Hispanic Beverage Brand Jarritos Turns Focus to U.S. General Market With GSD&M Assignment

By Rupal Parekh (Ad Age)
A leading Hispanic brand is now turning its sights to the U.S. general market.

After a swift review, Novamex, a maker of Mexican soft drinks, has awarded Omnicom Group’s GSD&M national creative and media duties for its Jarritos brand of beverages. David Flynn, marketing director at El Paso, Texas-based Novamex, told Ad Age: “Prior to this, all of our efforts were focused on the U.S. Hispanic market, which we’ve been marketing to since the 1980s. But as part of the evolution of the brand — as all brands are looking to grow — we want to sell product in the general market.”

According to Mr. Flynn, awareness in the Hispanic market is now more than 90%, and there is “pretty strong awareness” in markets with large Hispanic populations, such as Los Angeles. But the company is attempting to make Jarritos a more mainstream beverage that appeals to a diverse consumer base.

“The brand has been growing tremendously over the past 20 years and we think that it’s going to find very good acceptance in the general market,” Mr. Flynn said. “We did an extensive amount of general-market consumer research to measure [taste] and we found a very positive reaction to the flavors, the glass bottle and the colors. All have natural sugar and some are naturally flavored. When [consumers] try it, or they see it at a food truck, they become converts.”

To help propel the brand on a broader stage, Novamex conducted a quick review process of small to midsize agencies on both coasts. Mr. Flynn declined to identify the contenders, but said the shops were in Los Angeles, New York, Kansas City, Dallas, San Francisco, and Austin — where GSD&M is based. According to him, GSD&M was the largest of the group.

“We knew that the really big mega agencies were going to be way to big for us and we also looked at GSD&M because we knew they were a maverick, different kind of agency that would get excited about the brand,” said Mr. Flynn. “We saw seven ad agencies in face to face three-hour presentations over the course of a week. It was rather grueling. From the time that we started looking and doing research on agencies to the time we got a campaign idea delivered to us by GSD&M, it was no more than five weeks.”

The budget for advertising is relatively small — between $5 million and $10 million, according to people familiar with the matter — and so new work for Jarritos is expected to draw heavily on social and digital media, with events and other activations in local markets slated to appear beginning in July.

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