Kmart Produces Telenovela Series on YouTube

Aug 11, 2011
George Anderson

Kmart is looking to get closer to Hispanic consumers with the production of an eight-part Spanish-language series running on YouTube called ‘Madres y Comadres.’ The title is intended as a reference to mothers and their best female friends, according to a Kmart press release.

The series’ webisodes are intended to resemble a telenovela using humor and emotion to address the challenges faced by Hispanic women and their families.

Mark Snyder, chief marketing officer, Kmart, said in a statement, (We’re) excited about the opportunity to speak directly with our Hispanic customers while celebrating their culture and traditions. The first episode of ‘Madres y Comadres’ launched this month just in time for back to school and aligns with the recently launched Latina Smart Facebook page, allowing Kmart to develop a deeper relationship with Hispanic women who are both tech savvy, yet underserved from a content perspective.”

Kmart partnered with Meredith Corporation’s Video Studios in producing the show.

“Women are forced to play so many roles – mothers, housewives and professionals,” said Alberto Ferreras, who wrote and directed the series. “When you are a Latina, you have to be all that and bilingual and bicultural. These segments are a tribute to all mothers working so hard and learning from and supporting each other.” Mr. Ferreras is best known for his work on the “Habla” documentary series on HBO Latino.

The ‘Madres y Comadres’ YouTube channel will include social media functionality, additional targeted content and “shopable” video.


In another move intended to connect with Latinas, Kmart is introducing a new clothing line from “Modern Family” actress Sofia Vergara in September.

When Kmart and Ms. Vergara announced plans for the line back in January, she told, “This is not a new store for me. When you have kids you don’t go to Bergdorf Goodman to buy underwear and socks. You go to Kmart.”

Ms. Vergara said she was also drawn to Kmart because it serves so many Latino customers and because her new line would add something new. “I love the dresses, especially because Kmart doesn’t really have that kind of merchandise. There is no dress department. I also love the miniskirts most.”

Britt Beemer of America’s Research Group, told the Star Tribune, “In urban areas, Kmart is going after black and Hispanic customers. Neither Target nor Walmart is actively going after the ethnic consumer.”

Discussion Questions: Do you see Kmart more actively courting Latinos than its rivals? Will Kmart’s efforts on YouTube, Facebook, etc. translate into greater awareness and eventually share of the Hispanic consumer market?

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8 Comments on "Kmart Produces Telenovela Series on YouTube"

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Gene Hoffman
Gene Hoffman
9 years 8 months ago

In response to the two questions, my answer is “yes.”

Kmart is focusing on the Hispanic market since it hasn’t maintained its former strong position with other consumer segments. In turn, Hispanics want a store they can easily identify with, i.e., their store. It may be a new game for both participants but it would seem to bode well for both.

W. Frank Dell II
9 years 8 months ago

Kmart seems to be running to be hip without looking. The most important question to be asked is, where is the Hispanic customer in the digital divide? A very large segment of our population is either not connected to the internet or has dial-up access, which does not play YouTube well. The last I saw, there was a high relationship between income and broadband internet access. It appears to be something to tell the industry, but I’m not sure of the actual results.

Ryan Mathews
9 years 8 months ago

It’s a good first step.

Everyone wants their share of the Hispanic dollar and it’s just a question of how effective they are in pursuing it.

As for the Kmart effort — great attempt to use a proven Hispanic entertainment tool to build consumer awareness.

Anne Howe
9 years 8 months ago

While it is true that only 45% of Hispanic households have broadband, (Pew Research, 2011) I think it is a smart strategy for Kmart to cultivate the segment. Hundreds of brands and retailers spend the same amounts of money targeting shopper segments that are way narrower and smaller than this one. So Kmart is wisely choosing a big and growing shopper segment, one that actually likes to shop. If the telenovela strategy resonates, there will be word of mouth and the reach will grow despite the limited broadband access.

I also read from Pew Research ( that Hispanic household wealth fell by 66% from 2005 to 2009, so Kmart is wisely going after an apparel strategy with price points that make sense to a lower income woman who still wants to look stylish wherever she goes.

Camille P. Schuster, PhD.
9 years 8 months ago

Great idea. If the products and services are consistently relevant to Hispanic consumers this appears to be an approach that understands Latina women and their lives. Following it with the introduction of a targeted clothing line will help consumers believe that this is more than an advertising campaign.

John Karolefski
9 years 8 months ago

The answer to the first question is obvious: If Kmart has more programs targeted to Latinos that its rivals, then they clearly are more active in ethnic marketing — for now. But as far as digital marketing to Hispanics goes, I’d have to hedge my bets about gaining market share.

Are most Hispanics digitally equipped and savvy? Those who are tend to be younger, I’d guess. The younger Hispanics are more acculturated than their parents and are typically bilingual. So why is Kmart targeting younger digitally-savvy Hispanics with programs in Spanish if they speak English, too? Is it a celebration of culture? I could buy that. But shouldn’t the over-arching goal be to make non-Anglo minorities more inclusive in American society? Do marketing messages and programming in Spanish really do that? Nope.

Lee Peterson
9 years 8 months ago

Not sure this will help them compete against the like of Walmart or the other discounters like the Dollar Stores. To me, the money would be better spent upgrading their stores, which are in dire need of ‘freshening’. After all, that’s still the number one customer touchpoint for them. Put the money to better use.

Ed Rosenbaum
9 years 8 months ago

I wish Kmart well in this, yet another search for their identity. Frankly, where we are, there are no Kmarts anywhere close that I forget they are still operating.


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