Multicultural marketing used to be an afterthought, done with excess dollars left over after major marketing campaigns were finished. With the ethnic composition of North America, such thinking has become anachronistic. With companies spending more on multicultural marketing, the number of entries in NAMIC’s 2007 Excellence in Multicultural Marketing Awards, the EMMAs, reached a record high, jumping 25% from last year, according to Daphne Leroy, NAMIC’s marketing and communications director. The awards will be presented by media partners ESPN Deportes and CableWorld at the NAMIC Conference Sept. 17 in New York. This year’s winners:

Case Study: Cable

TVB ON DEMAND, ROGERS CABLE COMMUNICATIONS

It’s a popular, but untrue, urban myth that UNESCO named Toronto the world’s most multicultural metropolis. Still, the city definitely is a cultural quilt, with more than 40% of the population a visible minority. Topping the ethnic list are Chinese and South Asians, but the Chinese-language TV market was "largely untapped," recalls Bobby Sahni, Rogers Cable’s multicultural marketing manager. Into the fray Rogers introduced TVB On Demand, leveraging the popular Hong Kong programmer’s brand and pushing cable’s on-demand advantage. The bilingual campaign also introduced Chinese viewers to on demand. One year later TVB On Demand accounts for some 500,000 paid buys monthly.

2nd Place: Comcast Dragon Pack, Comcast

3rd Place: Cox Enhanced Hispanic Market Strategy, Cox Communications

Case Study: Network

EL TIGRE: THE ADVENTURES OF MANNY RIVERA, NICKELODEON

How do you market a cartoon series whose Latino teen protagonist is pulled between good and evil (dad’s a superhero, grandfather’s a sombrero-wearing villain) and operates in Miracle City, a spicy cesspool of giant jalapenos and zombie guacamole monsters? The answer, says Nickelodeon’s chief marketing officer Pam Kaufman, is a bilingual, multi-platform campaign as outrageous as the series. In addition to print, TV, online games and ads aimed at 6-11s, there were special screenings and the El Tigre-themed sponsorship of Miami’s huge Calle Ocho fair. Since its March debut, El Tigre’s Saturday a.m. broadcast ranks No. 1 with kids 2-11.

2nd Place: Flow & Tell Tour, Sí TV

3rd Place: 2006 Black Movie Awards, Turner Broadcasting System

Marketing Tactics Cable Direct Mail

TVB ON DEMAND, ROGERS CABLE COMMUNICATIONS

With 40% of Ontario speaking a language other than French or English, Rogers Cable announced a VOD product featuring Hong Kong’s popular TVB in Chinese and English. A mailer included a how-to guide to VOD and complimentary copies of VB, a Chinese-language TV magazine. "We wanted customers to see that a Canadian company would go out of its way to speak to them in their mother tongue," multicultural marketing manager Bobby Sahni says. The response from digital customers of 19.6% was nearly four times the goal.

2nd Place: Talk, Talk, Talk, Comcast

Grassroots

CHINESE NEW YEAR SPECTACULAR YEAR OF THE PIG, COMCAST CABLE, METRO ATLANTA

While Asian-Americans make up just 2% of Atlanta’s population, the group is growing at five times the rate of Georgia’s population. That’s why Comcast Atlanta marketing director Lillian Harding sponsored Atlanta’s Chinese New Year Spectacular, which attracted 5,000 people (and resulted in 42 bundle sales on-site). "We wanted an event that would reach all the generations," she says. Something else that transcended the generations: cute rubber pigs urging people to "get the bundle" during Chinese Year of the Pig. The campaign’s success led to a $10,000 Asian marketing plan for ’08.

