State Farm Is There For Hispanic Viewers

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New York — Long recognizing the opportunities that
exist with the burgeoning Hispanic market, State Farm
Insurance continues to over-index when it comes to ad
expenditures against Latinos.

State Farm advertising director Ed Gold, pointing
out that 4,500 of the insurance company’s 18,000 agent
offices nationwide are bilingual, said “we didn’t need
the 2000 or the 2010 Census to tell us that the Hispanic
market is growing. Our agents have been telling us
they need Hispanic
marketing materials
to sell their products.”

To that end, Gold,
speaking during a
keynote interview
at the Hispanic
Television Summit
here, said that State
Farm budgets about
20% of its ad expenditures
toward the
U.S. Latino market.
Multichannel News
editor in chief Mark Robichaux, who conducted the interview, pointed out
that while Hispanics represent 16% of the U.S. population,
only 4.5% of marketers’ ad dollars target this
growing group.

Gold, who noted that State Farm ran its first commercial
aimed at Hispanics in 1996, said the insurer
still sees great growth opportunities within this ethnic
segment overall and particularly those among the
18-to-29 set, who upon moving out of their parents’
abodes, are making their first decisions about auto
and rental insurance.

“There is a lot of generation to generation” business
in the insurance world, “but if we don’t get them now,
we may never get them,” he said, adding that much of
State Farm’s ad activity against young Hispanic adults
is cross-cultural.

With people willing to shop insurance by price and
GEICO and Progressive engaging in aggressive campaigns,
State Farm and Allstate have also lifted their
spending. All told, insurance category spending jumped
16.2% to some $3.4 billion in 2010, with TV accounting
for over three-fourths of that outlay.

Relative to auto insurance spending aimed at Hispanics,
Gold said State Farm is the overall sector leader.

Last year, overall Hispanic TV ad spending by
the auto insurance category reached $198 million, a
21.3% drive from $163 million the prior year, which
was down 8.8% from $179 million in 2008. During a
post-presentation interview, Gold said State Farm accounts
for close to 50% of sector spending.

During his keynote, Gold said that Hispanic market
has a passion for sports, notably soccer, a big ad venue
for State Farm. “The World Cup may be a big deal for the
general market, but it’s a huge deal for Hispanics. For
them, it’s not just the U.S. team,” he said.

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