Cesar Sroka


#Portada14 participants had the privilege of attending to a presentation by major retail marketer JC Penney: “How JC Penney markets to the Latina Brand Muse”. Ana Lucia Soto, Media Manager, JC Penney and Lyris Calisto Leos, Brand Marketing Strategy Director at JC Penney explained how JC Penney is restructuring its marketing organization based on its recognition of the Latina consumer as a brand muse who is JC Penney’s main growth driver.

Cesar Sroka, Group Account Director, OMG
Cesar Sroka, Group Account Director, OMG

“The Latina Muse has become a priority perspective for JC Penney”, said Cesar Sroka, Group Account Director, Omnicom Media Group, the agency that buys and plans media for JC Penney. Sroka’s assertion was confirmed by  two major executives in JC Penney’s marketing team:  Ana Lucia Soto, Media Manager, JC Penney and Lyris Calisto Leos, Brand Marketing Strategy Director,  JC Penney.

Leos and Soto highlighted two key features of the Latina Muse. “She is image driven and confident.” Both characteristics play into JC Penney’s fit strategy and messaging towards Hispanic women.

Leos explained that as Brand Strategy Marketing Director she is embedded in JC Penney’s overall marketing organization, which promotes the retailer in the United States, Mexico (border cities to promote traffic into Texas and California retail locations) and  Puerto Rico.

Media Manager Ana Lucia Soto highlighted that as a member of the National Media Team she is in charge of the Total Market Strategy which she approaches with a “multicultural lense”. Soto added  that she oversees JC Penney’s overall TV buys and applies a Hispanic lense to these buys.

Successful Soccer World Cup efforts…

The audience showed interest in the genesis of JC Penney’s widely publicized “Soccer for Girls” campaign during the last World Cup which was specifically targeted towards Women.The JC Penney marketing executives shared the below Campaign Objectives and Results:

…The objectives…

  1. “Relaunch the JCPenney brand in the Hispanic market to drive awareness of the “When it Fits, You Feel it” brand promise”
  2. “Increase consideration and purchase intent (for current as well as new customers) in the Hispanic market”
  3. “Engage with our customers in a meaningful context, and increase fan base by 20%”

…and the results. 

JC Penney's Ana Lucia Soto and Lyris Leos
JC Penney’s Ana Lucia Soto and Lyris Leos

According to Soto and Leos JCPenney’s “Soccer is for girls” campaign outperformed all previous campaigns in terms of brand health metrics, garnering high social media engagement due to its unique message during a typically male-focused advertising timeframe. Based on shares data as well as a pre/post brand tracking data conducted by Hall & Partners, JCPenney’s rebranding campaign has shown significant impact based on the following four objectives.”

1. Purchase, Consideration and Persuasion increased

– During this period, JCP Hispanic customers over-indexed other customer trips and over-indexed in customer spend
– JCP’s Hispanic customers over index as part of their total new customer base.  During campaign weeks, JCPenney also saw a lift over pre-campaign weeks in Hispanic customers that stopped shopping them within the last 12-months.
– YTD Hispanic store sales are outperforming all other stores seeing a YOY sales lift during and after the campaign period.
-Consideration to shop at JCPenney increased
– Persuasion: respondents were very/somewhat interested in shopping at JCP, significantly above the Hispanic norm.

2. The campaign drove awareness

-The overall 2014 FIFA averaged 3.6 million viewers.
-Just over half of low acculturated and bicultural Hispanic consumers saw JC Penney’s “Soccer is for Girls” World Cup campaign.
– Despite the competitive messaging environment, the campaign proved to have strong stand-out power with higher than norm salience ratings and higher than norm respondents having found the ad appealing and engaging.
– 17.1MM total social media impressions

3. The “Fit” strategy was clearly understood and embraced

– Perceptual shifts of proportion, personal style, and color offerings were significant vs. prior to launch

4. Increased number of Facebook fans and engagement using #JCPFanaticas

– 45,000 total engagements
– 188,000 YouTube video views (doubled goal) with average view duration of 91% of total ad
– Surpassed fan acquisition goal by 26%, with 46% (83,000) increase in fans (current total fans is 287K)


Although details are still sketchy, Walmart’s announcement that it will create and operate its own media exchange to help its suppliers spend its media dollars based on the data WalMart obtains, has gotten mostly positive comments. What are the implications for the multicultural sector?

The retailing giant still is working on the software for Walmart Exchange, or WMX, which execs have described as “in beta.”

It’s just the natural evolution in Walmart’s decades-long big data initiative, according to Cesar Sroka, group account director for OMD. He says, “A lot of folks out there are not comfortable with it, but data can help drive a lot of decisions and effectively target who you’re going after. Walmart has millions of shoppers every week, so they have lots of data.”

Walmart will combine its own retail and online sales, gathered in close to real time, with social media data – and the new data stream coming from its Savings Catcher, an online service that gets consumers to input in-store receipts to see if they could have gotten a better price elsewhere. WalMart is a top ten Hispanic advertiser and many of its suppliers in the CPG and other categories are major advertisers.

Cesar Sroka, OMD
Cesar Sroka, OMD

Sroka thinks that WMX could help the retailer – and the brands that sell products through Walmart – better target African-American and Hispanic customers, allowing it to move beyond language preferences to consumer attitudes and behaviors. For example, the data could reveal whether some of the accepted wisdom on Hispanic shoppers, such as they shop in families and have larger basked sizes, are really true. “It’s raising the standard for everyone,” he says.

WMX could help the retailer – and the brands that sell products through Walmart – better target African-American and Hispanic customers

OMD isn’t worried that WMX will cut out media agencies, according to Sroka. “They’re just cutting costs out of the business. I believe they’ll still need an agency for strategy,” he says. “Programmatic doesn’t do that for you. Anybody can buy a thousand points. We are advisers: We look at your business holistically, from products being developed through consumer experiences.”

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