Marketer Interview: On Creating a Hispanic Centric Web Series

Recently the second season of Latinos Are One was introduced, A Hispanic-centric web series that spotlights ten aspiring Latino artists who will be challenged to create an original piece of art inspired by Maña y Corazón. The project is a collaboration between  McDonald’s, Dallas-based Latino ad agency, iNSPIRE! and content production and distribution company DBG.    

Portada talked to Tommy Thompson (photo),  President at iNSPIRE!, McDonald’s Dallas-based Latino ad agency.  

Portada:  Can you describe the series and its language?
Tommy Thompson, President at iNSPIRE!, Dallas: “The series is in English because the primary target of the series is young Latinos.  The trend is for U.S. born or second generation Latinos to be bicultural or even English Dominate.  While the content is relevant to their cultural roots and heritage, English is the best way to connect with this group.”

Portada: What are the main elements of the shows content? 
Tommy Thompson: “In an effort to reach the Latino teen market in the U.S. in a new and engaging way, McDonald¹s needed a campaign that bypassed the traditional TV commercial.  Their goal was to create an online ad that provided the consumer with content they would be able to stay connected with during the year-long campaign.  Since music is so important to the target, this provided the perfect framework for a music-centered campaign that utilized a variety of Latino artists and producers.  LR1 took music fans inside the creative process as GRAMMY-winning producer Andres Levin brought together three rising musicians of different heritages and musical backgrounds to craft a new song celebrating the diversity and strength the American Latino culture.  Over the course of three days, Levin and Hip-Hop MC Velcro, Jean Shepherd from the rock band Navegante, and singer-songwriter Debi Nova combined their talents to create “Maña y Corazón” ­a new single that showcased the current creativity of independent Latin music.  Season 2 takes “Maña y Corazón” to a different level when the song was used as source of inspiration to various artists to create their own unique take on the message.”

Portada: What is the length of the campaign? 
Tommy Thompson:  “The campaign will run throughout 2012 launching in February with 4 stories.  Episodes will continue to be released and by the end of the year all 10 stories will be served to consumer through our media plan and available on latinosareone.com.”

Portada” Who does the media buying to promote the show?
Tommy Thompson:   “Moroch Partners handles the media planning and buying.”

How are media partnerships achieved? Does DBG pay its partners (e.g. Batanga TV) or does McDonald’s do this in this case?
Tommy Thompson:   “Partnerships are achieved through the media plan.  DBG last year was able to negotiate the partnership with Batanga as part of the 2011 campaign.  Batanga was a natural partner for a music-centered content series.”

Portada: Do you think Online Video is going to eventually replace TV?
Tommy Thompson:   “I’m not sure that online video will ever completely replace TV, but it continues to redefine how consumers decide to engage with content and programming.  Right now it is critical to understand how they work together and how to leverage the different experiences that audiences have with both.”

Portada: Regarding English-language content targeting Hispanics and Spanish-language content targeting Hispanics, as it related to online video? Which of both is more demanded right now? How do you see this going forward?
Tommy Thompson:   “Both Spanish and English language content are in high demand.  Hispanic consumers are hugely underserved online and are begging for networks and marketers alike to provide them with more relevant content.  The future will require a growth in both in order to connect with Hispanic consumers.”

Portada: Do you think there are enough advertisers and sponsors willing to advertise in English digital media that targets Hispanics?
Tommy Thompson: “Spanish language media is no longer the exclusive territory for reaching Hispanic consumers that now straddles across media and language. Social media and the online environment serves as the perfect example of how Latinos put content preferences first and language second.  More and more advertisers need to develop that type of thinking and understand that it is less about language and more about relevant content.”


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Marcos Baer @MarcosBaer

Marcos oversees editorial and sales. He is based in Portada's NYC headquarters. Prior to launching Portada in 2003, Marcos worked in both the media and finance sectors. He occupied leading roles at the Spanish edition of The Wall Street Journal, in Spain’s newspaper Cinco Dias and at SwissRe. He is an MBA, and a CFA. Marcos is a print junkie and also loves all things digital media. He also is passionate about everything related to New York City and loves to play tennis.

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