Profile: Liz Castells-Heard

Apr 28, 2003  •  Post A Comment

A cross-promotion between AT&T Broadband/ Comcast and McDonald’s in the Southern California Hispanic market was a “real sweet” offer, so good that it crossed right over into the general market, said Liz Castells-Heard, president and CEO of Castells & Asociados, a national Hispanic marketing and advertising agency headquartered in Los Angeles, recalling her most interesting recent deal.

“We built short-term sales with minimal incremental cost,” she said. It worked this way: “Sign up for cable, get a free McFlurry and free installation, with those proceeds going to Ronald McDonald House Charities.”

McDonald’s did well by doing good. Ms. Castells-Heard estimated the quick-service restaurant chain got $1 million worth of cable TV and direct-mail exposure, in addition to $85,000 in charity funds, while AT&T/Comcast got a “cool freebie to entice subscribers” and additional media through McDonald’s ubiquitous store point-of-purchase displays and co-op radio. It also borrowed some strong brand equity.

“Then we got mucho public relations,” she added. “Deejays raved about McDonald’s yummy desserts and cable’s Spanish lineup. The charity check was presented at a high-visibility family event covered by local TV and radio. We made it on the news. We got on talk shows and got sound bites on how we helped Latino kids. The promotion exceeded expectations by 30 percent.”

The next big thing on her horizon is English-Hispanic advertising. “Like African American ads, the premise is that English-dominant bilingual Hispanics are not effectively targeted via Anglo or multiethnic-cast spots that are misunderstood or lack impact due to language and cultural nuances,” she said. “We’re already doing it, and so are other savvy marketers.”