Office Depot Hears Latin Beat

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Office Depot, Delray Beach, FL, mails its first bilingual direct mail piece this month as part of an integrated marketing campaign for the 2004 back-to-school season.

Because back-to-school is one of the company's largest selling periods, it regularly produces TV and radio spots, newspaper inserts, a back-to-school catalog and other marketing efforts to drive sales in this period.

Recognizing that Hispanic school-aged children and their parents represent an important target group, the company included them in its strategy this year.

"This is the first time that we're doing a bilingual piece, and it's really because of the large representation of Hispanic school-aged children," said Colby Graff, Office Depot's director of North American campaigns.

According to the 2000 U.S. census, Hispanics represented the largest minority group among school-age children between 1998 and 2000. Office Depot has made targeting Hispanic consumers a corporate initiative. It advertises the brand in Hispanic media outlets.

The direct mail piece promises "cool supplies" for students and "affordable prices" for parents. About 500,000 pieces will be mailed to Hispanic consumers, targeting areas where Office Depot has a high number of customers.

The mailer features eight coupons that are good in stores before Sept. 15. They offer discounts on items such as binders, paper and a Hewlett-Packard desktop computer. The piece also touts Office Depot's "5% Back to Schools" program, which lets shoppers choose a school that will receive credits equal to 5 percent of their purchase amount for use toward supplies to be used by the school.

The mailer also communicates that customers can receive up to 10 percent off purchases as part of Office Depot's Advantage Program if they join. Office Depot has registered more than 1.5 million Advantage members since the program began in February.

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