Hispanic TV Summit: P&G Follows Tried, True Rules To Reach Latinos

Some companies have only recently begun marketing to the burgeoning Hispanic community in the U.S. Then, there's Procter & Gamble.
Alexandra Vegas, director of multicultural marketing, told attendees at the eighth annual Hispanic Television Summit here Wednesday, that the packaged-goods giant initiated its advertising efforts to the Hispanic community some 50 years ago on Spanish International Network, the predecessor to Univision.
Although the Hispanic market has continued to evolve in terms of composition, cultural impact and spending power over that span, Vegas, during her keynote address entitled, A New and Improved Approach for Reaching Hispanic TV Audiences," said P&G has followed some basic rules along its journey with this community: the consumer comes first and more specifically the company will continue to finds ways to reach "her mind and heart."
Framed within that overarching guidepost, while "embracing similarities and celebrating differences," P&G categorizes its U.S. Latino-leaning strategies into three: Hispanics lead, ethnic-only; general market leads, Hispanic is reapplied; and Hispanic leads for all of the U.S.
Vegas shared some of these thought processes, presenting a trio of campaigns deployed by P&G -- which counts some 23 billion-dollar brands and another 20 that generate upward of $500 million in sales worldwide -- with the first centering on an Hispanic-only execution for its Gillette Fusion shaving systems.
The fundamental problem was how to change the mindset of Hispanic guys, 70% of whom preferred disposable razors, while the like ratio of the general market purchases the more technically advanced shaving systems. Working with agency Dieste, P&G ran a commercial is which one hombre gave another five reasons, while shaving, why he should make the switch to Fusion.
That was complemented by a host of other tactics: sampling; a dedicated Web site; branded entertainment on ESPN Deportes and Fox Sports en Espanol; in-store displays; and specific copy and DRTV executions, offering a free sample, or money back if dissatisfied with the product upon purchase.
Moreover, Vegas said P&G activated locally, working its product into 1,500 barbershops, locations viewed as "trusted sources of information," in key Hispanic DMAs.
The results were outstanding as Fusion became P&G's fastest-growing brand in the Hispanic marketplace during its most recently completed fiscal year.
Relative to a campaign in which the Hispanic component was reapplied from the general-market program, Vegas pointed to various scented Downy Simple Pleasures fabric softener products. There, P&G encountered message misunderstanding concerning "the scent fitting who I am." Hispanic women misconstrued the concept, raising questions about whether they should be using different Downy scents -- whether Orchid Allure, Lavender Serenity or Spice Blossom --depending on the day of the week.
Overall, the messaging was changed to "Downy fragrances designed to express your personality," and communicated in much the same manner as the overall market, via commercials, print ads, laundry room signage, floor stands and neck hangers.
The combination of those tactics and the more qualified copy approach to Latinas helped the product over-deliver versus the general market, according to Vegas.
As for a product where the Hispanic community set the product and promotional paces, Vegas cited a campaign for Tide detergent powder. During the recession, many households had turned to cheaper alternatives or private label brands that had customers not only asking "Why should I pay more?" but bleaching some of the brand's business in the process.
Vegas reported that P&G constructed creative, illustrating that the lower-quality products, replete with more filler and not nearly as much cleansing material, were actually of far less value than the more established and expensive Tide brand. The upshot: Tide saw upticks in sales among both Hispanics and the general market.
In conclusion, Vegas said P&G will continue true to form with these constants: "We know the market is going to continue to change and we will work to connect when and where she is most receptive."