New Agency, a Spinoff, Will Aim Its Message at a Hispanic Audience

PINTA

By Stuart Elliott (NY Times)

IT is hard to overstate the increasing influence of the growing Hispanic population upon Madison Avenue. Examples just so far this week include a ratings spurt on Monday night for “The Bachelor,” with its first Latin lead, Juan Pablo Galavis; special programming on Tuesday on ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-language version of ESPN, to celebrate its 10th anniversary; an announcement of a contest for youngsters to win a trip to the Copa Coca-Cola Soccer Camp during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil; and the debut on ABC on Tuesday night of a series, “Killer Women,” that is based on a drama from Argentina and includes Sofia Vergara among its executive producers.

Another example of the trend comes on Wednesday, when the JeffreyGroup — an agency that has its roots in public relations and specializes in reaching Spanish-speaking consumers — plans to announce the spinoff of a shop called Pinta, or paint. The spinoff, whose name is meant to evoke painting and “the art of cross-cultural marketing,” will offer clients services like advertising in addition to tasks like public relations and social media.

Pinta is being formed from the United States operations of the JeffreyGroup, which will return to its original focus as an agency working predominantly in Latin America. Pinta will be a division of the parent of the JeffreyGroup, Intercom Americas.

Pinta is based in Miami, as is the JeffreyGroup, and Pinta will also have offices in Los Angeles and New York. (The JeffreyGroup has offices in Buenos Aires, Mexico City, New York, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil.)

Pinta will begin with more than 20 employees working for marketers and media companies that include Diageo, Johnnie Walker; Facebook; Fox Hispanic Media, part of 21st Century Fox; TD Bank, part of Toronto-Dominion Bank; and T-Mobile US, a unit of T-Mobile International.

“The Hispanic market for T-Mobile is extremely important,” said Peter DeLuca, senior vice president for marketing, brand and advertising at T-Mobile US in Bellevue, Wash.

Eight years ago, the company began “a concentrated effort to the Hispanic community,” he added — which now includes Spanish-language accounts on Facebook and Twitter as well as becoming a charter sponsor of CNET en Español — because Hispanics “were among the earliest to adopt smartphones.”

“They are part of our broader target audience,” Mr. DeLuca said, “but we also need to communicate to them in their language” while at the same time being “mindful they’re also consuming a lot of English-language communications.”

“Consumers are picking and choosing where they acquire brand information,” he added, and “we want them to learn about T-Mobile in a language they’re comfortable with.”

Mike Valdés-Fauli, who had been president at the JeffreyGroup, will lead Pinta as president and chief executive. Jeffrey Sharlach, chairman and chief executive at the JeffreyGroup, will also serve as chairman at Pinta.

Mr. Sharlach, who founded the JeffreyGroup in 1993, said he had been thinking for a while about taking a step like the formation of Pinta.

“Like most agencies, we’re always in a process of evolving,” said Mr. Sharlach, who is 60.

“We wanted to have a more varied set of tools in our toolbox,” he added, particularly because of “a movement in our business; in managing reputations, there’s a greater emphasis on strategy and thinking.”

“If a client wanted us to do some advertising, we did it, on an ad hoc basis,” Mr. Sharlach said. “This will be driven more by advertising.”

To that end, Pinta has hired senior executives with advertising backgrounds, among them Alejandro Barreras, who will serve as the creative director overseeing the work produced in Los Angeles, Miami and New York, and Joe Gutierrez, who will be managing director in New York as well as head of strategic planning.

Also, Romina Bongiovanni will become managing director in Los Angeles, as Pinta absorbs an agency there that she owned, Journey PR and Marketing.

“We want to have a wider array of talent with different skill sets and backgrounds” in addition to experience in public relations, said Mr. Valdés-Fauli, 34.

“We’ve evolved from having the solution always start with P.R.,” he added, to a multichannel approach that searches for the best way to woo consumers.

“A big part of advertising is narrative storytelling,” Mr. Valdés-Fauli said, and “getting the consumer to act upon the narrative.”

He added, “If you get that right, the rest can fall into place.”.

Pinta arrives as advertisers are weighing a change in how they handle multicultural campaigns that is known as a total-market or cross-cultural approach — creating ads for a general audience that is becoming more demographically diverse rather than aiming ads at specific audiences like Hispanics or African-Americans. Last month, Toyota Motor Sales USA announced that it would reorganize its agency relationships to reflect how “the multicultural customer is the new mainstream.”

With a total-market approach, Mr. Valdés-Fauli said, there would “no longer be one message for Anglos and one message for Hispanics” but rather “one unified voice and coherent strategy.”

“We celebrate that trend,” he added, because it acknowledges how Hispanics, especially the second-generation and third-generation members of families, are watching a television series like “Boardwalk Empire” in English “as much as they are watching a MundoFox novella” in Spanish.

“That said, there are definitely differences” among consumers, Mr. Valdés-Fauli said, meaning there is “still a place” for taking a brand’s message “and adapting it in ways that will ultimately resonate” with specific audiences in more culturally relevant ways.

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Categories: NGL News

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