Portada interviewed Ricardo De La Blanca, CEO of DLB Group.

DLB Group is the agency responsible for Hasbro Inc.’s communications in Latin America. In our interview, Ricardo De La Blanca talks about the details of Hasbro’s Christmas digital pan-regional campaign, his views on the pan-regional market and its features, the challenge of juggling diverse local cultures, and the focus on the region as a whole.

DLB Group’s CEO emphasizes the importance of the Internet and its benefits, and also tells us about the company’s projects and plans for this year.

DLB Group has its headquarters in Miami, and the group also has offices in Caracas, Madrid, Bogota, Panama, and Mexico City, as well as partners in major cities in Latin America.

Portada: Tell us what the Hasbro Navidad (Christmas) campaign was all about.

Ricardo De La Blanca: "This campaign was conceptualized with the goal of bringing the brand closer to consumers during a special time of the year for children, such as Christmas. By simply visiting the www.navidadhasbro.com site and logging in with the help of their parents, children could write a letter to Santa and put it on the Christmas tree. In addition, the site offered five different toy catalogs: for boys, girls, babies, board games and preschoolers, with leading products in each category accompanied by photos, descriptions and TV commercials.

With this campaign, Hasbro aimed to position itself as a pioneer in toy sales in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela."

Portada: What were the goals and target of the campaign?

Ricardo De La Blanca: "The goal of this campaign was to promote, in an intelligent and creative way, the Hasbro toys that children would ask "Santa" for this Christmas. The idea was for Hasbro toys to be high on the wish list of the smallest family members, and to give parents a place where they could review the toys they would be giving.

DLB Group designed the website to appeal to a very broad target, because it understood the people and parents who have purchased Hasbro products in the past, and who would consider purchasing them as gifts for Christmas."

Portada: Could you share the results of the campaign? Did the campaign meet its goals?

Ricardo De La Blanca: "In less than a month, the website recorded over 200,000 visitors and 163,820 registered users. The public’s response was amazing, because the website received more visits during this campaign than any of our other regular brand promotions, and also in comparison with similar promotions done by other competitors.

We exceeded our client's expectations, and this has allowed DLB Group to position itself and be selected as Hasbro Inc.’s agency of choice in Latin America."

Portada: What is the benefit of targeting the Latin American region as a whole?

Ricardo De La Blanca: "Creating regional promotions is quite complex in terms of logistics and execution.   At DLB Group, we have experts who work side by side with the client and understand the needs of targeting the region as a whole in order to utilize resources more efficiently.   This allows the brand to encourage consumers to feel like they’re part of a larger movement involving a large number of people in different parts of the world.

The online platform has been an undeniable advantage in reaching all of the countries involved, without any limitations other than having simple Internet access."

Portada: How do you manage the dynamics between the various local cultures when doing a regional campaign?

Ricardo De La Blanca: "In general, even though consumers in Latin America have similar needs and tastes, it is true that every country and culture has its own personality, and in turn, its own difficulties and challenges. In this regard, we carefully review each market’s picture and try to do some country-specific actions as needed, while maintaining the key message of the brand.

For example, DLB Group determined after several tests that some countries in Central America did not have as high Internet and mobile penetration as compared to other countries.   In those cases, we undertake other activities that will better communicate and motivate consumer participation in our promotions."

Portada: We understand your campaign was conducted entirely online, and through its own website.   Did you utilize social networks in any way?

Ricardo De La Blanca: "Social networks are now essential for disseminating any message or promotion.   We promoted our Hasbro Christmas site through advertisements on Facebook. Additionally, our interaction with other blogs covering topics of public interest was critical, because consumers shared their experiences with this promotion and word of mouth served to encourage more and more people to participate."

Portada: Have you advertised the Hasbro Christmas site on other websites? If so, which ones?

Ricardo De La Blanca: "Yes, Hasbro Latin America and Disney are currently working together on some specific projects, and this was also the case for this initiative.   The mini-site ran a banner on the Disney Latino website."

Portada: Have you advertised the site on other media platforms (TV, radio, etc.)?

Ricardo De La Blanca: "Hasbro promoted this project on TV by placing a tag at the end of all its product commercials, many of them done by DLB Group.   This was a highly successful move, since the level of receptiveness to these products on television is very high at that time of year."

Portada: Do you plan to continue the Christmas campaign this year? If so, what changes or developments are planned?

Ricardo De La Blanca: "Our relationship with Hasbro as its Latin America agency has enabled us to actively participate in its promotions planning and strategy.   This year we will extend the online promotions concept for Latin America to different brands such as Playdoh (which is currently airing), Transformers, Littlest Pet Shop, Playskool, Family Games and many more. We’ve created these campaigns jointly with the different Hasbro Inc. teams, and the promotions will offer the public a great value and many rewards to thank them for their brand loyalty.

In particular, Hasbro Christmas is being studied by our team of promotions experts at DLB ??Group to see what new nuances and improvements we can offer Hasbro consumers this year. "

Ricardo De La Blanca is a leading executive in global advertising and marketing, with over 20 years experience in 15 countries across Europe and the United States.   As CEO of DLB ??Group, De La Blanca spearheads the DLB strategy that positions the Group as a multinational company with operations in seven countries. DLB Group has received numerous international advertising awards, including Promax & BDA, P & M and FIP.

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