David Adams, blog
October 18, 2006
For all the patriotic talk about Citgo's unfortunate relationship to Venezuela's state-owned oil company PdVSA, you gotta be impressed by their marketing strategy. After President Hugo Chavez's recent ill-chosen words about George Bush (he called him "the devil," during a speech at the UN), Citgo has gone on a TV publicity blitz.
Since last week Citgo has been bombarding Spanish-language TV stations in the U.S., with it's own devillishly clever ad featuring that most American of past-times - baseball.
An avid baseball fan myself, I first caught the Citgo ad the other day watching the playoffs on Fox Sports en Espanol.
Cleverly designed to appeal to latinos, the ad opens with a young man in the stadium seats playing a standard rendition of 'Take Me Out To The Ballpark' on an electric keyboard. All of a sudden he switches into a salsa rythm. The fans leap out of their seats and begin to dance.
Then a simple message flashes onto the screen:
"CITGO - Energía Latina"
"Citgo - Latin Energy."
It's a subtle message, suggesting that viewers put their Latin heritage ahead of loyalty to the White House. Forget about politics, let's dance, it seems to be saying. I'm surprised conservatives haven't raised a stink about it.
Citgo spokesman, David McCollum, tells me the Energía Latina campaign was actually designed before the now infamous UN speech. The tv ads were "targeted for the playoffs all along," he said.
An English-language marketing campaign designed to show Citgo's American heritage was launched in Washington today. Expect to see full page ads in the New York Times, USA Today, Houston Chronicle and Miami Herald on Thursday. The English-language campaign, titled 'Setting the Record Straight,' IS in direct response to the anti-Citgo campaign, McCollum says.
Citgo's advertising campaign sounds rather more persuasive than this (see below) which I found on the internet at Babalublog.com
(By the way, Citgo's Energía Latina marketing effort also includes the signing of Florida Marlins slugger, Venezuelan-born Miguel Cabrera as the Florida face of CITGO. Now that's what I call smart! Of course, I'm totally biased on this as I am a longtime Marlins fan and Miggy is my 9-year-old's hero.)