“Optimism Over Fear” – A Recipe For 2010

“Communicate aspirations, positive thoughts and optimism.”

That’s the key advice to marketers and advertising agency executive Luis Miguel Messianu, COO of South Florida-based agency Alma DDB, has to offer.

Speaking January 22 at a Versailles Breakfast Club event in Miami’s Little Havana, Messianu began his presentation by outlining the “lacks” of 2009.

Specifically, Messianu looks back at the last 12 months by pointing out:

* Lack of prosperity and Lack of Jobs

* Lack of credit and Lack of confidence

* Lack of loyalty

* Lack of compensation

Speaking of the anemic job market, Messianu notes that those out of work must pursue career reinvention or chase their “real dreams.”

Additionally, the Alma DDB head sees a confidence crisis – another unfortunate result of the 2008-09 economic downturn.

“If anything, this economic downturn has been an eye-opener and sending people back to basics,” Messianu says.

First, he believes a brand manager or CMO should be actively rebuilding loyalty, and points to the automotive industry as the first sector to actively tackle the challenge.

Hyundai grew its market share by 14 percent in 2009, he notes, and was the lone automotive company to see improved market share last year. It was also the only car maker to offer a return-your-vehicle-at-no-penalty program for those who lost their jobs in 2009.

That being said, the economic downturn has affected consumer behavior – to some extent, at least.

“The reality is we need to continue to live, and consumers need to consume. But what they consume will be different.”

Alma DDB client McDonald’s typically promoted convenience, “fast food” and its “breakfast on the go” concepts in its creative. As a Hispanic agency of record for the quick service restaurant since 1994, messaging created by Alma DDB has taken the approach that “it’s about the extra snooze because McDonald’s is putting together breakfast for you.”

Arriving at that approach to targeting Latino consumers came after Messianu realized that insights only go so far when examining customer behavior. “It is the way you interpret that observation that matters,” he says. “It’s about synergy … but it is also about relevance.”

Quoting Albert Einstein, Messianu pointed out that the greatest inventions come out of times of crisis, and that unconventional approaches can yield great ideas and actionable plans.

Getting to that point goes back to optimism, Messianu says.

“Change your outlook, and gain control of the situation,” he says. “We are in the business of optimism, and of creating dreams. Optimism allows for the creation of a better environment in which to nurture ideas.”

“We are in the business of optimism, and of creating dreams. Optimism allows for the creation of a better environment in which to nurture ideas.”

Messianu believes that the best advertising connects with what is happening in real life. To illustrate, he played several McDonald’s television commercials that clearly hit on several Latino touchpoints.

In one humorous spot for the Golden Arches, a group of Hispanic young men are in a car running on empty; the passengers are spotting the cheapest gas station by calling out the per-gallon price. Suddenly from the back seat someone calls out “one dollar,” and the car slams to a halt. However, it’s not $1 a gallon gas that has grabbed the guys’ attention. Instead, it’s a McDonald’s sign promoting a $1 Dollar Menu item. The spot ends with the nourished guys pushing the car to the nearest gas station.

Putting a spin on a depressing topic, the War in Iraq, another spot features a father and daughter at a train station enjoying Chicken McNuggets. With one McNugget left, the daughter saves it for her mom, who has just returned from the Persian Gulf and has disembarked an arriving train.

In a third spot – one that puts a spin on Latina empowerment – a woman in an office who frets of being laid off is promoted and awarded with a corner office. McDonald’s take-out is part of the congratulatory efforts from co-workers.

“These spots again speak to the fact that we are in the business of aspirations,” Messianu says.

And by aspiring to be positive and forward-thinking, cyncism and pessimism can be conquered in the months ahead.

Adam R Jacobson

The Marketing Of Mark Sanchez

Mark Sanchez may be able to do two things at once. He could help the Jets win and help them win over new fans. He may even be able to sell a few personal-seat licenses for Woody Johnson.

But how much time and effort should the Jets and Sanchez expend on wooing new fans, particularly in the Hispanic community?

