Ethnic ad agencies often find they can’t get business outside of their narrow specialty, but Hispanic agency Acento Advertising made the leap last week when it won the account for Woodland Hills managed care company Health Net Inc.

Roberto Orci, chief executive at the West Los Angeles agency, said the most important ingredient for getting work outside the Hispanic sector was having people who have worked in other parts of the ad industry.

“Yes, we are a Hispanic market specialist, but a lot of us have experience in the general market,” said Orci, who previously worked at Procter & Gamble and Ogilvy & Mather. “When you are in the Hispanic market, you can’t be oblivious to the total market.”

Steve Sell, president of the Western Region at Health Net, said that the growing Hispanic population in the western region of the United States means that it’s logical to integrate English-language and Hispanic advertising.

“Acento’s strengths in creating a total market approach are a perfect fit for our direction,” he said.

The campaign will target employees at companies that give them a choice between several health plans including Health Net. Outreach to these consumers will include direct mail, print, TV and online ads. The campaign will launch in the fall.

Groupon Outdoor

Davis Elen Advertising found a new way to inject life into static billboards with its recent recruitment campaign for Groupon Inc.

The Chicago-based coupon company needed to hire programmers for its new facility in Palo Alto. While the campaign also included contacting headhunters and placing ads with online job boards, the company wanted some advertising that would establish Groupon’s physical presence in Silicon Valley. It selected Davis Elen because of the L.A. agency’s expertise in billboard placement.

Using one billboard on the Bayshore (101) Freeway near San Jose, the campaign started showing a small “G,” the icon for Groupon. Every few days, the “G” grew bigger until it outgrew the billboard with the tagline: “Do Something Massive, Tech Jobs in Palo Alto” and included Groupon’s career website.

“We used a static medium and gave it some movement by changing it every few days,” said David Moranville, chief creative officer at Davis Elen. “On that 101 corridor, you get commuter traffic so people see the same board every day. Changing it made it fresh, and it was consistent with Groupon’s business model of quickly changing offers.”

Since the campaign started in late March, it has spread to other billboards on the 101. Moranville said applicants have mentioned that the billboards motivated them to apply.

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