Out of Home

GREAT WALL TV PACKAGE, ROGERS CABLE COMMUNICATIONS

Toronto, like many cities, has distinct ethnic neighborhoods. "We wanted to be where the community is," says Dilhan Kamalendaran, Rogers’ multicultural marketing coordinator. That’s why Rogers concentrated a bilingual campaign for its Great Wall Package of Chinese programming in a large mall frequented by Chinese shoppers. The most eye-catching part of its display was a decal on the stairs of the mall, simulating stairs on the Great Wall of China. "We wanted a dominating effect; you had to see that whether you wanted to or not," he adds. The campaign yielded 4,500-plus subscribers within the first 60 days.

2nd Place: Comcast Dragon Pack, Comcast

Print

DIVAS DON’T HAVE DEBT, COMCAST CABLE, METRO ATLANTA

"We’re selling cable and entertainment, but we also want to educate," Comcast Atlanta’s marketing director Lillian Harding says of the Divas Don’t Have Debt campaign. With an estimated 85% of metro Atlanta’s households to be run by women by ’09, Harding used a print campaign to inform women about a special VOD session with TV One financial expert Michelle Singletary and Bishop Thomas Weeks. Divas generated a 4% take from mail.

2nd Place: Paquete Triple Campaign, Comcast

Television

P.A.D.L.O.C., (PROTECTING AND DEFENDING LOCALLY OPERATED CHURCHES) COMCAST CABLE, METRO ATLANTA

It’s a sad reality, but last fall Atlanta’s churches were hit with a spate of criminal activity. As the topic resonated with the 200,000-plus members of Atlanta’s metropolitan faith-based community, Comcast responded with P.A.D.L.O.C., a special panel discussion with ministers and security specialists. "It was a diverse panel, we had people from small churches to mega churches," says Lillian Harding, Comcast Atlanta’s marketing director. A series of spots with voiceovers by ministers touted P.A.D.L.O.C. as part of Comcast’s competitive advantage. A 30,000-piece mailer garnered a 3% take rate.

2nd Place: Multicultural/Mass Media Campaign, Cablevision Systems Corp.

All Other Media

GREAT WALL TV PACKAGE, ROGERS CABLE

With Chinese being the third-most popular mother tongue in Canada, Rogers Cable deployed a Chinese-language free-standing insert in local Chinese newspapers touting the launch and free preview of The Great Wall TV Package; the piece even looked like the Great Wall. The goal was 2,000 subscribers within 60 days at a cost of $75 per, but the actual count was 4,500-plus, with a 1.6% response rate and a $35 cost per.

2nd Place: Ako Ay Philipino Phone Card, Comcast

Network Direct Mail

AL ROJO VIVO DIRECT MAIL PROMOTION, TELEMUNDO NETWORK

"Free" is among the favorite words in any language. To mark news and cultural affairs show Al Rojo Vivo’s fifth anniversary and gain exposure for host Maria Celeste, Telemundo sent an attractive DVD describing the program and Celeste to 25,000 homes in L.A. with Hispanic ZIP codes. The DVD and 25,000 collateral pieces also touted a sweepstakes. One month after the mailing, Al Rojo Vivo’s delivery in L.A. jumped 17%, with men 18-34 rising 36%, according to Nielsen data. The package generated a 1.5% response rate, besting the expected 1% average.

2nd Place: Comcast Russian Matryoshka Mailers, Ameredia

Grassroots

¡CURATON! TUTV AND RIP THE RUNWAY, BET

(Tie)

Showing that doing good can be good business, TuTV increased awareness of its hip 18-34 channel Telehit by collaborating with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on!Curaton!, a concert to raise research funds for blood cancers widely affecting the L.A. Latino community. Besides 65 bus shelter signs, direct mail, Web, radio and print, Telehit had exclusive rights to TV coverage of the concert, says TuTV’s VP of marketing & sales Ariela Nerubay. It also collected 215 signatures from attendees urging Time Warner Cable to add Telehit to its Nuestra Tele service in L.A. As a result of!Curaton! and other sponsored events, "we are very excited" about our prospects with Time Warner, Nerubay says.

[BET’s Rip the Runway, which tied for first with TuTV in this category and took first place in Internet/New Media, is profiled below.]

