Susan Kuchinskas @susankuchinskas


Social networks make work more complex for traditional media companies as they compete for consumer attention particularly the coveted Millennial.  An even bigger challenge  is to find a way to monetize that attention. What strategies and tools can media companies rely upon when it comes to monetize their content at social networks? An in-depth feature story by Portada’s Digital Media Correspondent Susan Kuchinskas.

Adobe has a great TV spot: A marketing exec hears two hipsters chatting in the elevator about the latest cool online service. He rushes into his office and musters his troops to get busy building a presence there. Meanwhile, by the time the elevator is heading down again, the hipsters have already abandoned that network for the next new thing (watch video below). That’s the challenge for media companies as they compete for consumer attention. An even bigger challenge is finding a way to monetize that attention.

As media consumption keeps moving to social media, publishers must change with the times – especially if they want to reach younger audiences. According to a recent study by Pew Research Center, 61 percent of millennials got political news on Facebook in any given week, while only 37 percent watched news on TV. Half of Gen X consumers got political and government news on Facebook, versus the 39 percent of Baby Boomers who got their news from Facebook.

“Consumption has evolved. The younger generations are informed via mobile. Print publications need to adapt this new form of online dialogue,” says Nick Venezia, CEO of Social Outlier, a digital agency that builds engagement programs. To accomplish this, publishers may need to change their content models, as well. “Where do people have their eyes?” he asks rhetorically. “On their phones. On mobile. As a publisher, you want to put your message where it’s viewable in a microburst of information.”

Where do people have their eyes? On their phones. On mobile. As a publisher, you want to put your message where it’s viewable in a microburst of information.

This illustrates the problem for publishers looking to monetize their audiences on social media. In the early days of a new channel, if you’re bleeding edge and can quickly get out content, “You can be very successful, and even get some virality, because there is limited content,” says Dane Atkinson, CEO of SumAll, a provider of social media analytics. But consumers are fickle, and social media attention is such a moving target, he says, “You need to hire someone who’s 14 and lives and breathes this stuff.”

You need to hire someone who’s 14 and lives and breathes this stuff.
Dane Atkinson of SumAll
Dane Atkinson of SumAll

Another challenge is that for most brands – of all kinds – audiences on different social networks are quite different, according to Atkinson. “We’ve been data-digging aggressively, and we found that the overlap between a brand’s audience segments is almost nonexistent. We expected that between a brand’s email list and its Facebook following, there would be an overlap of at least 20 percent. Instead, it averages 4 percent,” he says.

This is both bad and good news for publishers. The bad news is that email and web marketing may be missing a lot of the audience potential. The good news is, as Atkinson says, “Social media is virgin territory” for monetization. (SumAll is releasing a new product, Audience Boost, to help publishers build audiences on Instagram.)

It can be done. According to the Newspaper Association of America, newspapers’ revenue from digital channels grew 3.7 percent in 2013, while revenue from “new/other” channels was 5 percent.

 We expected that between a brand’s email list and its Facebook following, there would be an overlap of at least 20 percent. Instead, it averages 4 percent.
Jessica Richards of Socialyse
Jessica Richards of Socialyse

“From a business perspective, monetizing offsite traffic is not surprising and is to be somewhat expected considering that the avenues to which users are discovering content have completely changed. Delivering the advertiser the impressions they seek via one distribution platform is no longer scalable or as advantageous for the publisher,” says Jessica Richards, senior vice president for Socialyse, a division of Havas Media North America.

Snagging Content and Advertising

Social networks have made some big moves to snag content and advertising.

Twitter’s Project Lightning will provide curated content streams tied to live events that can be distributed beyond Twitter, according to BuzzFeed. (Check out Twitter’s recently announced new Feature Moments).

Meanwhile, Snapchat’s year-old Live Stories product has been racking up eyeballs. Ben Schwerin, Snapchat’s director of partnerships, told Re/code that they draw an average of 20 million people in 24 hours, adding that its three-day Live Story Snapchat during the Coachella festival generated 40 million unique viewers.

According to Gareth Capon, CEO of Grabyo, a company that works with media companies and sports rights holders to help them share and monetize content on social platforms,

“Project Lightning is more toward algorithmic curation, while Snapchat is more editorial curation. But with all of these platforms, it is not about archived or discoverable video, it’s about moments happening in real time. That is really different from the traditional publishing proposition.”

And then, there’s Facebook. This fall, Facebook began sharing revenue from ads shown alongside videos with the videos’ creators, YouTube-style.


The New York Times, NBC News and The Atlantic are among the publishers that have agreed to publish stories directly into Facebook in its new Instant Articles program. Facebook positioned Instant Articles as a publishing tool to enable faster loading of stories within news feeds. But Facebook also can sell ads against publishers’ articles. At launch, publishers will keep 100 percent of revenue from ads they’ve sold and 70 percent if Facebook sells the ad, according to The Australian.

Christophe Jammet of DDG
Christophe Jammet of DDG

Christophe Jammet, director of social media and mobile at DDG, a consultancy that works with Fortune 500 companies, thinks Instant Articles may be a good alternative to ad-cluttered news websites. “The standardized Facebook news feed has lots of rules and standards for where ads can be implemented,” he says. “It’s a cleaner interface and will be more consumable.”

