Quince Girl Expos Unite Advertisers, Readers

Quince Girl sees value in the big-tent approach. The new magazine--which targets Hispanic girls preparing for the "quinceanera," an elaborate, rite-of-passage celebration for 15-year-olds--has launched a series of expos to bring advertisers, readers, and the magazine together. The first drew various advertisers and about 5,000 attendees to Houston for a six-hour event, complete with a runway fashion show and choreographed dances. More expos are to follow in Dallas, Miami and Los Angeles.

According to Will Cane, Quince Girl's publisher, advertisers that attended represent the elaborate retail and service industries needed for a typical quinceanera. "You've got photographers, cake makers, reception halls, quinceanera planners, limousine services, entertainment, caterers--everything you can imagine." The list even included "cadet" troupes trained in ballroom dancing. In the absence of male friends willing to commit to weeks of practice, they provide partners for the quinceanera's ceremonial dance.



The strategy behind the expo is simple: Cane wanted a place to bring retailers, girls, and their parents. Noting the importance of family for both quinceanera planning and Hispanic marketing in general, he described the quinceanera as a "perfect storm for reaching the Hispanic market. You tap into teenage girls, but also the mothers at an intimate familial level," while they're planning a very important personal event. It's especially appealing, Cane says, because Hispanics demonstrate greater brand loyalty than most groups.

The range of products that can be marketed through these celebrations is surprisingly broad. Drawing a comparison between quinceaneras and weddings, Cane notes that weddings have evolved over the past 30 years. Today, they are more than single events. They have become "the time to buy a new home, buy a new car, because you're starting a new life." And while the quinceanera "might not be quite as drastic as a life-changing event, it's big," he says, citing the various services tapped, from packaged-good to cars, computers to financial services.

Quince Girl expos may also suggest a nuanced approach to a complicated market. In a previous interview with MediaDailyNews, Cane observed that the word "Hispanic" is virtually meaningless, since Spanish speakers in the United States come from dozens of countries with vastly different cultures. But the quinceanera, he notes, is one of the few unifying elements in diverse Latina markets.

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