Cablevision and International Channel Networks took home first-place honors in the Multicultural Marketing Case Study Competition co-sponsored by CTAM, ESPN Deportes and CableWORLD. Cablevision took first place among operators with its “Optimum Online Hispanic Direct Mail Test.” Cox’s Omaha, Neb., system placed second with its “Hispanic Marketing” campaign. In the programmer category, International Channel placed first with its “Direct Mail That Speaks to Multicultural Consumers” campaign. ESPN grabbed second-place honors with its “ESPN Deportes NFL 101 Clinic.” OPERATORS First place: Cablevision Looking to increase its high-speed data penetration in urban markets, Cablevision decided to test direct mail to Hispanic homes in the waning months of 2002. As part of the test, the MSO sent Spanish-language direct-mail pieces for its Optimum Online to Spanish-dominant homes identified by its partner, Handshake Marketing. Similarly, it sent English-language pieces to everybody else. The results were stunning. Sales yields for English-dominant Hispanic households (2.42%) significantly outperformed the total market baseline (1.55%), according to stats supplied by Cablevision. They also outperformed both the baseline urban market yield (1.04%) and the baseline suburban market yield (1.67%). “The results reinforced that effective ethnic marketing must be grounded in effective marketing principles,” Cablevision says. “First, use behaviors, needs and interests to identify targets, then apply approach in the form of media and creative to address the target segment appropriately, with ethnicity and language preference as creative cues.” Second place: Cox Omaha Trying to tap into the growing Hispanic market in Omaha, Neb., Cox Communications followed a three-pronged marketing strategy. It sponsored various Latino events, such as the Cinco de Mayo parade, Omaha Latino Expo and the Our Lady of Guadalupe festival. It also developed retail partnerships with Hispanic-based retailers. And it purchased DJ endorsement packages on a local Hispanic radio station. The result was a 297% jump in Hispanic subs from May to August 2003, when it gained 391. The previous year, the system had lost 94 Hispanic-tier subs during that time. PROGRAMMERS First place: International Channel Networks Frustrated that its direct-mail pieces weren’t working in multicultural homes, International Channel Networks set out on a plan to come up with a more effective marketing strategy. First, it outsourced its creative to specific ethnic designed teams. It used oversized creative that addressed customers in their native language. And it pledged to share creative and execution costs with regional cable systems. The results: Japanese-language homes had a call-in response rate of 4%, compared to the industry average of less than 1%. The campaign also posted a 2.9% sell-in rate. Russian-language homes posted a 2.4% sell-in rate. “We were able to demonstrate that it is possible to achieve direct-mail success in ethnic markets,” International Channel Networks says. Second place: ESPN ESPN Deportes hosted four NFL 101 clinics last fall, with two AT&T Broadband and two Cox systems. The clinics were designed to tie in local ad sales partnerships and local NFL teams, while using ESPN brands. The result: 1,500 consumers took part; 800 radio spots were run on Hispanic radio stations promoting the event (value: $20,000); and 800 cross-channel spots promoting ESPN Deportes were run (value: $75,000).