Monday, October 26, 2009

Ford, NFL Stick with Hispanic-Aimed Campaigns Despite Modest Results

Ford Motor Co. has been attempting to get American Latinas behind the wheel for a test drive, while The National Football League wants to get their male counterparts to root for Tom Brady as much as Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo. But both companies admitted this week they have experienced a growing pain or two while looking to sink their brands into the consciousness of the emerging online Hispanic demographic.

"There is definitely a little bit of a leap of faith to it," said David Rodriguez, multicultural marketing manager at Ford. "What was particularly encouraging about this whole process, though, was the amount of it relates to the activeness of this demographic online."

Along with Rodriquez, Alberto Ferrer, director of digital and direct marketing for The Vidal Partnership, which helps run the NFL's Hispanic campaigns, presented two intriguingly different case studies during the Latin Vision Digital and Social Media Conference in New York City Wednesday.

First off, Ford sought to build brand awareness among 18-to-49-year-old Hispanic women, which is one of the fastest-growing demographics among new small business owners according to many research reports. In May, the carmaker partnered with AOL to launch a standalone Web site, dubbed "Tu Voz," meaning "Your Voice." Content on has been anchored by four well-known female Hispanic media personalities: medical expert Dr. Aliza Lifshitz, motivational speaker Maria Marin, self-help book author Mariela Dabbah, and actress Maria Ines.

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