2nd Place: Comcast Bollywood Hits on Demand Flyer, Ameredia Inc.

Internet/New Media

RIP THE RUNWAY, BET

BET’s Internet campaign for fast-paced hip-hop/fashion special Rip the Runway was all about eyeballs. BET targeted fashion, hip-hop, media and sports websites, draping them with Rip ads and tune-in info. The EMMA judges also liked BET’s grassroots campaign for Rip, which featured logoed shopping bags at malls and attractive fashion policewomen writing "tickets" for passersby who were guilty of fashion violations. Their sentence – watch Rip the Runway. Fashion jailbirds and others tuned in, resulting in a record 1.81 household rating, up 155% for shows in that time slot and 32% better than Rip’s first-year record performance.

2nd Place: MLK, Words That Changed a Nation, CNN

Out of Home

VJ CAMPAIGN, MUN2

Like Norman Rockwell’s covers for The Saturday Evening Post, which told stories without words, mun2’s posters are minimally worded. "We wanted simplicity without cliché, " says VP of marketing Lisa Hackett. More pressure: "Our VJs personify our audience. They’re second- and third-generation Latinos, but they’re also 100% American. We had to show that, too." Did it work? VJ Renato was besieged by fans on 8th Ave. on his way to the Latin Grammys in October 2006.

2nd Place: Comcast Russian OOH Campaign, Ameredia

Print

LIFE LIVES HERE – BLACK HISTORY MONTH, HBO

For Black History Month, HBO wanted to highlight the relationship between HBO and the African-American community. It created a section of HBO On Demand called Life Lives Here to appeal to this demographic, touting films and specials relevant to African-Americans. By month’s end the easy-to-find location resulted in more than 1.3 million HBO On Demand orders and boosted the HBO original Life Support to a strong 3.3 rating debut.

Radio

COURTING YOU, SÍ TV

"Fun and sexy [are] some of the things I’m good at," Carmen Palumbo coos during a 60-second radio spot for Sí TV. Of course, anyone familiar with Palumbo’s work on Sí TV’s The Dating Factory or her videos knows she doesn’t need a dating service. And radio? "We try to implement that in most of our campaigns," says Douglas Dickstein, executive director, affiliate marketing. "Our audience is younger, interested in music and we want to target them where they are." It worked. Radio in Fresno, Stockton and Modesto, Calif., created enough buzz to entice nearly 3,500 people to purchase Comcast digital cable in a four-week period. See, sex, fun and radio sell.

2nd Place: Pitbull La Esquina campaign promos, mun2

Television

G. GARVIN’S FOOD, FAMILY AND FUN SWEEPSTAKES, TV ONE

Chefs say people eat with their eyes, and watch television with them. That was part of the thinking behind TV One’s succulent promo for G. Garvin’s Food Family & Fun Sweepstakes last summer. The promo was a visual smorgasbord of delicious grilled food with delicious-looking people eating it. "Since it was our first year out, we wanted to keep it simple, but with elements that appeal to the African-American community," says LaTanya Butler, director of strategic marketing. The sweepstakes’ 14,000 online entries drove website traffic, gained exposure for TV One and prompted a repeat this summer.

2nd Place: Pitbull’s La Esquina Campaign, mun2

All Other Media

DISCOVERY KIDS EN ESPAÑOL EDUCATION EARTH DAY PROMOTION, DISCOVERY NETWORKS

Another example where doing good can be good business. To gain exposure for Discovery Kids en Español on Atlantic Broadband, students at Miami Beach High School were challenged to create environment-based PSAs. "We wanted to do something that really touched the community, rather than an ad saying we’re here," says Jodi Rubin, Discovery’s VP of sales strategy. The winning spot, "Garbage Man," ran nationally on the channel leading up to Earth Day, while Atlantic Broadband ran it on several Miami networks. The ad received more than 2 million press and online impressions.

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