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.

Atkins Redux

Trailer Park, a Hollywood ad agency that earned its reputation editing trailers for movies, is the new agency for Denver-based Atkins Nutritionals.

Signing with Atkins is part of the agency’s efforts to diversify outside of the entertainment field. Trailer Park is taking over the account at a good time: Actress Courtney Thorne-Smith is spokeswoman for the brand and a book “New Atkins for a New You” is currently on the New York Times bestseller list. The Atkins website has more than 1 million members.

The agency’s task is to create a campaign for a new line of shakes and nutritional bars.

Scott Parker, chief marketing officer at Atkins Nutritionals, said in a statement he selected Trailer Park because of its “nimble, just-in-time approach to strategic development, creative and production that is perfect for moderately sized, growing brands like Atkins.”

Agencies & Accounts

Ad shop Adlhoch Creative in Hollywood has launched a new division called Merchant Gorilla to help small businesses take advantage of Groupon, LivingSocial and other daily coupon sites. The strategy is to keep marketing with follow-up promotions after the one-day discount ends. … NMA Group, a product placement and entertainment publicity firm in Sun Valley, is the new advertising agency for Heineken USA. For the first time, one agency will handle all Heineken beers, which include the namesake brew and Dos Equis, Tecate and Newcastle Brown Ale. NMA was formerly Norm Marshall Associates. … U.S. Digital Gaming, a Beverly Hills company that has developed an online gambling system pending legalization, has hired Pollack PR Marketing Group. USDG Chairman Skip Bronson said in a statement he wants Pollack to “encourage discussion surrounding our business and help shape the industry as it develops.” … Richard Cran has joined ad agency Goodness Mfg. as director of account services. He will supervise managers of the agency’s top accounts, including Toshiba, El Pollo Loco and ING Direct. Previously, Cran was national director for the Hyundai account at Innocean Worldwide Americas. … This is not a typo: El Segundo ad agency David & Goliath won the David and Goliath Award at the Effies on June 8 in New York City. The award recognized work on behalf of Kia Motors, which the judges determined was an emerging brand competing against much larger car makers, hence the award’s name. Other Los Angeles winners included: Deutsch LA for Sony Computer Entertainment, Groupo Gallegos for California Milk Processor Board and Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Saatchi & Saatchi LA for Toyota Motor Sales and TBWAChiatDay for the Grammy Awards and Nissan North America.

Staff reporter Joel Russell can be reached at jrussell@labusinessjournal.com or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 237.

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