By: Joel Davis

Editorial and Ads Target Community

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Vietnamese has invaded the San
Jose (Calif.) Mercury News – and the paper
couldn’t be happier. The 286,679-circulation Mercury News
ran Nov. 20 and Dec. 4 a full-page Charles Schwab ad, the text of
which is mostly Vietnamese.

“Charles Schwab is proud to announce the expansion of dedicated
services to the Vietnamese community,” the English portion of the
ad reads atop a picture of nattily attired and attractive
executive types, perhaps best described as Vietnamese yuppies.
The idea for the run-of-press (ROP) advertisement came from
Schwab as part of a campaign targeting Vietnamese customers,
namely second-generation Vietnamese.

Schwab launched the campaign in Viet Mercury, the
Mercury News’ free Vietnamese-language paper, running the
ad entirely in Vietnamese. When Schwab ran the ad in the
Mercury News, which averages about 35,000 Vietnamese
readers a week, the paper’s ad staff suggested using an English
headline and tagline, with Vietnamese-language body copy for
greater impact among second-generation Vietnamese.

In another bold move, the Mercury News in the Nov. 20
edition also ran a story in Vietnamese about President Clinton’s
recent Vietnam trip. While ad and story in the same paper seem to
be a savvy marketing move, the fact that they ran together is a
coincidence, Publisher Jay T. Harris maintained.

“The ad was scheduled about four weeks in advance, so it was a
coincidence that it ran the same day we took the unusual step of
running a news story in Vietnamese,” Harris said. “However, this
coincidence is emblematic of how the Mercury News’
multichannels serve a multicultural readership – and how we
help advertisers target specific audiences.”

Joel Davis ( is West Coast editor for E&P.

Copyright 2000, Editor & Publisher.

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