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Latin Grammys Take Center Stage

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NEW YORK With the Latin Grammys only a few weeks away, sponsors are quickly stepping up efforts to roll their marketing initiatives around the event.

Wal-Mart, the event's exclusive retail sponsor, today is launching "Tu mundo. Tu musica," a national campaign promoting the sale of Latin music CDs in stores nationwide from as low as $9.72.

Financial details of the campaign were not disclosed, but it is clear that corners were not cut, as it includes several television and radio spots, online and print ads, and in-store display promotions nationwide.

Alex Lopez Negrete, president and CEO of Houston-based Lopez Negrete Communications, Wal-Mart's Hispanic agency, said his agency has been closely working with the client, the distributors and the various record labels to make sure the entire music catalog of Latin Grammy nominees is available to Wal-Mart customers.

The TV portion of the campaign consists of three 30-second spots, which were directed by Gustavo Garzon, who last year received a Latin Grammy for Best Music Video for his direction of Juanes' "Volverte a Ver." Garzon, a native of Argentina, took to the streets of Los Angeles to shoot the spots, which are a sort of homage to the increasingly popular videos posted by users on Internet sites such as YouTube and MySpace.

One of the spots features Shakira's hit "Hips Don't Lie," while people, ages 12-70, dance at home or in the streets. The spot ends with a voiceover: "Shakira y tus artistas favoritos en los Latin Grammys desde $9.72. Tu mundo. Tu musica. Solo en Wal-Mart" ("Shakira and your favorite Latin Grammy artists from $9.72. Your world. Your music. Only at Wal-Mart").

Another spot features "Contra Viento y Marea," another Latin Grammy nominated song by Intocable in the category of Best Regional Mexican Song.

"Unlike what occurs in the general market, music among Latinos stretches over a wider demographic," Lopez Negrete said. "You see kids buying a record, but when you go to the concert, you also find their parents there."

Becoming a sponsor of the Latin Grammys was a no-brainer for the giant retailer. According to figures from market research firm NPD, Wal-Mart accounts for more than 40 percent of all sales of Latin music nationwide. That includes all music, including that sold over the Internet.

The Latin Grammys will air live on Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. ET on Univision for the second year in a row. Univision Online and Univision Radio also will cover the event.