2010 Diversity Annual Report
Engaged: Culturally sensitive ad campaign elevates Aetna brand among Latinos

In the first few months of 2010, the profile of Aetna among Latino consumers in Greater Miami had risen dramatically: web site traffic had increased by nearly 40 percent compared to a year before, brand awareness had risen by nearly a third, and hundreds of new Latinos had selected Aetna as their health plan.

Engaging Latinos
“The Aetna Máximo campaign, developed by Hispanic-owned República, demonstrated the effectiveness of offering Hispanics a product that meets their needs, in their language of comfort, with integrated and culturally relevant communications. The Aetna Latino Advisory Council believes that this pilot program can be rolled out with great results in other major Hispanic markets.”

Aida Levitan, Ph.D., APR, President of The Levitan Group, Inc., and Chairman of Aetna’s Latino Advisory Council

What created this surge of interest? In a word: Máximo. This focused marketing campaign, which was rolled out in late 2009, encompassed TV, radio, print, web, direct mail and in-store promotions – all tailored to appeal directly to the Latino consumer.

Too often, marketing campaigns are developed for non-Hispanic audiences and then “translated” into Spanish with, perhaps, a change in imagery or photography. However, such half measures are rarely successful because they do not create a culturally relevant brand experience for the Latino consumer. Rather than being drawn to a company, these ill-advised ads may only underscore how out-of-touch the company is with Latinos’ daily realities.

To ensure that the campaign would have the greatest potential for success, the marketing team reached out to Aetna’s Latino Council for guidance. The Council identified a regional ad agency that specializes in culturally relevant marketing approaches to support the campaign.

The Máximo campaign not only boosted Aetna’s profile in Miami, but also provided a template with which the company will reach out to other Latino markets in the coming year.

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