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Warner Grows Latino Label

16 Jan, 2006 By: Angelique Flores

At about $700 billion, Latino buying power can't be overlooked. Warner Home Video is looking to cash in on that.

Warner has branded the “Colecci?n Latina,” a DVD line featuring contemporary Latin-American and Latino-themed films. The second wave of films hits Feb. 28 (prebook Jan. 24) and features La ?ltima Noche from Mexico, the thriller Cámara Obscura, Hormigas en la Boca and Mejorando Tu Vida Con Gabriela Spanic Vol. 2.

“Latinos are very avid moviegoers and buyers of entertainment,” said Eva Davis, VP of multicultural marketing for Warner. “It's an exploding marketplace.”

And Hispanics hunger for more Latino DVDs, she added.

To feed that hunger, Warner debuted the line Sept. 6, 2005, during Hispanic Heritage Month, with films including La Niña Santa and The Mambo Kings. A new cluster of films will street every two to three months. The third wave streets April 10 with double features of Latino films.

All the Spanish-language titles will have English subtitles, except for Mejorando Tu Vida, which is targeted at Spanish-speaking Latinas.

Many have won awards, were theatrical hits in their native countries or feature well-known Latino stars.

“We want to put out titles that will be appealing to Latinos and everybody,” Davis said.Warner isn't alone. Lionsgate is stepping up its Latino fare, and Universal Studios Home Entertainment last year launched a multicultural division.

“As U.S. Hispanics realize there's great Hispanic content, the demand will grow,” Davis said.

Warner is helping Hispanics find that content by placing the product in such major retail stores as Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart that are situated in heavily Hispanic areas, as well as grocery and drug stores, said Jeff Baker, SVP and GM of theatrical catalog.

Packaging on the collection's films will feature the “Colecci?n” and Warner logos, starting with wave two. Research revealed the importance of the Warner Bros. name to consumers, who want to differentiate the high-quality product from some of the poor-quality Latino product that initially crowded the market, Baker said.

DVDs in the collection's second wave also will include a card for consumers to send in for a free six-month subscription to People en Español.

Additional marketing for the line will include radio promotions and appearances, as well as promotions on catalog Latino titles around key holidays such as Cinco de Mayo.

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