Marketing To Latinos: A Guide to the In-Culture Approach Part 2
Part 2 Case Studies | Part 1 Case Studies
  CASE STUDY: Avanzando
Procter & Gamble

In 1999, P&G reviewed its approach to Hispanic marketing and concluded it needed a major revamping in effort, resources and the programs themselves. The "Avanzando con tu familia" program ("getting ahead with your family") was the first outcome of this new approach, and has become its signature Hispanic effort. It is a comprehensive multibrand program designed to reach out to the consumer on many different levels.


Marketing is undergoing the most radical change since television or radio were invented. This seismic change comes from the electronic revolution in media and personal computing. As a consequence today's consumers have much more information, which in turn has made them less passive/more activist and most importantly ultimately put them more in control.

P&G believes that to be heard in today's world marketers need to deliver real, added value. Simply delivering a media plan with crisp product messages in :30 TV or radio ads, or slick ad pages in magazines will not suffice. Consumers are looking for brands/companies to deliver on a higher order of need, like solutions to problems or better yet relationships to satisfy needs on an ongoing basis.

Similarly Hispanic consumers are also different today. They are not simply Latin Americans living in the U.S. Their whole environment changes when they come to the U.S. They are influenced by many more worlds than in Latin America. They have many more choices, and ultimately they too have more control of their lives.

Realizing all of this, P&G stepped back from its Hispanic marketing efforts in 1999 to re-evaluate its approach. This was driven in large part by the fact that although P&G continued to be one of the biggest Hispanic marketers, individual brand efforts had begun slipping, with a consequent slip in market shares. A.G. Lafley, now President and CEO, had returned to the U.S., and led the charge. Early on it was determined that if a renewed effort was to be successful, a key was going to be to create a dedicated organization with a separate budget from the general market. It was decided to head the efforts out of Puerto Rico given the quantity and caliber of people available there, and given the desire to move quickly. Their understanding of the culture and language would be invaluable, along with support from Cincinnati headquarters. Dieste & Partners, an up and coming agency, was added to the roster of Hispanic agencies to help with the strategic, conceptual and creative development of the Avanzando program.

  • To build a deeper relationship/connection of the brands and company with the Hispanic consumer.
  • To generate commitment and support from the Food/Drug/Mass retailers to these consumers.
  • To leverage P&G scale through a cohesive multibrand program.
Conceptual Overview

In depth interviews in home and focus group settings revealed the wholehearted focus of Latina mothers to their children. This is probably an outgrowth of the very strong Latin American family centricity and the American immigrant dream of building a better life not so much for themselves as for future generations.

Additionally, research uncovered that consumers had very strong attitudes about P&G brands like Tide, Pampers, Pantene, Bounty and Crest. Latinas were effusive about how these brands cared about them because they delivered such great performance, making their lives easier. Based on these insights it became clear there was an opportunity for P&G and its brands to help Latina consumers make their lives even better by delivering on a higher order of need, as depicted in the hierarchy below. The hierarchy culminates in "el exito de mi familia es mi realizacion" (the success of my family is my fulfillment). This became the driving concept around the Avanzando program.

Program Overview

Multiple opportunities around the concept of reaching consumers at the top end of the pyramid were brainstormed. The "what" and the "how" also had to be in sync with how they were used to getting their information, i.e. communication had to be delivered in a variety of mediums and in a variety of depths - from small tips, to hands on activities, to more elaborate pieces. It was decided to focus on four pillars, namely education, health, home and traditions, as being the ones central to helping them get their family ahead.

Target Audience

The primary target audience selected was Spanish dominant Latinas 18-49, with households of 3+ persons. The secondary audience was bilingual Latinas 18-49 with 3+ person households. The reason for the primary selection was that these are the women who are LEAST reached by general market information, and yet are most likely to have the kind of aspirations for their families that were uncovered.

Further demographics indicated that these target consumers were likely born in Latin America, married young and probably followed their husbands to the U.S. Pyschographically they want the American dream, primarily for their family (" my children are my life"), while maintaining and wanting to pass on their Latin American heritage (" the traditions of my home country are important to me").

Program Elements

A magazine focused to the mother, but with something for all the family, became the central piece to reach the target audience. It was concentrated in New York, Chicago, South Florida, key parts of Texas, and Southern California. Door-to-door delivery to 4MM homes (around 50% of Hispanic homes) allowed unprecedented direct-to-consumer reach. The format of the magazine was designed to reach the consumer at different levels of their hierarchy of needs starting at the bottom by:

    a) delivering incentives to purchase the brands through coupons and samples;
    b) making the connection to the brands and their product benefits in a very uncluttered environment; and
    c) getting the information the consumer was seeking in the care and development of their family. From the core of the door-to-door effort though, many other elements were developed to further reach out, as illustrated below.

Executional Example

The third edition (Wave III) ran in Fall '00 and focused on education. It covered topics from how parents can get involved in their children's school, to opening the doors to college, and what to know before buying a computer. This magazine was supplemented with TV spot promos announcing the magazine and consumer offer. In addition a radio effort reiterated some of the tips from the magazine.

The education theme was extended into the consumer promotion and the trade incentive. Specifically, in store demonstrators handed out $50 off coupons for Gateway computers when consumers purchased 3 participating P&G brands. Additionally consumers who mentioned Avanzando got $300 worth of free software. Retailers were offered computers in exchange for agreeing to merchandise the offer and P&G brands. In turn they were encouraged to give the computers back to the community. Kmart, for example, fully endorsed this idea and donated their 200 earned computers to the educational arm of Lulac, a Hispanic civil rights organization. Finally on the eve of national elections a live webcast was held for the community to discuss key educational issues affecting the Latino community with representatives of the presidential candidates.


In the first two years four waves of the program were run. With each wave, sales results increasingly improved as more retailers participated and with greater number of stores each time. In the latest waves, the in store support exceeded 2000 stores. This became the biggest contributor to sales amongst Hispanic consumers for P&G, generating in excess of +$40MM in incremental sales.

Beyond the raw sales data, however, it delivered significant other benefits. It became the bellwether project internally and externally evidencing P&G's commitment to this market and consumer. It won awards both internally and externally. Importantly in many cases it was the key to opening retailers' doors to doing joint Hispanic marketing efforts with P&G. And finally research indicated very positive perception of Avanzando by the community with almost 90% approval.


P&G has re-committed itself to the Hispanic market and community. This has been driven by senior management support, which resulted in creating a dedicated organization and separate funding, two critical elements for the development of an effective Hispanic marketing effort.

This also permitted development of a very comprehensive marketing effort to connect with the Hispanic consumer beyond individual brand marketing. As a result, P&G has its most successful Hispanic marketing endeavor.

Contributed by: Neil Comber Valdespino, Hispanic Marketing/Corporate Relations Director, P&G
Victor Arroyo, Promotion Director, Dieste & Partners.