Advertising Age reported on extra happenings from the ANA Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference. Can’t help but think this annual event must feel like some sort of Alcoholics Anonymous convention, with people admitting to their character defects and relapses in behavior. Kellogg apparently fell off the wagon with its multicultural marketing. “In 2009, we’d gone from supporting nine brands to one,” confessed Kellogg North America President Brad Davidson. “And 1% of our marketing budget went to Hispanic.” As a result, the food maker got beat like a piñata by competitors. Plus, Kellogg’s attempts to repurpose advertising from other markets didn’t fare too well. Now Davidson claims to have experienced enlightenment and is committed to doing the right thing. Of course, he probably allocated just a few additional pesos to the renewed effort. Meanwhile, Ram Truck Brand’s President-CEO Fred Diaz announced things are muy bueno with his multicultural marketing. However, the man is working with The Richards Group and its minority wing, Richards Lerma. Not sure how successful a company can be conspiring with those wonderful folks who gave you talking vaginas. Diaz said Ram truck sales jumped 12% in 2011 among Blacks and women. Did the marketing budgets for the groups see equal raises? According to Diaz, while Chrysler enjoys a 10.2% share of the car market, the automaker only owns 8.8% of the Hispanic car market. Diaz declared, “The goal is for share to be equal to or higher than the general market.” Um, try making sure the multicultural marketing budget is equal to or higher than the general market. Otherwise, you’ll just look like a stumbling, stammering drunk.
Ram Truck, Kellogg Presidents Outline Hispanic Strategies at ANA
While Kellogg Rebuilds, Ram Uses Bilingual Ads and Shares U.S. Leader With Mexico
By Laurel Wentz
Two very different leaders of very different brands—the president of Kellogg North America and the president-CEO of Chrysler Group’s Ram Truck Brand—took the stage to describe their struggles and successes with multicultural marketing. Kellogg is making its way back after losing its way in multicultural marketing for a while and Ram is pursuing bilingual advertising and finding synergies with Mexico.
In an unusual dual role, Ram Truck Brand’s President-CEO Fred Diaz is also president-CEO of Chrysler de Mexico. He and Kellogg’s Brad Davidson spoke at the ANA’s annual multicultural marketing conference in Miami.
Mr. Diaz works with Richards Group in the U.S. and uses that agency’s U.S. Hispanic unit Richards Lerma for U.S. Hispanic work.
“Now that I have responsibility in Mexico, Richards Lerma also has a team in Mexico,” Mr. Diaz said. “Now we’re busting down that wall.”
Elsewhere at the company, Mr. Diaz said Chrysler is developing spots for Asian-American consumers in the U.S. based on a highly successful campaign airing in China.
Tip of the iceberg
Currently, Ram is producing Spanish and English-language commercials starring Latin music star Juanes. Both versions of each spot end with the Spanish-language tagline “A todo. Con Todo.” (“For everything. With Everything.”)
“That’s just the tip of the iceberg for what we’re about to do,” Mr. Diaz said. “We’ll follow up with digital, print, radio and social media. We’ll also look at extensions to other groups such as African-Americans—Ram truck sales were up 12% last year to African-Americans—and women.”
Mr. Diaz pointed out that Hispanic consumers are more likely to use online video—64% compared with 56% of general-market consumers—and have the highest adoption rate for smartphones—66% of Hispanic consumers, much higher than the 49% of non-Hispanics who use smartphones.
“By the end of November, all Chrysler’s mobile sites will also be available in Spanish,” he said.
Right now, Chrysler has a 10.2% share of the car market, but only 8.8% of the Hispanic car market, he said. “The goal is for share to be equal to or higher than the general market.”
Mr. Diaz said that in his 23 years at Chrysler, including a stint as director of advertising for the Dodge brand, when budgets got tight, multicultural marketing is the first thing to go. “I will not allow that to happen,” he said emphatically. “We find other things to cut.”
Kellogg gets crushed
Kellogg’s president is taking a very different journey through Hispanic marketing.
“In 2009, we’d gone from supporting nine brands to one,” Mr. Davidson said. “And 1% of our marketing budget went to Hispanic.”
Competitors, meanwhile, were crushing Kellogg in the Hispanic market, he said. When he complained to Leo Burnett, whose Hispanic shop Lapiz is Kellogg’s longtime Latino agency, he said he was told, “We pushed you Kellogg and you didn’t listen.”
To catch up, Kellogg developed more culturally relevant Hispanic advertising (after importing spots from Mexico didn’t work too well). The company also tapped into its Hispanic resource group Ola, even showing its members Kellogg and competitors’ commercials. In one employee’s critique, “one Latin mom said the mother (in the commercial) is holding the baby wrong,” Mr. Davidson said. He also spent time with Hispanic and African-American consumers in their homes.
Kellogg studied retail, and went to the Mexican American Grocers Association conference. “We were too Midwest conservative,” he said. “Their point-of-sale was more compelling, spicier.”
It was clear Kellogg’s Hispanic ads were getting better when the person who runs the company’s Answerline asked for more resources after being besieged by Hispanic moms.
Mr. Davidson’s advice for marketers still lagging in the Hispanic market: “If you’re just beginning, hurry up. Because your competitors are doing it. If you’re not there, you can’t say a year from now, we didn’t see this coming.”