Original URL: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/business/articles/0209gain09.html
P&G targets ethnic groups with products
Feb. 9, 2004 12:00 AM
CINCINNATI - When consumers think of leading brands at Procter
& Gamble Co., Gain detergent may not come to mind.
It's a midpriced brand in laundry, a category that P&G has dominated for decades
with higher-priced Tide.
But Gain is way ahead - "overdeveloped," in Procter-speak - in one playground
where P&G wants to play more: Hispanic consumers.
Every box of Gain sold in the United States features both English and Spanish
on the box. Its market share among Hispanic consumers is 80 percent higher
than among the general population.
Catalina Landivar said Gain is her favorite detergent because of its different
scents, which P&G said is important to Hispanic consumers. And she gets direct
mail from P&G with offers in Spanish.
"If I have two products that I'm not familiar with before, I will be tempted to
first the one that has a bilingual label, just because I think they're making a
special effort to cater to people like me," she said.
Symbol of success
Within P&G, Gain is a symbol of the company's success in targeting certain
brands to consumers in specific ethnic groups.
Like most big companies, it has specific programs to attract Hispanic and Black
consumers, hoping to tap into fast-growing demographic groups.
"This is not a fad," said Robert Montemayor, marketing director at
market-watcher HispanTelligence. "What's turning heads is when you look at
aggregate totals, it's making the cash registers ring."
For P&G, targeting ethnic groups is a business proposition: as much as $5
in added sales during the next decade, the company said.
Combined, Black and Hispanic consumers in the United States have more than
$1.2 trillion in spending power and that amount is increasing that faster than
Last summer, P&G created separate budgets to target Black consumers, hoping
to make similar inroads. That has led to product lines such as the new Pantene
Relaxed & Natural, targeted specifically to women of color.
"We definitely are better than we were five years ago, and we continue to make
progress," said Susan Mboya, associate director of black business development
Market spending leader
P&G, which spends more than $4 billion globally every year on advertising,
spent $80 million last year on marketing targeted to Hispanics, the most of any
company in the country and up almost 15 percent from 2002, according to
HispanTelligence. Giants such as Walt Disney Co. and P&G beauty-care rival
L'Oreal were far down the list.
The Hispanic-marketing effort has been a separate part of P&G's structure for
several years to take advantage of the demographic trends. But in the past year
alone, the company has:
• Introduced Crest Whitening Expressions, a series of flavored Crest
toothpastes that P&G thinks will appeal to Hispanic consumers. P&G's research
has told it that brands with scents and flavors are popular among Hispanics.
• Started selling Ariel detergent in the Southwest. It was sold in most of the
world except the United States until now.
• Aired a Spanish-language commercial for Crest on last year's U.S. broadcast
of the Grammy Awards.
• Launched its first bilingual packaging for Tide in the United States.
Sell in 'mother tongue'
In the 12 "client brands" targeted to Hispanic audiences, about 80 percent of
packaging includes Spanish as well as English in the United States, said
Graciela Eleta, P&G vice president for multicultural business development.
"Language is about as specialized as you can get, when it comes to marketing,"
Montemayor said. "For a number of us in the Hispanic community, even though
we're in an English-speaking country, we like to be sold to in the mother
And for a lot of us, that's Spanish."