Motorola Targets African-Americans With Pagers And Cellular Phones As Complimentary Products

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Motorola puts ethnic marketing to work for cellular phones, pagersAs Motorola concludes the test of African-American-targeted advertising for its cellular phones and pagers, the marketer is planning a campaign geared to Hispanics and considering one for Asian-Americans.

Ethnic media are expecting other marketers in the category to adopt the strategy.


"We are hitting two birds with one stone," said Rachelle Franklin, Motorola's promotions manager, of the effort targeting ethnic demographics, because ads for the first time position paging and cellular phones as complementary products.


The African-American print and radio campaign from Burrell Communications, Chicago, has been running in Dallas and Cleveland since May.

National ads appear in Essence, Ebony and Black Enterprise, and media support could expand significantly later this year.

The Hispanic effort, from Zubi Advertising Services, Miami, will run in that city as well as in


African-American consumers, despite their higher than average usage levels of pagers, have never been marketed to directly, Motorola said.

According to a 1995 Media-mark Research Inc. study, 7% of African-American adults own pagers, compared to 5% of white adults.

Cellular phones, however, were reversed, with 9% of white adults owning them vs. 4% of African-Americans.

African-American media executives said the Motorola campaign is among the few targeted efforts in electronics categories.


"The leading companies tend to have long coattails, and they may be followed by their competitors," said Clarence Smith, president and co-founder of Essence. "Once this pattern of electronics manufacturers [going into targeted media] begins, the expansion of other electronic devices is likely as they realize the value."

Matt Wisk, director of marketing for Nokia Mobile Phones, said his company may specifically target ethnic users in 1997.

Motorola may look into other segmented marketing moves as well.

"The teen market is big for pagers, and the female market also has high potential for pagers and cellular," Ms. Franklin said.

NEC America is beginning to place ads by Hakuhodo USA, New York, targeting teens and young adults, with the theme "Pagers with 'tude."


Also, said Paulette Weimerskirch, senior product market planner for NEC's Wireless Messages Terminal Division, the company is planning to develop a pager targeted to women, possibly involving a varying color scheme and holsters.

Nokia's TV advertising last year appealed specifically to consumers 18 to 29-years-old, Mr. Wisk said.

Grey Advertising, New York, handles Nokia.M

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