There was a time when a multicultural ad campaign was a fairly straightforward piece of work. If your client wanted to sell packaged goods to Hispanics, all you had to do was feature a kindly, old abuela (grandmother) in your spot, and you were good to go.
But with today’s changing demographics and the growing importance of targeting a minority group on the brink of becoming the majority, those days are gone. Today, many of the best multicultural campaigns—whether targeting Hispanics, Asians or African-Americans—are so subtle, you’d be hard-pressed to label them as such.
GlobalWorks—a full-service marketing, branding and advertising agency—has become a pioneer in the multicultural milieu by adapting to this new reality and coming up with innovative campaigns targeted to their clients’ demographic sweet spots. In the process, the agency has put its own spin on the multicultural advertising genre.
“When we have brainstorming meetings for campaigns that have an Hispanic component we don’t just invite the Hispanic people at the agency to participate,” says creative director Inaki Escudero. “We feel very passionate about getting ideas from every corner of the agency. But we won’t dismiss those who are not Hispanic.”
This inclusive philosophy underscores GlobalWorks’ mission to build “brands without borders.” “Successful brands transcend the divides of language, culture and
geography,” says Escudero. “We focus the minds and imaginations from 30 countries to create borderless brand solutions. Nothing’s impossible when you think this way.”
In fact, the shop that is now Global-Works has benefited from a lineage of agencies without borders that began when Yuri Radzievsky and his wife Anna left the Soviet Union in 1973 to co-found the New York firm Euramerica. Ogilvy acquired the agency in 1981, and nine years later, the Radzievskys opened a second agency, called YAR Communications and built a name for themselves by doing ethnic campaigns for AT&T. In 1999, the couple opened its third agency, GlobalWorks, and a year later combined with Liquid Digital Information Systems to create the GlobalWorks Group. Since then, the company has handled an
array of clients, including Avaya, Guardian, Hughes, U.S. Bank, and Cablevision.
It was with Cablevision that the agency made headlines in mid-January: the cable company and GlobalWorks uncorked a new multimedia promotion for Cablevision’s Optimum Triple Play service. At its core, the campaign was a direct-response effort for the cable company’s bundled video/broadband/phone package. But, according to Escudero, it was like no other direct-response campaign in history in that it included a 3D microsite—the online portal to an Indiana
Jones-like video promotion that could be experienced in Spanish or in English, 2D or 3D. “It was a lot of fun,” he recalls. “It was a direct-response commercial, but it didn’t look like one…We’re fortunate enough to work with clients that are willing to let us go off and try new things.”
Another client, U.S. Bank, turned to GlobalWorks to create the Spanish language portion of a campaign to raise awareness of the company’s Saving Today
and Rewards Tomorrow program. “While our general market campaign focused on developing a savings movement, the Spanish-language advertising featured key moments that were made possible because of saving—college graduation, opening a new business, sending packages to family outside of the U.S.,” says Gregory E. Dorr, svp/consumer advertising at U.S. Bank.
“The emotion and the distinctiveness of the spots stood out. The creativity, strategy and cultural insight GlobalWorks provided was invaluable.” The ability to bring that level of invaluable service to clients will be an important attribute for agencies, as multicultural campaigns strive to engage the ever-evolving Hispanic marketplace.