In May 2009, New York Times NFL blogger Toni Monkovic interviewed Adam R Jacobson to discuss Latinos in professional football and how the Jets believe the best advertising is simply winning.

Read the full interview.

USA TODAY Talks To Adam Jacobson About Whoopi Goldberg’s Stint In Radio

In May 2006, USA TODAY talked to Adam R Jacobson – then the Management/Marketing/Sales Editor at Radio & Records – about the July 31 debut of Waking Up with Whoopi, a Clear Channel Radio syndicated program starring Whoopi Goldberg.

Today, the show is no more. Read Adam’s thoughts about Clear Channel’s decision to bring a television and film star to morning radio.

Adam Discusses The Exit Of ‘El Cucuy’ From SBS

On September 15, 2008, Renán Almendárez Coello – “El Cucuy de la Mañana” – aired his last show from SBS’ regional Mexican KLAX-FM 97.9 “La Raza” in Los Angeles.

In a statement released by the host, Almendárez said he will now focus on building his own radio network.

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s Joel Russell interviewed Jacobson to discuss Renan’s exit.

“Where you had one big host years ago, now you have three going for the same audience,” said Jacobson, then the associate editor at Hispanic Market Weekly newsletter in Miami. “Renan was the oldest of the three in terms of content and his ability to bring in new listeners.”

But El Cucuy was eclipsed by KSCA-FM’s “Piolin por la Manana” and Que Buena’s “Don Cheto.”

Read the entire article, courtesy of TheFreeLibrary.com.

DC’s Progressive Radio Station Adopts Latin Format

On January 14, 2005,  alternative rock fans were surprised when radio station WHFS in Washington, DC, changed formats. Infinity Broadcasting, a division of Viacom that today is known as CBS Radio, teamed with Spanish Broadcasting System in determining there was more money to be made in appealing to Hispanic listeners.

National Public Radio’s Neda Ulaby interviewed Adam R Jacobson about the switch of WHFS to WLZL and Tropical music, as “El Zol 99.1.”

Hear the interview in full.

Also read this archived Baltimore Sun article, courtesy of the Puerto Rico Herald, on WHFS’s format.

Satellite Radio: ‘The 8-Track Of The 21st Century?’

In May 2005, Sirius and XM Satellite Radio were attracting lots of media attention. Adam R Jacobson, then an editor at the respected trade journal Radio & Records, participated in a live hour-long interview with Wisconsin Public Radio’s Kathleen Dunn on the subject.

Much of the chatter about satellite radio came following a surprise October 2004 announcement from the self-proclaimed “King of all Media” – Howard Stern – that he would be stepping down from his WXRK-FM in New York-based syndicated morning show and moving to Sirius.

Jacobson was interview by numerous publications regarding Stern’s shift to satellite radio, including the Los Angeles Business Journal. ABC’s World News Tonight also interviewed Jacobson. Meanwhile, chatter about how satellite radio and MP3 players would drive listeners away from traditional AM and FM radio stations was a subject Jacobson discussed in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

And sometimes Jacobson will say things that will really get people talking. In May 2005, in a Seattle Times interview, he said the following:

“Satellite radio technology is the eight-track of the 21st century.”

He predicted XM and Sirius will be outmoded in 10 years as cars are decked out with wireless broadband technology.

Today, Howard Stern is still largely popular with those who subscribe to what is now “Sirius XM.” But his reign as the “King of All Media” has certainly ended as he tries to drum up media attention over a new contract at the satellite radio provider.

Is Sirius XM the “8-Track” of the 2000s? Thanks to online streaming initiatives and widespread availability, Jacobson now considers Sirius XM “the CD player of the 2010s.”

He adds, “Sirius XM must keep up with technological advancements each and every day. The poor audio compression is no more; stations that sounded like a 32kbps audio stream are no more. They’re better – but how much longer can they sustain the massive debt?”

from The Adam R Jacobson Multicultural Consultancy