Ringling Bros. parades its brand for Hispanics

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Ringling bros. and Barnum & Bailey will roll its circus wagons from Baraboo, Wis., through the streets of Los Angeles Aug. 3 as part of its first clear pitch to Hispanics.

Ten performances planned for the L.A. Sports Arena next week will be in Spanish and English.

"We've done bilingual performances before," said Brian Bouquet, marketing and sales manager for the Los Angeles region for Feld Entertainment. But "now we have Roberto Miguel, a soap opera star from Televisa. He is the [Spanish-speaking] ringmaster working with Michael McGowan, the [English-speaking] ringmaster."

Ringling Bros. has revised its offering to create a performance relevant to an Hispanic audience.

"We've changed the tempo, beats and clown gags. During breaks we have a roaming mariachi band," he said. "L.A. is setting the mark, and we are taking this to San Antonio, Miami, [Washington], Chicago and New York."

Feld worked with cruz/kravetz: IDEAS, Los Angeles, on creative for a campaign to pitch the performance. Cruz and Robley Marketing, Portland, Ore., handled media.


The campaign, with the theme, "If you haven't seen it, you haven't been to the circus," uses heavy radio and TV with short flights, doorhangers out-of-home, print and couponing through 2,500 area retailers.

Mr. Bouquet also is using a sound truck to make announcements as it drives up and down the streets of Hispanic neighborhoods. The circus parade, a hugely popular event in Wisconsin, will feature Ringling Bros.' circus wagons, elephants and horses along with five local marching bands and two drill teams.

"We did completely new key graphics for all of our print and outdoor executions, which speak directly to the Hispanic customer. We changed TV and radio. This is the first time we've done that as well," he said.

Creative for the Los Angeles market differs from what will appear in other parts of the country, said Mr. Bouquet.

"Brand awareness was not as prevalent in the L.A. market as it is in other parts of the country," he said, noting that the Los Angeles area supports a number of small circuses.

Mr. Bouquet said he realized Ringling Bros. had an opportunity when he looked at the demographics for the Los Angeles area, home to about 6.9 million Hispanics.

"We were hitting 95% of our capacity on two bilingual performances," he said, adding he doesn't know how ticket sales are doing yet. "The Hispanic community is predominantly walk-up. It's kind of a nail-biter up until the week of show, and we see how the performances pay off."

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