Maseca connects with new generation of Hispanics

While the Maseca brand is well-known among the less acculturated segment of US Hispanics, the company wants to establish strong connections with the growing bi-cultural segments.

Client: Maseca (Irving, TX)
Agency:  VRTCCOM (Houston, TX) 
Campaign: Maseca Natural Campaign
Duration:
June 1 - December 24, 2012
Budget:
about $500,000 

Alvaro Luque, VP of marketing at Gruma USA, the parent company of Maseca instant corn masa flour, explains that while the Maseca brand is well-known and respected among the less acculturated segment of US Hispanics, the company wants to establish strong connections with the growing bi-cultural and highly acculturated segments of US Hispanics.                                                                    

VRTCCOM, Maseca's AOR for the last two years, is partnering on this campaign to engage young Latina moms in culturally relevant ways.    

Strategy
Maggie Jimenez, host of Telefutura's “Que Sabor!” cooking show, was signed as Maseca spokesperson, and partnerships were established with 10 Latina bloggers, collectively dubbed “Amigas Blogueras.” Events, mimaseca.com, and social media outreach also drive awareness. 

“Maggie is a well-known chef so she's a perfect fit,” Luque says. “Sports are also important to Hispanics, so we've been [promoting our sponsorship] of the national soccer team of Mexico and using the image of the players to relate to the health and wellness aspects of our product and our consumers' passion for their Mexican heritage.” 

Tactics
The Amigas Blogueras create about three posts per month each (in Spanish and English) for their own blogs and for a MiMaseca.com blog. Topics include recipes, product health benefits, and offline promotion information.

Octavio Orozco, co-founder and GM of VRTCCOM in the US, notes the bloggers also host regular Twitter parties for their audiences. 

Jimenez serves as the face for all consumer engagement, including recipe videos on MiMaseca.com, in-store promotions, and other community events. In the last two months, she made appearances at a grocery store in Houston and at LéaLA book fair in LA. She also hosts regular live chats and video chats on Facebook.

Campaign information is regularly posted to Maseca's Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest pages and sent to newsletter subscribers.

Results
The campaign helped contribute to a 10% sales increase June to August 2012 compared to the same months in 2011.

May 25 to July 9, Facebook likes increased 300% (from 3,046 to 9,367) and impressions were up nearly 400% compared to the same months last year. As of September 26, likes were close to 25,000.

Luque reports an average of 29.8% of Facebook followers are "talking about" the brand, noting he hasn't seen another Hispanic brand experiencing such high levels of engagement with an American audience.

“We're very pleased with results, and we think this is just the tip of the iceberg,” Luque says.

Future
Maseca and VRTCCOM will continue working to expand engagement. Luque aims to increase Maseca's Facebook audience to 200,000 or 250,000, and he says cross promotion between online and offline initiatives is a priority.

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