Bud Regionalizes Latino Marketing

Ornelas Supplies Ads Sensitive to Differences in Hispanic Culture
NEW YORK–Anheuser-Busch is taking a new tack in its advertising to the Latino community, adopting regionally focused montage-style ads behind Budweiser and enlisting John Leguizamo and other Hispanic celebrities behind Bud Light.
The work was produced by Ornelas & Associates, Dallas, and Castor, New York. Castor targeted Puerto Ricans in New York and Cubans in Miami; Ornelas focused on Mexican-dominated communities in Texas and California. Neutral versions will air on national buys.
The ads were shown to wholesalers at the brewer’s recent national sales meeting in Dallas. The effort represents the first major body of work to emerge since a Latino marketing unit was disbanded and An-heuser-Busch brand management vice president Bob Lachky took direct control [Brandweek, Sept. 21, 1998].
Styling the twin campaigns a “rededication to the Latino market,” Lachky said they reflected learning from admittedly “sub-par” performances in the past. Given the rapid growth both in the Latino population and in imported Mexican beer, the effort is a high priority for A-B.
After last year’s “Simplemente” Bud campaign was criticized by wholesalers for naively treating Hispanics as a unified culture, A-B is going regional on Bud to better target the groups that predominate in each of four key markets. Each gets its own montage-style melding of visual cues, music and lifestyle clips, supported by targeted promos.
On fast-growing Bud Light, the Anglo characters Lex and Ingo, and their bumbling but endearing quest for acceptance by Latinos, are gone in favor of a celebrity-focused campaign via Ornelas. Initial ads star comedic impersonator John Leguizamo and Univision TV stars Sofia and Fernando.
Each of four to six Leguizamo spots will feature him playing a different role. “Banda” shows him in Tex-Mex gear trying to crash an audition by East Coast hip-hop and merengue band Proyecto Uno–vainly, until he produces a Bud Light. In contrast to “Simplemente,” the spot “is saying we’re hip enough to know the difference between banda and merengue,” Lachky said.