Parenting Magazines: Publishers and advertisers boost efforts to reach Latina moms

With the increasing number of Hispanic births (now approaching 1 in 4), the larger size of Hispanic families, and the predicted growth of this market, it's not surprising that publishers and advertisers are looking for more and better ways to reach the key decision makers – Latina moms.


But while Hispanic men's and women's magazines are increasingly published in English or bilingual formats, Hispanic parenting titles are only available Spanish. Toni Ellard of Bromley-Interlink in Dallas, Texas admits that most campaigns targeting Hispanic parents have been very Spanish-language focused. “Advertisers have assumed that general market parenting mags are reaching English-dominant Hispanics,” explained Ellard, who says that targeting second and third generation Hispanics is probably the next step for Hispanic parenting magazines. But very few publishers (or advertisers) seem to be moving in that direction.

New launches


This spring, Impact Media Communications Inc. launched New Parent en español, the Hispanic edition of the general market title with the same name. Steve Kantor, president and co-owner of Impact Media says their new Hispanic parenting title is different from existing magazines because it is designed to help pregnant women make the transition to motherhood. While other titles focus on the daily challenges of specific stages of pregnancy or parenthood, New Parent en español (annual, 2 printings/year, circ. rate base 500,000 BPA audit pending, Spanish) takes a more long term view. New Parent en español is distributed to pregnant women at Ob-gyn offices, birth education classes, and at Babies R'Us retail stores. Advertisers in New Parent en español's premiere edition included Evenflo, Kimberly-Clark, P&G, Johnson and Johnson, Playtex and Babies R' Us.


Meredith has also been busy with American Baby Group's relaunch in May of Healthy Kids en español (quarterly, circ. 504,673, Spanish) and the anticipated fall launch of its new women's lifestyle magazine Siempre Mujer! (bimonthly, circ. rate base 350,000, Spanish). Norma Blatto, publisher of American Baby Group titles, says the Healthy Kids en español relaunch was inspired by the magazine's financial success and the growing interest in the Hispanic market. “The quality of design and editorial will make the magazine more attractive to major advertisers,” says Blatto. With the edition of Siempre Mujer, Meredith hopes to reach all Spanish-speaking Latinas – women at every stage of pregnancy and parenthood, as well as women who are focused on career, home and relationships – giving advertisers the opportunity to market their products in both Latina lifestyle and parenting magazines through one publisher.


At the local level, independent publishers are producing magazines that serve the needs of Hispanic parents in ways that their national counterparts cannot. Somos Padres (bimonthly, circ. 25,000), a bilingual publication launched last December which targets NYC Latino parents, offers solutions to challenges that are unique to New York City families. According to co-founder and publisher Lesley Olviedo, the response has been overwhelming. “We're really filling a need for practical and educational information that is location specific.” Olviedo says the paper serves two different groups of readers – new immigrant families looking for help navigating the city or locating resources and 2nd generation Latinos who want to retain their cultural heritage.


It's not just parenting magazines that target Hispanic moms…


Although Editorial Televisa does not publish a parenting magazine per se, Mariana Toledo, director of research for Editorial Televisa, says that seventy percent of Buenhogar (monthly, paid circ. 226,661, Spanish) readers have children living in their homes. Vanidades (biweekly, paid circ. 95,332, Spanish) also targets Latina mothers.


It makes sense that editorial content and advertising targeting Hispanic is written and designed with parents in mind. Catalina (monthly, bilingual) and People en español (monthly, paid circ. 425,127, Spanish) both include content for mothers. Catalina has a column called “Ask Cristina Perez” where readers write in with parenting and family questions. People en español partnered with TodoBebé to produce in-book advertorials that provide parenting information and promote TodoBebé baby fairs. Although it accounts for only a small portion of overall advertising, Baby and Family oriented products like Mi Bebé CD, Volvo family car, and Maggi have all run ads targeting Latina moms in Catalina.


Still, Toni Ellard, media planner for Bromley-Interlink, says that most of an advertisers print budget for Hispanic parents goes into parenting titles, and then, depending on the product, some companies will place additional ads in Hispanic women's lifestyle magazines. “A company like Kimberly-Clark will advertise Huggies in parenting magazines and divide a product like Kleenex between parenting and Hispanic women's lifestyle titles,” explained Ellard. Cheryl Wilbur, director of research and brand development for Time Inc.'s Parenting Group, says that if you want to reach mom it makes sense to engage her when she is in her passion – in magazines about being a mom, in Ob-gyn and pediatricians offices, and delivery rooms.

How does print fit into the overall campaign?

Although TV and radio are a major part of most Hispanic ad campaigns, Esmeralda Gonzalez, media buyer at Ornelas & Associates, says that ad campaigns targeting Hispanic parents tend to focus more on print because advertisers are guaranteed to reach their target audience through parenting titles whereas television ads cast a much wider net. Brenda Andolina, senior brand development manager for Fisher Price, said their multi-media campaign launched last year emphasized print and grassroots marketing over broadcast. “This year we're reducing the broadcast portion of the campaign. We'll do either TV or radio, not both,” explained Andolina.


