When State Farm wanted to reposition its brand with Hispanics, Alma DDB came up with an unusual strategy. Working with FiRe Advertainment, the agency focused on developing original content, including the launch of an amateur Mexican music band to engage young consumers.
Through a contest to give the band a different name, concert tours, CD sales and even a reality TV show on Telemundo, the campaign played an important role in the overall State Farm campaign. It was designed to build brand awareness by recognizing the relevant “intersections” or key moments in the lives of Hispanics.
“Even without an obvious linkage, postcampaign research showed tremendous brand benefits for State Farm,” says Luis Miguel Messianu, Alma DDB’s president and chief creative officer. “This cross-platform ‘Intersections’ campaign created a revitalized affinity for the brand and a significant increase in auto insurance policies in high-density Hispanic areas.”
Messianu has seen significant evolution in U.S. Hispanic marketing since founding the Miami-based agency in 1994. “Now we are aiming for engagement,” he notes. “Successful brands want to establish a relationship with the consumer. That’s why it’s important to be media neutral and use different platforms to start those conversations. After all, Hispanics don’t live in a media silo. They are part of the mainstream.”
Since 2007, Alma DDB has focused on creating engaging and effective marketing programs for clients. “We have turned the agency into a creative business solution partner, with an account services team that mirrors a client’s marketing department,” says Messianu, a native of Mexico City. “While it’s nice to win awards for our campaigns, our goal is to help our clients develop new business and improve the bottom line.”
Today, Alma DDB is helping clients like McDonald’s develop social media platforms that connect with Hispanics. “Social media is a great venue to reach this market,” he explains. “It appeals to Hispanics’ desire to stay in touch with family and friends, as well as the individual drive for self-expression.”
Alma DDB has built other types of innovative campaigns, such as Museo de la Música McDonald’s®, a museum on wheels showcasing memorabilia from Latin artists. It toured the country in advance of the Latin Grammy Awards.
For Clorox, Alma DDB developed a humorous TV campaign for Pine-Sol called “Get to Work” focusing on four scent-based characters: “Limón Sillón” (Couch Lemon), “Diva Lavanda” (Diva Lavender), “Olé Olá” (Hurray Wave), and “Naranja Ja-ja” (Orange Haha). “This campaign provided a fresh new way to communicate product benefits,” says Messianu. To reach the Hispanic market, brands should carefully study the target consumer before making key decisions on language, media platform or creative concepts, he adds.
After all, a consumer’s identification with his or her Hispanic heritage and level of acculturation may change frequently, depending on an individual’s situation or even the time of day. “You can’t just apply one rule and be successful in reaching the Hispanic consumer,” he says. “This audience is a moving target— one that is constantly changing and becoming more sophisticated.”
Alma DDB is part of DDB Worldwide Communications Group Inc., a global advertising and marketing services network with more than 200 offices in over 90 countries. DDB Worldwide is part of Omnicom Group Inc. Referring to Alma DDB’s name, Messianu says, “In Spanish, alma means soul, and we are in the business of turning brands and consumers into soul mates.” For more information, see www.almaddb.com