For its first major tour sponsorship in the U.S. Latin music market, Toyota is placing its bets on up-and-coming Colombian star J Balvin, who was named best new artist at the Billboard Latin Music Awards in April.
The automaker is the official partner of the singer’s first headlining North American tour, which launches Sept. 23 in Miami with rising Mexican-American singer Becky G as guest artist on all 18 dates. The campaign will include branded content and vehicle integrations at venues, and ties into a larger strategy for the automaker that also includes sponsorship of La Banda, the TV competition seeking the next Latino boy band (which premieres Sept. 13 on Univision), and its "Musica y Destinos con Toyota" platform, which launched in 2013 and partners the brand with up-and-coming acts, initially through social media campaigns. Other artists in the program include Becky G, Natalia Lafourcade and Ximena Sariñana.
"We’ve never done anything this big in the Latin music community," says Jim Baudino, Toyota’s engagement marketing manager.
Hispanic major-media ad spending grew 12 percent to $9.5 billion from 2013 to 2014 -- far above the estimated 4.9 percent growth for overall U.S. spending, according to Ad Age. Among the list of top Hispanic media spenders, Toyota ranked at No. 15, behind only General Motors and Nissan. The company slipped from its No. 13 slot in 2013, but actually upped its Hispanic media dollars from $81.9 million to $83 million, according to Kantar Media.
This article first appeared in the Aug. 29 issue of Billboard.