Inventiva to Stage Latino Debuts

Inventiva will promote tobacco and liquor products following two recent account wins worth $3-5 million.

San Antonio-based Inventiva won a national review of agencies last month for theHispanic advertising account of R.J. Reynolds TobaccoHoldings in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Finalists in thatcontest were not disclosed. The pitch included both capabilities presentations and a creative assignment.

The client, whose best-selling cigarettes include Camel, Doral, Salem and Winston, has not previously targeted the Latino community with Spanish-language ads.

A planned $2-4 million effort will focus on both responsible tobacco use and brand awareness, said Inventiva chief executive officer Herberto Gutierrez, partly in recognition of the sensitivities of marketing a perceived “vice” product to minorities.

Inventiva has also been selected to handle the more than $1.5 million Hispanic advertising account of Christian Brothers’ brandy.

This is also the first foray into Latino advertising for brand owner Heaven Hill Distilleries of Bards-town, Ky.

Heaven Hill’s general market agency, Keller Crescent of Evansville, Ind., conducted the agency search. Inventiva’s past experience handling World Duty Free, a chain of stores on the U.S.-Mexican border, helped the agency win the brandy account.

“We are very pleased that their general market agency was able to recognize our experience with alcohol and retail,” said Gutierrez.

Christian Brothers’ initial advertising campaign will target California, where it is currently the best-selling brandy.

The brand, said Gutierrez, “does strongly among African Americans. Now we really want to target Hispanics since they are already strong brandy drinkers, but primarily of brands imported from Mexico.”

Campaigns for both the distiller and cigarette maker are anticipated to break in early 2001.