Boy Scouts of America ups Hispanic outreach
The Boy Scouts of America, one of the most highly-recognizable and notable youth organizations in the country, is ramping up its efforts to reach the Hispanic population, according to the company
The Irving, Texas-based organization has announced its debut “en espanol,” with an advertising campaign that was launched Oct. 8.
A prepared release outlined the fierce competition that organizations and companies must face when targeting male youth. It also said that because the country is in a different place than it was 30 years ago, the Boy Scouts are concerned that they haven’t kept up with the changes.
The organization hopes to double its Hispanic membership by their centennial in 2010, and the campaign is a key part of that push, Chief Executive Officer Bob Mazzuca said in a statement.
The Boy Scouts of America offers educational and character-building programs emphasizing leadership, citizenship, personal development and physical fitness.
The outreach is intended to keep the Boy Scout
movement relevant and growing as the organization’s local troops have taken a hit in the country’s current cultural landscape.
Boy Scouts of America is still the country’s largest youth organization, with 2.8 million members, but that is half of what its membership used to be during its peak year in 1972. The organization is hoping to change its membership by changing the way it reaches potential consumers.
Latinos make up one in five children in the United States, according to the U.S. Census, but they are only three percent of Scouts.
The Scouts are making changes designed to accommodate Latinos, based on information gathered with the help of a Washington-based Hispanic Communications Network, the Boy Scouts’ multicultural agency of record, and a committee of Hispanic leaders.
A representative from Hispanic Communications Network speaking on background told WinmoEdge that her firm is specifically handling this campaign and that it is an unprecedented effort.
She said that as far as HCN is concerned, the Scouts haven’t implemented any other Hispanic-centric campaigns like this. It is the first major push for the Hispanic market that the organization has ever carried out.
Our source said that the Boy Scouts have hired spokespeople in major markets that will be more willing to discuss the potential outcome from its latest Latin marketing effort in the coming weeks after its launch.
“It’s a multimedia campaign – it’s Web, we’ve also put together a complete Spanish-language Hispanic Initiatives interface for their Web site that the parents can access that – that’s never been done before,” she said. “There’s radio and television and all traditional elements. They’re trying to get this out there to the Hispanic parents.”
She said that while the organization caters to children, it’s ultimately the parents that make the decisions about their son’s afterschool activities. Given the Boy Scouts’ positive brand awareness, she said that a Hispanic “mom’s not going to say no” to her son joining the Boy Scouts.
In addition to the traditional elements, HCN is also implementing social marketing elements like Facebook and Twitter.
According to The List database, St. Louis, Mo.-based Fleishman-Hillard is currently serving as the Boy Scout’s AOR and Dallas-based Cinco Media Communications Inc. has handled some multicultural efforts since 1996, but our source said that HCN isn’t working with this firm and doesn’t know what part they have in this campaign, if any.
The Nielsen Company reported that the Boy Scouts spent about $800,000 on advertising in 2008. About $300,000 was spent on local newspaper ads, $290,000 was spent on national magazine ads and about $100,000 was spent on spot radio ads.
Given the heightened interest in garnering more Hispanic Scout members, there could be an opportunity in the future as a piggy-back to its current campaign. Multicultural firms should inquire about future projects or perhaps a partnership that could further target its coveted audience.
Boy Scouts of America
1325 West Walnut Hill Lane
Irving, TX 75038
Director, Marketing & Communications
Chief Scout Executive