Parenting Magazines: Advertisers want more than just pages

Growth in ad revenues for Hispanic parenting magazines appears to be slowing slightly this year. According to Steve Kantor, publisher of New Parent en español, advertisers have pulled back a little. The company had a “nice” 2006 according to Kantor, who reported a 30% growth in ad revenues year over year. Ser Padres and Healthy Kids en español (quarterly, circ. 504,673), Meredith’s highest circulating Hispanic parenting titles, experienced double digit increases last year, according to Enedina Vega, National Sales Director for Meredith Hispanic Ventures. “Ser Padres saw ad revenues grow by 24%,” said Vega. Still, that’s not as big an increase as it experienced in 2004, when ad revenues were up by 47%, according to HispanicMagazineMonitor. 12 Meses (circ. 600,000, annually) and Espera (circ. 750,000, annually) continue to grow at a more modest rate.

Demand for parenting magazines and circulations continue to increase. Since its launch in 2004, New Parent en español has increased circulation from 500,000 to its current 775,000. Lamaze para Padres increased circulation from 750,000 to 850,000, according to Deborah Meyer, Director of Marketing for iVillage Parenting Network. New Parent Publisher Steve Kantor says he is confident in their ability to reach the target audience. Magazines are distributed by request through ob-gyn offices, health education classes and Babies R’ Us retail stores. “The main challenge is still to convince advertisers to spend a bigger portion of their budgets on Hispanic parents,” says Kantor.


Publishers aren’t just publishers anymore

Meredith’s Enedina Vega says that in order to win advertisers, publishers have to do a lot more 
than just sell ad space. “We have to be able to put together ad programs which include a combination
of media,” explains Vega.  Lamaze para Padres’ Deborah Meyer says advertisers are increasingly
looking for online and direct-to-consumer programs. Now that NBC Universal owns iVillage network,
Lamaze para Padres can offer its print partners a presence at the health fairs NBC holds throughout
the year.
Meyer says demand for custom publications and direct mail campaigns is also increasing. 
Meredith’s Enedina Vega echoes this statement. Meredith utilizes its growing Hispanic database to
do direct mailings, primarily for their existing print partners. “We have been able to capture data on
many of the Hispanic women who read our publications and have developed a database that is in
the 100’s of thousands,” says Vega.
Todobebé, producer of multimedia Spanish-language pregnancy and parenting content, has also 
experimented with direct mail. It ran several campaigns in 2005, including a bilingual publication
co-sponsored by Fisher Price and Pampers. CEO Gillian Sandler says the company won’t be
running any direct mail campaigns in the first half of 2007, but that they are planning something for
the second half of the year. (Look for details on www.portada-online.com)
For the most part, publishers and on-line producers of Hispanic content say advertisers haven’t 
changed. Meredith’s Vega reported new business in the home improvement and insurance
categories. She also says that traditional advertisers are expanding into more of Meredith’s
Hispanic titles and advertising a wider variety of products. “Companies like P&G and Johnson and
Johnson are running ads for household and skin care products, not just diapers and baby lotion,”
says Vega.

Marketing to moms online

Moms are the hottest new target audience for online advertising. According to research by eMarketer, the highest-visited category for moms is social networking sites. While this data is not Hispanic specific, Todobebé and Terra Network see evidence that these sites are just as popular with Hispanic moms. Todobebé CEO Gillian Sandler says that while Todobebé is not known as a social networking site, their chat rooms and forums are central to their popularity. “We’ve experienced impressive growth over the past few years,” says Sandler. “That’s why we invested so much in the relaunch and promotion of our website.” Terra.com’s “mujer” channel also targets moms with social networking components (for an article about social networking sites see page [?] of this issue)

Hispanic parenting publications aren’t far behind. Meredith continues to expand online publishing and marketing capabilities with the recent purchase of Genex, an interactive shop, and New Media Strategies, an agency specializing in web 2.0 and social networking. While Vega said it was too early to give details, Meredith does plan to target Hispanic parents, mostly moms, through online and interactive media. The company will focus on expanding Siempre Mujer’s online presence first and then work on Ser Padres. New Parent en español publisher Steve Kantor says New Parent also plans to develop an on-line component for Hispanic readers, but was not ready to share the specifics.

In the general market, big companies are discovering new ways to use the internet. Procter & Gamble recently launched a social networking site called Capessa, which is part of Yahoo’s Health section. The site will allow P&G to monitor consumer discussions and learn about the preferences, interests and values of their target audience. Johnson & Johnson announced last fall that it would launch a website called the Mom Blogger Project, but nothing has been announced publicly.


