How Kellogg switched on to Hispanic marketing

Geoffrey Precourt

In 2009, shortly after he'd been promoted to his current post, Brad Davidson, President of Kellogg North America, asked all of his business-unit leaders what they were doing in terms of multicultural marketing. "I got a lot of blank stares," he told the Association of National Advertisers' 14th-annual Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference.

The injury to that insult: "Our competitors were doing a lot."

A not-very-deep dig on Kellogg's primary "competitor" (read: General Mills) showed that it had increased its multicultural television spend from 3% of its total budget (covering three brands) in 2005, to 11% (on 15 brands) in 2008, to 16% (on 18 brands) in 2009. That made a 510% total increase over the four-year period.

Over the same time, Kellogg had moved from investing 6% of its television budget (supporting nine brands) in multicultural-directed advertising in 2005, to 2% (on three brands) in 2008, to 1% (on one brand) in 2009.