Targeted Advertising Agencies

by | March 31, 2009

To effectively address different demographic groups, advertisers often look to targeted agencies for marketing and creative insight. The first black-owned full-service advertising agency was founded in 1957 by commercial artist Vincent Cullers. Several more black-owned agencies were launched in the 1960s, and each of them worked to improve the way blacks were portrayed in advertising. Hispanic agencies abound in cities such as Miami and Los Angeles, and several Asian agencies have established names for themselves in New York and California. Los Angeles-based Muse Cordero & Chen Advertising was founded in 1987 through the merger of three small targeted agencies in L.A. representing black American, Asian American and Hispanic markets, respectively. One of the nation's most respected multicultural agencies, Muse Cordero serves clients including Honda, Nike, and AT&T.

Starting in the 1980s, general market agencies also began offering targeted campaigns. In response to the competition, some minority owned agencies joined forces with industry biggies, some merged with other targeted agencies, and still others began pitching (and winning) general market business. In 1996, Spike Lee formed an urban-market agency through a 50-50 partnership with DDB Needham. DDB also boasts a Florida-based Hispanic agency, del Rivero, Missianu. Through a deal with Bozell (True North), Steadman Graham (Oprah's boy toy) launched an agency to target black Americans in 1996. Leo Burnett launched Vigilante, New York, in 1997.

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