Corporate campaigns embrace print

General Mills’ new magazine Qué Rica Vida (circ. 350,000, quarterly, Spanish) targeting Hispanic moms is one of a number of Hispanic oriented corporate branding campaigns launched in recent years. General Mills’ campaign includes in-store retail events, partnerships with grassroots organizations and a mural contest organized in collaboration with community based arts organizations. In addition to the quarterly magazine which came out three times last year, General Mills also distributed 1 million copies of a condensed bilingual edition at retail-tainment events.

Distribution is through multiple channels. Through a partnership with Editorial Televisa, QRV is delivered as a ride-along with Spanish-language pubs including Vanidades, Buenhogar, Prevention en español and TV y Novelas. In addition, General Mills has partnered with non-competing companies who own strong Hispanic databases. In exchange for advertising in the magazine and at events, companies like Lexicon Training Services, producer and distributor of self-study ESL programs, allows General Mills to use their database of Hispanic families. Hispanic parents can also pick up the magazine at retails stores or subscribe at events and community organizations.

Fisher Price launched Spanish pub Jugando a Crecer in 2004 as part of an integrated Hispanic ad campaign designed by San Antonio agency Market Vision. Three years later, circulation has increased from 1 million to 1.5 million and the magazine now has two separate editions – Jugando Bebé (birth to 1 year) and Jugando Niño (1 year to preschool age). Four editions of the magazines are distributed to 1.5 million Hispanic moms as a ride-alongs with all of Meredith’s Hispanic pubs, including Siempre Mujer.


Not everything works

Some corporate publications have not been sustainable over time. P&G’s custom publication Avanzando con tu Familia was launched in 2000 as part of a major brand awareness campaign targeting Hispanics. The magazine was discontinued in 2004 because distribution was “too expensive,” according to Lourdes Ribera, P&G multicultural external relations. Avanzando was distributed door-to-door to 4 million Hispanic families.


TV gets left out of the mix

Fisher Price’s Hispanic campaign has evolved over the past three years as they’ve learned more about the best and most cost-effective ways to reach Hispanic moms.

One interesting finding was that Spanish-language TV wasn’t a good investment. “Our ads are so visual and don’t rely heavily on language, so most Spanish-speaking moms were watching the English version,” says Brenda Andolina, Senior Brand Manager at Fisher Price. The TV component of the campaign was dropped after the first year. Fisher Price also determined that event marketing was too costly, so they discontinued events and added direct mail programs and FSIs distributed inside Spanish-language newspapers. Fisher Price continued out-of-home advertising and increased circulation on their custom publications to 1.5 million.


Bringing events home

This year Fisher Price will bring back the grassroots component of their Hispanic campaign by leveraging zoo partnerships across the country. Fisher Price will become the title sponsor and bring live play experiences to the zoos’ existing Hispanic oriented events. “We still get the brand recognition and interaction with Hispanic consumers, without having to create the entire event ourselves,” explains Andolina.

Todobebé is experimenting with a new kind of events marketing campaign through House Party, a word-of-mouth marketing firm that organizes company sponsored parties hosted by consumers in their own homes. Todobebé’s house parties will take place simultaneously at the homes of 1,000 carefully selected Todobebé members across the country and draw an expected 20,000 Hispanic moms per party event. Party goers will receive free products and samples, play games, watch an episode of Todobebé and socialize with other moms in their communities. COO Cynthia Nelson says they plan to have two national house party events this year in April and September and four parties next year. In conjunction with the house parties, Todobebé will launch a second website which will enable moms to connect and participate in the house party experience through video and interactive features.

                                                                                  by Carrie Barnes

 

Overlooked potential of local parenting pubs

 

Local Hispanic parenting pubs continue to sprout up across the country, some are grassroots, and others are offshoots of long established English language parenting magazines. Somos Padres (circ. 20,000, monthly, bilingual), now three years old, is gaining a foothold in Queens, Long Island and Brooklyn, New York. It was started by Latina mothers who saw a lack of good information on local services, events and information geared toward Hispanic families. The monthly publication is slowly gaining recognition from advertisers, mostly local and regional. “Bigger national companies require that publications be audited and we’re not yet at a place financially where we can do that,” says Somos Padres Publisher Lesley Oviedo. While local pubs often have a loyal and trusting readership, it can be a struggle to get advertisers, especially larger accounts, to recognize their power.

 

Linda Watson, publisher of long running Seattle Child and now Padres de Hoy (circ. 30,000, monthly, Spanish) says even well established local parenting pubs struggle to attract national accounts. “The power of local parenting magazines when it comes to reaching and influencing parents, both Hispanic and general market, has really been overlooked by national advertisers,” says Watson. Advertising in Padres de Hoy is currently all local and regional. Seattle Child is about 95% local/regional and 5% national.


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