And according to mothers surveyed for the 2004 “Why You Buy” study conducted by Time Inc.'s Parenting Group, publisher of general market titles Parenting, Baby Talk, and Healthy Pregnancy, Fisher Price is getting it right. Based on responses from a cross-section of moms, broadcast media is the last place mothers go for parenting information. The number one source of information was other moms, friends and relatives, followed by magazines, the Internet and finally TV or radio. “Although the study didn't look specifically at the Hispanic market, based on other research and experience, I would say the results would be even truer for the Hispanic market,” said Cheryl Wilbur, director of research and brand development for Time Inc.'s Parenting Group. Wilbur cited magazines, direct marketing and the Internet as key vehicles for reaching moms.

Grassroots events and custom publications

According to Maria Budet, strategic marketing director for CSA Marketing, a marketing company that specializes in direct promotions to Hispanic consumers (clients include P&G, Johnson and Johnson, and Wal-Mart), as more and more companies begin to enter and invest in marketing their products to Hispanics, a lot of attention is being placed on education. “You see a lot of grassroots, hands-on events that are really about introducing products to Hispanic customers and developing a one-on-one relationship with them.” Budet points out that custom publications are often important components of these events, since they are what parents will “take away.” Fisher-Price's (Mattel, Inc.) multi-media campaign launched last year included the custom publication Jugando a Crecer (Playing to Learn) a 20-page, full-color parenting magazine published by American Baby Group, which also publishes the English version for the general market. Fisher Price's mobile marketing component was a giant “play pen” that traveled to Hispanic festivals in Houston, Chicago and Los Angeles. Jugando a Crecer (circ. 1 million) was distributed at these grassroots events, as well as inside American Baby titles (Espera and Primeros 12 meses) at hospitals and Ob-gyn offices.

American Baby Group publisher Norma Blatto says that some advertisers, like P&G and Johnson and Johnson, run print ads in addition to their custom publications. A company like P&G uses its multi-brand custom publication to familiarize Hispanic parents with the company as a whole; each brand also places ads in a variety of other media. McDonald's distributed their custom publication as a mini-magazine inside Healthy Kids en español.

Stand outs

Procter and Gamble is known for its success at reaching Hispanic consumers, and its main target audience in both the general and Hispanic markets is mothers. “P&G took the Hispanic market seriously very early on and has been the most consistent in their marketing efforts,” says Toni Ellard of Bromley-Interlink, who says companies like Gerber, Johnson & Johnson and Nestle have been more sporadic in their efforts to reach Hispanics. P&G began marketing to Hispanics in the late 80's and has continued to hone its messaging and products for the Hispanic market (Last year P&G spent $107 million on Spanish-media advertising, more than any other U.S. company). Five years ago P&G launched the multi-brand Hispanic outreach initiative “Avanzando con tu familia,” which includes sponsorship of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and community events, as well as a bilingual magazine by the same name which is published by P&G each fall and distributed to one million Hispanic families through various channels including new immigrant programs.

Fisher Price launched its first major Hispanic ad campaign last year through Market Vision, the Hispanic arm of CoActive Marketing Group, Inc., a marketing and interactive services company that develops and manages integrated campaigns. Surprisingly, toy companies have been slow to target Hispanic parents, assuming that most kids are bilingual and can be targeted in English. But now Fisher Price, as well as Toys R'Us, Babies R'Us, Leap Frog and others, have decided to target Hispanic parents directly. The Fisher Price campaign launched last fall targeted Hispanics in Houston, Los Angeles and Chicago through television, radio, billboards, a custom publication, internet banners on todobebé.com and Univision's tubebé.com, and grassroots marketing.

Fisher Price also placed ads promoting their traveling play area in various newspapers' festival supplements. Brenda Andolina, senior brand development manager for Fisher Price, says the company is looking for more ways to use newspapers to promote their brand. “We know newspapers are some of the most widely read print publications. Maybe Fisher Price could be the ‘Toy Expert' for a certain paper.” Andolina says that although Fisher Price hasn't placed ads in Hispanic women's lifestyle magazines, it's a definite possibility in the future. “Initially we are focusing on really developing a personal relationship with this audience and that means customizing our message – which is easier to do with print – and reaching mothers in their doctor's offices, hospitals and neighborhoods.” This year Fisher Price will expand its campaign to include the Miami market. Their custom publication Jugando a Crecer (annual, circ. 2 million, Spanish) will now publish two editions (circ. 1 million each) – one targeting parents from pregnancy through their child's 1st year and another for parents of children from 1 year to pre-school age. One million issues of each edition will be distributed as inserts or ride-alongs with existing American Baby Group titles – Espera (Spring/Fall editions, circ. 757,945, Spanish), Primeros 12 meses (annual 2 printings/year, circ. 508,660) and Healthy Kids en español.

Carrie Barnes