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HBC Targets Execs With Fortune Tie-In

Hispanic Broadcasting Corp. has begun a direct mail campaign targeting high-level executives at Fortune 1000 companies throughout North America.

HBC last week delivered the first of six issues of Fortune magazine that include a special cover wrap promoting HBC. The first mailing went to 800 executives, and HBC plans to double that for subsequent issues.

The promotion targets CEOs, chief operating officers and vice presidents of marketing and brand management in industries such as automotive, retail, airline, clothing, financial services and technology throughout the United States and Canada.

HBC, Los Angeles, operates 47 radio stations in 13 major markets, including New York, Miami and Los Angeles, that reach 65 percent of U.S.-based Hispanics listening to the radio.

The cover wrap, created by La Agencia de Orci, Los Angeles, depicts a golfer getting ready to strike a ball over what appears to be a large hazard. But when the cover is opened, what originally looked like a hazard is actually a hole that is too large for the golfer to miss. The hole represents the Hispanic marketplace, which spent $450 billion last year in the United States, according to the piece's copy.

The art was designed to resemble an editorial cartoon that would possibly be found in The New Yorker to catch the eye of the target audience.

“The theme was designed to show them what may look like a hurdle is actually an opportunity that is too large to miss out on,” said Jerry Symon, regional vice president of business development at HBC Los Angeles. “We also chose the golf theme because it's something that most of the target audience is either familiar with or plays.”

Symon's name as well as his telephone number, e-mail address and fax number are provided as response mechanisms for those wanting more information.

HBC decided against targeting the ad agencies representing the major advertisers because HBC feels that the importance of marketing to Hispanics is a story that has to be delivered directly to the client.

“Ad agencies tend to stay with what they feel most comfortable with and won't go outside of that and for most, marketing to the Hispanic marketplace would involve going outside of that box,” Symon said. “And the advertisers tend to be more of the risk takers, so we want to make the pitch directly to them.”

The cost of the campaign, which was the first of its kind for HBC, was a six-figure amount, Symon said.

The primary goal was to alert major national advertisers to the opportunities within the Hispanic marketplace and then get them to establish a stronger advertising presence in all forms of Spanish-language media.

“We would eventually like to get them to advertise on our stations,” Symon said. “But more importantly, we want to show them that we can bring people into their stores and have them advertise in all forms of Spanish-speaking media.”

HBC will run the campaign for six months. Fortune is a semimonthly publication, but HBC will only send issues with the wrap cover once a month.

Some, but not all, of those receiving the special copies are Fortune subscribers. Everyone receiving the mailing will receive a free one-year subscription to the magazine. Current subscribers get the free year after their current one runs out.

HBC compiled the list of recipients using specific criteria. Those targeted either used no Spanish media in their advertising, spent no money for advertising on Spanish radio or spent less than 15 percent of their advertising budget on Spanish radio stations in Los Angeles.

Symon said that between each issue HBC plans to do a number of mailings containing research numbers that support its claim regarding the opportunity and strength of the Spanish market. The upcoming issues will use covers that have the same look and feel but with a different design.

“Each will have a different focus, such as disposable income or cultural differences,” Symon said.

No response numbers were available yet, but Symon said he expects that at least 50 percent of those who respond will follow up for more information.

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