Boost Mobile Promotes 'Change' in New Hispanic Ads


Boost Mobile is unleashing another wave of ads as part of its Spanish-language campaign, dubbed “Sin Abusos” ("No Abuses"). The effort began last year and highlights the injustices Hispanics face in this country, including signing up for pricey—yet spotty—cell phone coverage. While previous spots focused on Hispanic consumers’ “desensitized” approach toward these injustices, the new ads focus on change and empowerment, said Tommy Thompson, president of iNSPIRE!, Boost Mobile’s lead agency for Hispanic advertising. The campaign, which also includes radio, print and out-of-home ads, is part of Boost Mobile's strategy to target a growing market: Hispanic telecom users, per Thompson. The postpaid market is growing rather sluggishly, but Hispanics are actually consuming more minutes and data plans, he said. In an interview with Brandweek, Thompson discussed why the “no abuses” message is as relevant as ever, and how campaigns like Boost Mobile’s have pushed prepaid plans to the mainstream.

Brandweek: Boost Mobile has been running its “Sin Abusos” campaign for some time now. What’s different or new about these spots?
Tommy Thompson:
The “Sin Abusos” or “Without Abuse” campaign is one we launched last year, so a lot of the strategic underpinning is still the same. However, the approach of how we express that is what we’re [changing] this year. The strategy was very sound, but we wanted to make sure we were conveying the story and engaging with consumers in a new way. In the past, our focus was centered more on the idea of, “You are abused so often that you tend to get desensitized to the abuse and then nothing else bothers you.” The tonality was all about being desensitized to the abuse and that came from the Hispanic consumers’ insight that they feel they are constantly getting abused in the country and there is nothing much they can do about it. If they get their checks cashed at a check cashing center, they pay through the roof. Prepaid calling card companies screw them over.

After a year of letting consumers know they’re constantly getting abused, we’re evolving the communication to let them know that we finally have a company that is helping them stand for [their rights] and giving them the power to make a change. So, we’ve evolved from being desensitized to the abuse to the fact that when you worry about something, you always carry that weight with you . . . so we anchor the creative on the expression of, “Why do you have that face?” which is a very common saying in Spanish.
BW: Give us an example.
One spot shows a person who has gotten a “long face” not because he’s sad, but simply because he’s gotten so used to worrying about his cell phone bill that his face has grown permanently long. We also have other executions coming, like one person who has a “mad face.” But in this particular execution, we see the “empowerment person” in this case, a waitress, who says to him, “You know what? That used to happen to me, too. I used to have a long face, but I did something about it and even my face has changed.” The point is, if you are stuck in this contract that has a bad network and bad coverage, you can change to something better. That’s where Boost Mobile comes in.
BW: Who’s your target consumer for the spots?
Our core target is consumers in the 25 to 44 age range, Spanish speaking, and they’ve been in the country for a few years. From a psychographic [perspective], these are people who are maybe not all that comfortable with mainstream America . . . even though they’ve been in the country for a long time now, they still have not found their way, if you will, and while there are things they like about the U.S., they are still very much tied to their origins.

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