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    Tecate Shifts Focus to Younger, Bicultural Hispanics

    The beer brand’s sponsorship of the Toyota Grand Prix is an example of its new strategy.

    WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The Tecate beer brand's sponsorship of the upcoming Toyota Grand Prix in Long Beach, Calif., marks a shift in its marketing strategy to appeal to younger, bicultural Hispanic-Americans.

    In an effort to shine a light on Tecate Light and its Tecate Michelada lime- and spice-infused beer, the brand will sponsor performances by Latin techno-pop group Moenia and Mexican metal rock act Moderatto, and host the Miss Tecate Light Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach competition. There are also retail sweepstakes in California and Nevada leading up to the April event for a chance to win such prizes as a VIP racing experience, according to MediaPost.com.

    Felix Palau, Tecate's vice president of marketing, said the race -- which brings in approximately 150,000 fans for the weekend -- has become more relevant for Hispanics. Attendance in 2012 was approximately 30 percent Hispanic, a jump from 7 percent in 2007, he noted.

    Tecate, which is imported by Heineken USA, began this major change in its marketing focus last year, shifting from first-generation Mexican-Americans to younger second- and third-generation Latinos who identify themselves as bicultural, the media outlet reported.

    "The focus of our 'Con Caracter' campaign had been Mexican newcomers, but when you look at the composition of Hispanic-American consumers now, this demographic constitutes 10 percent of the population. So, we weren't targeting the other 90 percent," Palau explained.

    Tecate’s shift in demographic focus comes along with a shift in advertising teams. Last year, Tecate parent Heineken USA moved its advertising from Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners' U.S. Hispanic unit Ramona, to its Mexican agency Olabuenaga Chemistri, which did Spanish-language ads both for Mexico and the United States. The move saved money, but did not quite reach the bicultural Hispanics in the United States.

    Now, Tecate has brought its English-language U.S. creative back into the states by partnering with Dallas-based iNSPIRE.

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