New York -- Executives involved in ethnic ad campaigns for
Procter & Gamble Co., Burger King Corp., DaimlerChrysler and Metropolitan Life
Insurance Co. told attendees of the first Multicultural Marketing & Media Conference
here last Wednesday that targeting minorities is not just the right thing to do: It's the
smart thing to do.
The daylong conference, already nicknamed "M3,"
was presented by the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau. It drew more than 200 attendees
to the Marriott Marquis Hotel, CAB CEO Joseph Ostrow estimated.
P&G senior vice president of global marketing Robert
Wehling, the M3 keynoter, said his company has just formed a 60-person ethnic-marketing
group that will "find the right [brands] for the right [marketing] programs"
among its 200 brands.
Although P&G is not new to ethnic marketing, Wehling
conceded that it hasn't done enough. The new restructuring makes multicultural marketing
"someone's top priority," rather than "someone's 12th
priority," as it was previously.
The company's new Latino effort includes the delivery of
bags hung quarterly on consumers' doors and containing a made-for-P&G Hispanic
magazine, Avanzando; free samples of Crest, Tide and Downy; and cents-off coupons.
That push is backed by local media support, including cable, Wehling said.
P&G is also targeting African Americans in Detroit, he
When asked by an attendee if an Asian push is planned,
Wehling said, "I could make a case" for targeting other ethnic segments in key
markets. But he added, "The answer is not yet. We've just formed this group, with
some [staffers] still moving into their desks."
MBC Network CEO Alvin James asked Wehling if P&G is
interested in adapting its Hispanic magazine into a television show, to which Wehling
replied, "I don't know [but] it's a darn good idea."
Wehling also invited ethnic cable networks that desire
P&G's business to send research information on their audiences.
Burger King's campaigns also target Latinos, said Jessica
Pantanini, vice president and media director at its ethnic agency, Bromley, Aguilar &
"Is it the right thing to do, or the smart thing to
do?" It must be the former or it won't succeed, she warned. "Hispanics overindex
the fast-food/restaurant category," she added, which is why Burger King pursues that
At MediaVest, which buys time for Burger King, senior vice
president and media director Neil Asher added that Burger King buys cable in general and
Hispanic cable in particular because cable is targeted and it "reaches fast-food
users more than [broadcast]."
MetLife advertises to Asians with TV, cable and print
because they represent a significant market opportunity, assistant vice president for
Chinese and Vietnamese marketing Peter Yu said.
At Don Coleman & Associates -- DaimlerChrysler's agency
for the African-American market since 1994 -- executive vice president Charles Morrison
said its ads for Neon, Jeep and other vehicles have generated "$2.4 billion in
incremental [car] sales" from African-American consumers, well ahead of expectations.