Gospel Music Channel as connection with black customers
By Becky Yerak
Chicago Tribune (January
11, 2008) Trying to strengthen its market share among black consumers,
Allstate Corp. is among the advertisers on Gospel Music Channel, which in
2007 surpassed its goal of being in 20 million homes by year's end.
The Atlanta-based network added more than 14 million subscribers over the
past year, giving it a presence in more than 22 million households less
than four years after its founding, spokesman Jim Weiss said.
Along for the ride has been Allstate, which has boosted its ad buys on the
channel by 40 percent since it began marketing itself there in 2006. Rival
Geico also buys time on the channel.
"For Allstate, reaching out to multicultural consumers is critical to our
growth," said Steven White, senior marketing manager.
The Northbrook-based home and auto insurer ranks second in market share
among blacks, usually vacillating between No. 1 and No. 2 with
Bloomington, Ill.-based State Farm.
"For the African-American audience, church and spirituality are strong
points of passion," and the channel is "an excellent venue" to connect
with them, White said.
A recent Yankelovich Monitor Multicultural Marketing Study shows that 89
percent of blacks agreed with the statement "Religion is a key source of
comfort in my life," compared with 81 percent of Hispanics and 72 percent
At least some Comcast subscribers in downtown Chicago can find GMC on
Channel 475, part of a "digital classic" package that also includes the
Sci-Fi Channel, VH1 Classic and Turner Classic Movies.
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