Marketer Interview: Unilever- E. Tron: “Ideas that are easily adapted to local markets”

Enrique Tron, Communication Channels Director at Unilever Mexico, has been part of the Latin American and panregional advertising scene for a long time. In the late nineties he worked in an agency in Miami and now he is the main marketing and advertising executive at Unilever in Mexico City. As such he has major responsibilities over the marketing and advertising at Unilever both panregionally in Latin America and in Mexico.

Enrique was a speaker at last weeks Festival of Media Latin America in Miami where we caught up with him and conducted the following Q&A.

Portada: How does Unilever buy media in Latin America?

Enrique Tron: “We have three regional hubs. Each of these hubs markets a set of Unilever brands panregionally. One hub is in Mexico, which I lead. The brands we market include Knorr, the Ice Cream Business unit and Soy Beverages.

The second regional hub is managed by Maria Luisa Lopez out of Brazil. Maria Luisa oversees brands such as Hellmann’s mayonnaise and home care brands. The third hub is in Argentina and has strong personal care brand component. This hub is led by Ezequiel Jones. These three hubs work together and provide local market intelligence.”

Portada: How can you market panregionally and still have local relevance?

Enrique Tron: “We try to come up with ideas that have passports and are easily adapted to local markets. In addition, we have one media agency, Initative, across the region. There is efficiency in managing regional brands, but local activation has to be different. So we work with ideas that can travel but also be implemented locally.”

Portada: What do you think is still needed from panregional media?

Enrique Tron: “The cable business has developed a very high penetration across the region. But as advertisers we still need more consistency in the approach in other media, like print and out of home. It still is a challenge to come up with integrated plans and content that has a local flavor. Today it is more about content initiatives than about platforms. “

Portada: What differences do you see between the different markets in Latin America?

Enrique Tron: "Brazil and Argentina are the most creative markets, ahead of Mexico. Brazil is the most compelling story, but there can be consistent growth across the region.

They are doing great things: Private initiative, macroeconomic policies, etc…"

Portada: Will Brazil benefit the rest of the region?

Enrique Tron: “Not sure. Brazil is stealing a lot of attention.”