late 1997 with quirky advertising and promotions featuring actor French Stewart that carried the tagline, "99.9% clam free."


J. Walter Thompson USA, New York, which handled that campaign, was quietly replaced by Hispanic agency Dieste & Partners, Dallas, late last year.

The campaign featuring Mr. Stewart, which ran through 1998, "was really a test to see if we could penetrate the [mainstream] U.S. market on a larger scale, but we see that the greater opportunity lies among building the business among current users," said John Haydock, marketing director-red juices at Mott's.

Per capita consumption of Clamato among Hispanics is "multiples" above the general market, he said. The brand holds a 5% share of the tomato juice category nationally but a 25% share in heavily Hispanic Los Angeles. That's still a fraction of its share in some Latin American markets, Mr. Haydock said.

Armed with those facts, Mott's has opted to spend the bulk of its marketing budget targeting the 33 million Hispanics in the U.S.

The campaign includes a 30-second TV spot airing on Galavision, Telemundo and Univision -- Mott's first targeting Hispanics in three years. The ads use the tagline "Clamato le pone sabor al momento," or "Clamato adds flavor to the moment," to position Clamato as a fun and social drink. In the spot, a young Latino named Javier suddenly becomes popular when he arrives at a party with a cooler filled with Clamato bottles.


Local radio in the top 15 Hispanic markets and billboards in the top 13 will build on the umbrella TV campaign but also target individual Latino cultures. Creative will play on how each group uses the product -- for example, reaching out to Mexicans who generally drink the product straight or Dominicans who very often drink it with beer.

Spending for Clamato last year was negligible, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Even so, sales for bottled Clamato rose 4.5% to $32 million for the 52 weeks ended Feb. 27. But rival V8 from Campbell Soup Co. posted growth of 8.3% to $77 million for bottled V8 during that time.

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