"In the past, to achieve the American dream, you moved on a
continuum from immigrant to fully American," Mr. Alcocer said.
"What we see now [is] you have the alternative of staying in the
middle. Having that choice makes a person more powerful. And
navigating toward the center is where we see potential for insights
that work for the total market."
LatinWorks' eight account wins in 2013 included Target, which moved from
using Hispanic shops on a project basis to a new diversity platform
across all its product groups; Humana Vitality, which brought it
into a hot new category of health care; and a project with Rock the
Vote to register 100,000 young Latinos to vote.
As specialist media agencies reach deeper into the multicultural
market at the expense of Hispanic agencies, LatinWorks bucked the
trend. The agency's media buying doubled to $100 million last year,
and its media department, which started as a party of one in 2005,
reached 36 staffers.
For longtime client Anheuser-Busch InBev's Bud Light, LatinWorks
parlayed the statistic that 70% of Hispanic homes have outdoor
grills compared with 50% for non-Hispanics, into an emotional and
aromatic link between the beer brand and carne asada, or barbecued
meat. The integrated campaign includes the slogan "Smells like Bud
Light" evoked by the tantalizing aroma of a barbecue, and a
celebrity chef, Aaron Sanchez, dubbed the "Carne Asada Master" in
Austin, Texas-based LatinWorks, started by Managing Partners
Manny Flores and Alejandro Ruelas and partly owned by Omnicom Group, was the third-biggest
Hispanic agency by 2012 revenue, up from ninth place five years
ago, according to Ad Age's Hispanic Fact Pack.
"In the general market, everyone has the answer to everything,"
Mr. Alcocer said. "But in the multicultural market, things are
happening as we go. Agencies need to have a point of view.
Sometimes you'll be right, and sometimes you'll be wrong."