Confab Spotlights Multicultural Marketing

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BOSTON--"Just do it."

No, William Ortiz wasn’t pitching athletic shoes. Rather, the president of multicultural division of branding, marketing and advertising agency GlobalWorks, which counts Cablevision as a client, used Nike’s tagline as a call to cable operators to take a more aggressive stance in pursuing business opportunities with African-American and Hispanic consumers.

"Test, learn, refresh," Ortiz challenged attendees at a CTAM panel, Profiting From a Multicultural Strategy here Monday. "These are opportunities you shouldn’t ignore. Marketing people who are not doing this are delinquent in their jobs. You owe it to your company and its shareholders."

Ortiz said Cablevision had reaped significant gains with video, voice and data products against late adopters from both groups by using culturally relevant and humorous advertising. For instance, GlobalWorlks tapped the iconic stature of black hair in a TV spot for data product Optimum Online. Emphasizing the product’s speed, the young daughter of a mother and father with equally impressive hairdos see her bushy ponytails blown back into a Don King-like pigtail.

Similar images, touting a $29.95 per month, were extended into transit space on the New York City subway. "Usually, out of home ads are used for awareness and as a reminder," said Ortiz. "In this case, they generated tons of calls." Pedro Blanco, president and chief creative officer of Blanco-Lorenz Entertainment Branding, echoed Ortiz in saying that operators can benefit from taking "active, aggressive" stances in the multicultural space.

Blanco explained the rationale behind an evergreen awareness campaign his company built for cable, threading NBC Universal and its Spanish-language broadcast network Telemundo.

Trading on the tagline "Quiero Mas. Quiero Cable," –which translates into "I want more. I want cable" – the campaign features a series of spots that touch on commonalities shared by most Latinos, including desires to enrich their family lives; keeping their children safe; staying connected to loved ones (via video and picture sharing on broadband); and increasing their education.

Blanco also screened a spot, emphasizing cable’s value, vis a vis taking a large family out to a night at the movies.

Lynette Pinto, vice president of marketing at NBC Universal, said the campaign, which was introduced four years ago, ran extensively for between 18 and 24 months on Telemundo. It has also reaired subsequently when inventory has been available on the network.

Pinto said the campaign, which is still available and now includes a digital-cable execution, has been deployed by many MSOs across their systems, or in select markets.