AOL Launches Hispanic Ad Campaign

America Online on Monday said it would roll out a cross-media promotion campaign aimed at luring Hispanics to its service.

The campaign, titled “Mouse,” will begin on Monday with commercial spots on U.S. Spanish-language television stations, Univision, Telefutura and Galavision. The AOL Time Warner unit said the ads would focus on family, education and entertainment, while pushing AOL as a way to keep in touch with family and friends in the U.S. and abroad.

“The campaign represents the first time AOL has developed multi-media advertising that has been strategically designed to speak to the Hispanic market,” said Mary Ann Donaghy, an executive director at AOL.

The “Mouse” campaign, designed by Irvine, Calif.-based agency Casanova Pendrill, has two different TV creatives, running in May and July. The campaign is designed to reach Hispanics that are Spanish dominant and bilingual. The print campaign runs in May, while the radio portion is slated for July.

Hispanics have become a much sought-after demographic thanks to their rising demographic power and Internet use. While the Hispanic Internet penetration continues to lag behind the overall population, marketers have begun to eye it as a fertile opportunity. In January, the U.S. Census Bureau released population estimates that showed for the first time Hispanics outnumbered blacks in the United States. With 37 million people, Hispanics ranked as the top minority in the country. Hispanic consumers are estimated to have a combined annual purchasing power of $450 billion, according to DRI/McGraw Hill.

According to comScore Media Metrix, about a third of all Hispanics have Internet access at home, work or school, making the U.S. Hispanic Internet population greater than the combined total of Web users in Mexico, Argentina and Colombia.

AOL has gone after Hispanic Internet users before. In December 2001, it inked a marketing pact with Univision that included Spanish-language commercials pushing the AOL service. In April, the two companies renewed the deal, which called for the commercials on Univision and Telefutura.

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