General Mills efforts eye multicultural audiences

MINNEAPOLIS: General Mills is simultaneously launching two separate PR campaigns targeting African-American and Hispanic communities.

MINNEAPOLIS: General Mills is simultaneously launching two separate PR campaigns targeting African-American and Hispanic communities.

General Mills is working with White Plains, NY-based Circulation Experti on the African-American promotion, while Miami-based Hispania Public Relations is handling the Hispanic program.

The Serving Up Soul initiative, launching October 1, is designed to increase awareness of General Mills' products among African-American mothers ages 25 to 49. The centerpiece of the promotion is a contest featuring lifestyle expert B. Smith, who will judge a contest to find a woman "who serves up soul [food] in the most creative way," using General Mills products, noted Tenley-Ann Hawkins, EVP of PR at Circulation Expert'.

Smith will be featured in a series of radio ads and mini magazines inserted in Essence magazine, featuring such General Mills' products as Honey Nut Cheerios, Hamburger Helper, and Pop Secret.

Sergio Lopez-Miro, president of Hispania Public Relations, said the Que Rica Vida campaign, which will launch September 1, targets Hispanic mothers who have been in the "US for at least eight years and are still Spanish-dominant and somewhat established, but still struggling with certain cultural adaptations."

Its outreach centers on a mural contest for kids in Houston, Miami, and Los Angeles. Each contest, for children ages 8 to 15, is being run in partnership with a local nonprofit, community-based organization and Xavier Cortada, a renowned Cuban-American artist.

The Que Rica Vida effort will be supported by a substantial promotional component called "retailtainment" events, where the agency hands out goody bags with samples and contest entry forms, Lopez-Miro said.

Kimberly Bow Sundy, PR marketing manager at General Mills, said it has also developed the Que Rica Vida magazine, a 68-page "digest containing Q&A sections on nutrition and home life." The magazine will come out three times this year.

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