Suburban Chicago ‘Reflejos’ Getting Ad Push, Makeover

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By: Mark Fitzgerald

Reflejos, the mostly Spanish-language suburban Chicago weekly published by the Daily Herald, comes into the new year riding a new marketing campaign, and with plans to tweak its design to increase the English-language content.

Using the theme “Progressive Latinos: Reflecting Excellence,” print and outdoor ads for Reflejos feature actual readers, and emphasize the paper’s “positive news” approach of reporting success stories among suburban Hispanics.

The ads include wraps suburban PACE buses, the first time the mass transit agency has advertised any kind of newspaper, according to Reflejos President and Publisher Jerry Campagna.

The new campaign evolved from marketing and editorial staff retreats, he said.

“We looked at the lifestyle profile of readers who come to Reflejos, and by and large they are not Reflejos as their entertainment guide, and not even necessarily for the news,” Campagna said. “It’s more that they’re looking for solutions. We start by saying, this is the news, this is what’s happening, and so what are the strategies or approaches people can take to address those situations.”

The ad campaign is intended to showcase the paper’s identity with its audience, he said: “This is who we are — we reflect you. This is our uniqueness. We reflect you. It isn’t just a branding statement that says, here, buy our newspaper.”

At the same time, the ads are a way to quickly convey to potential advertisers who the Reflejos audience is. While the paper has been successful in keeping long-time advertisers with its so-called “Latino Three-Step” marketing plan — in which the Reflejos Direct Marketing division advises advertisers on staffing, marketing and messaging approaches to the suburban Hispanic market — other potential advertisers have been cooler to the idea.

“That was a part that we weren’t seeing, maybe because we were too close to it,” Campagna said. Clients who make major ad buys “almost always say this fits into a much bigger approach to reaching this marketing segment — but not everybody wants to take that big approach.”

In 2007, the paper will also begin to “evolve” the print design that was radically overhauled by famed designer Mario Garcia in 2004. Garcia argued that it was wasteful to print every article in full English and Spanish versions, and instead, with most articles, provided space for a full version in Spanish with a digest in English near the middle or bottom of the article.

Reflejos now intends to provide longer summaries in English, and to anchor all of them at the top of pages to aid in navigation.

“It will still have the ‘fusion’ format,” Campagna said, “but the (Spanish to English ratio) will probably be more 60/40 or 70/30, where right now it’s 80/20.”

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