Analysis Part 2 – The Advertiser View:Spanish vs. English FSI’s (Pr. Content)

Spanish or English? The clients perspective.

“Generally we prefer to place FSI’s in Spanish”, says Martha Kruse, Senior Director of Multicultural Marketing at Rooms To Go. “While response can’t be measured accurately, common sense says that placing in Spanish-language is a service to our audience”. Anita Grace, president of Anita Grace Ad Execs, a firm that sells advertising into Hispanic newspapers including Phoenix La Voz, La Prensa Riverside and Orange County’s Excelsior says that she tries to convince advertisers to insert in Spanish.” It is usually the ideal way because it relays the feeling that the advertisers is talking to its audience.”

However, sometimes for logistic and cost reasons FSI’s placed in Spanish-language newspapers are in English. Is it better to insert no FSI’s whatsoever into Hispanic newspapers or insert English-language ones? “I would recommend to place in Hispanic newspapers even if they are in English. This is because Hispanic newspapers often distribute in areas reaching Hispanics that are not reached by other media, Kruse notes. Rooms To Go is present in the Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, TX and the Carolinas. However, Rooms To Go does use bilingual messaging in preprints that are direct mailed, because these mailings are more prone to reach bilingual or even English dominant Hispanics. (A Spanish-language newspaper already qualifies its audience as mostly Spanish-dominant.)  

Oscar Castro, Director International E-Commerce at Sears, and responsible for the recently launched Sears.com/espanol site, says that “the target audience for Sears.com/español is Spanish-preferring US customers. As a result, we use Spanish language advertising to let our customers know that they have an online option available to them. We also work with relevant publications, in relevant markets, to ensure that the message is reaching the right people.”

While direct mailed coupon books targeting Hispanics tend to be in English, Marketing Services firm Valassis, mails out its Redplum direct mailed preprint with a bilingual masthead in heavily Hispanic populated markets such as Southern California, Miami and Texas. The company also has the ability to target sub zip codes that are heavily populated by Hispanics.    

Trend toward Home Delivery Hispanics have moved towards suburbia over the last ten years. This trend has also favored FSI insertion, as newspapers have tended to substantially increase their distribution through home – delivery (for instance Al Dia in Dallas). FSI advertisers, generally retailers, prefer to insert in home delivered newspapers for several reasons: FSI’s can easily fall out of rack distributed newspapers and will not reach the readers homes. Second, the main household decision maker, often the housewife, is better reached with a home-delivered newspaper.     

The link to online and mobile coupons  

Another relevant question is whether print media properties offer advertisers to link print FSI’s with online/and or mobile coupons. Not too much has been done in this realm, although the strong growth of mobile in the Hispanic market, might change things soon. Sear’s Castro notes that “Yes, we use digital as well as traditional marketing to promote our sites. We also create a consistent multichannel experience with Spanish language in-store signage as well as customer service support.”

  “We have tried to link English FSI's with online using the Shop Local/Paperboy unit through Chron.com but not in Spanish.” the Houston Chronicle’s Holmes notes. According to Myrna Cortez, of The San Antonio Express News Spanish-language publications the integration with online/mobile coupons is a work in progress.


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