Are newspaper supplements targeting Hispanics effective advertising vehicles?

Newspaper inserts and supplements offer advertisers the best of both worlds: a clear target audience defined by the theme of the supplement, and reach, provided by a network of carrier newspapers. Both factors are important, particularly in regions where the Hispanic population is small or in large urban markets where Latinos are spread out within a diverse population (New York City).

The oldest nationally distributed insert is Vista Magazine, based in Coral Gables, FL. Vista, which caters almost exclusively to national advertisers, was launched in 1985 and currently employs 13 full time employees. But large scale insert publishing for Spanish-speaking audiences is more advanced in Latin America, than in the U.S.>The Wall Street Journal Americas, which was started by Dow Jones in 1994, is currently published in 18 major newspapers in 16 countries. Dow Jones recently started a similar effort in the US Hispanic market. An insert called The Wall Street Journal en español is published in four different Spanish-language newspapers. “We are partnering with U.S. publishers in major Hispanic markets and establishing an advertising network that will attract national and global advertisers. We expect to add partners in Florida and Texas this year,” says Jennifer Ametrano, managing director of Latin American and US Hispanic sales at The Wall Street Journal>

What are the main differences between publishing in Latin America and publishing in the U.S.? “Regarding content, in our daily Americas [Latin American] pages we run a significant number of global corporate and finance stories, in addition to features. The weekly section for the Hispanic market focuses more on personal finance, careers and personal journal articles on the business of life,” Ametrano explains.

More to come – Health, home improvement...

This September, 1,500,000 copies of Nueva Salud, a new health magazine insert, will be distributed in the top 5 Hispanic markets. The quarterly insert targets the relatively untapped pharma advertising category. Also entering the market is Hogar Latino, a monthly magazine insert, designed and written to appeal to Hispanics pursuing the “American dream” of home ownership. According to publisher Filiberto Fernandez, Hogar Latino will be written in Spanish and delivered via leading Spanish newspapers across the U.S. Hogar Latino gets assistance from Publication Services of America, publisher of From House to Home and Better Health and Living magazines.

...and cars, technology, youth and entertainment.

Hoy, the Spanish-language newspaper network owned by Tribune Corp., which publishes dailies in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles (new launches are expected in other cities), as well the weekly Wall Street Journal en español insert, recently announced that it will collaborate with Megazine Publications to produce consumer lifestyle magazine inserts. Sobre Ruedas, a publication for auto enthusiasts to be launched this summer, will be the first of the new magazine inserts. Over the next year Hoy plans to introduce three other monthly publications: Acuarela (for women), Onda Joven (for teens) and Horizontes (on science and consumer technology).

Inserts are expanding in other markets too. La Vibra, a weekly entertainment supplement launched in 2000 by Los Angeles daily La Opinión, recently entered the Houston market through a partnership with The Houston Chronicle and plans to expand into other markets.

Where are the sports inserts?

If there's one topic that all Latinos want to read about, its sports. Surprisingly, there are very few sports inserts currently in publication. Media buyers interviewed by Portada® said they are interested in sport publications because most pubs, especially magazines, skew toward women. The problem is not only the scarcity of available sports publications, but also the fact that only two of the large existing sports publications, both distributed as newspaper inserts, are audited – Fútbol Mundial and Major League Baseball en español.

The challenges of national distribution

Nationally distributed inserts face the challenge of appealing to a far from homogeneous Latino audience. Mack Quintana, publisher of El Paso Times (Gannett, daily circ. 77,212), tells Portada® that Vista magazine, the oldest and most popular Hispanic insert, appeals more to East Coast Latinos. But, Vista publisher Gustavo Godoy argues that “this observation is not in tune with Vista's editorial policy. In fact, Vista prides itself in its multi-ethnic Latino audience.” Godoy adds, that “in the past few years, Vista has been targeting expanding Latino markets that are outside the predominantly Latino areas in key states.”

The wrong audience?

“Inserts are not for everyone,” Mack Quintana, publisher of El Paso Times, tells Portada®. According to Quintana, there is no point in publishing a separate supplement/insert for Latinos in El Paso, because they are the majority of the population. Half of the home-delivered circulation of El Paso Times goes to Latino subscribers. “Whether it is about school, business or anything else, we include the interests and informational needs of Hispanics in our daily coverage.”

Some media buyers are skeptical about the efficacy of inserts. “I have mixed feelings about advertising in supplements. Not all of them are inserted in Spanish-language publications. When they're inserted in English-language pubs, they may be read by Hispanics who are bilingual or English-dominant and therefore not that interested in reading in Spanish,” says Deborah Richmond, who buys media for companies such as Pfizer, Verizon Wireless and GMAC Mortgage at VIVA Partnership in San Antonio.


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