The potential downside for publishers, he adds, is that their content could become dissociated from their brand. “It’s a question of identity. You’re making money and taking advantage of this huge user base, but it’s not on your property. I think you will see a split in publishers who are okay with that and those who have a problem with it.”

 It’s a question of identity. You’re making money and taking advantage of this huge user base, but it’s not on your property.

Made for Monetization

While many social platforms, including Twitter and Snapchat, are figuring out ad models years after launch, other services have built in advertising capabilities. A case in point is Versy, a chat app that lets Latin American mobile users – on both smartphones and feature phones — build communities around content, as well as follow channels created by other users and Versy content partners.

Those content partners include Sony Music, Sony Pictures, Universal Music, Warner Music, Grupo Acir, MixFM’s La Estación and Terra. They can take advantage of channel sponsorship packages, whereby a specific content is brought to users by the brand, as well as promoted chat posts. The latter are specifically targeted promotional posts inserted into channels or conversations.

Maren Coleman of Myriad Group
Maren Coleman of Myriad Group

“The value in Versy is an engaged user base that is filtered by relevance. If someone chooses to follow a channel around an artist or sports personality, and it has a similar audience to a brand’s, it’s much easier to find relevance in that channel,” says Maren Coleman,  until recently vice president of marketing at Myriad Group, maker of the Versy chat app that was formerly known as MSNGR.

Coleman notes that Latin American audiences are highly social and love to share. On the chat app, more often than not, the sharing is one-to-many, that is, one person shares a piece of content to members of one of her groups. “More often than not, it’s one to many, not one to one. That allows that content’s visibility to grow much faster,” she says.

Ads on Versy can help publishers increase revenue by expanding their user base, according to Coleman. For example, she says has more than 120,000 followers on its Versy channel, compared to 42,000 Twitter followers. “”It’s another channel and broadens their visibility,” she says.

Check out: How Social Advertising is becoming huge in Latin America.

Grabyo is a real-time social video platform that lets media companies, broadcasters, rights holders and celebrities distribute social video assets. The video can be live feeds; on-demand video; or archived video assets. We work with media companies, broadcasters and rights holders. For example, Wimbledon’s digital team edited clips and instantaneously sent them out to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, as well as publishing them on the brand website and mobile apps. It also worked with La Liga, the Spanish professional soccer association.

In addition to distribution, Grabyo provides monetization. Brand placements are typically sold as sponsorships, according to Capon, although some social networks, such as Twitter Amplify, insert preroll advertisements. As with Facebook, media companies working with Grabyo can sell the ads themselves or allow the network to sell them. In addition, some rights holders use Grabyo to promote and drive traffic to revenue-generating sites, he says. “You get a huge spike in engagement when you share video in real time.”

Young Cannibals

“Opportunities for monetization exist across all platforms,” Capon says, and the recent spate of ad product announcements indicates that there’s more to come. He says, “This space is still incredibly new and growing fast.”

Which makes it tricky. While leveraging Facebook’s ad network may be more efficient than selling and managing these ads internally, Jammet warns that publishers that move content with advertising to social media could be cannibalizing ad sales on their own sites. He suggests that publications might take a blended approach instead. “There might be really captivating stories or easily consumable content that they might put through the Facebook product but only as an enticement to drive people to their web properties.”

Of course, if social media consumption continues its upward trend, they won’t have a choice.

This article was published in the Q4 2015 print issue of Portada.

gravity4 logo Social Marketing Platforms create a social graph for each lead by tracking that lead’s connections and behaviors. This allows a company to generate leads from its existing cluster of customers, and then use social and display advertising for targeting. The Social Marketing sector is red hot. Acquisition-crazy Gravity4  just bought Bolzter to Add Lead Gen to its Marketing Cloud for further expansion in the U.S. and Latin America.

Gravity4 just further bulked up its marketing automation offerings with the acquisition of Bolzter.

Bolzter is a social marketing platform that creates a social graph for each lead by tracking that lead’s connections and behaviors. This allows a company to generate leads from its existing cluster of customers, and then use social and display advertising for targeting. Direct-response marketers can profile prospects based on actual past behaviors, likes and preferences, influences and influencers, generate lookalike audiences, and then provide targeted promotions.

Hernan Rodriguez Gravity4The company will rebrand Bolzter as CrossGraph, a part of Gravity4’s Marketing Cloud. Hernan Rodriguez, CEO of Bolzter, will join Gravity4’s global management team. This marks Gravity4’s tenth acquisition in just eleven months.

“We have a platform with which you can reach Hispanic clusters using Facebook, as well as other channels like Google or mobile, as well as doing campaigns for Latin American markets,” Rodriguez says. It should be noted that this is a global offering, so marketers can target any geographic region or cultural group.

Combining the two companies puts additional boots on the ground in Latin America, because adding together staff from each company at the Sao Paolo office will create a 30-person operation there. “Integration of the two offices will enable us to offer better services to our clients in Latin America,” Rodriguez says.

Bolzter technology works with third-party solutions, and, once a lead is created, it is automatically sent to other marketing applications; in the case of Gravity4, that means CRM.ME, allowing marketers to do all their lead management in one place.

Instead of delivering impressions via display or email and then creating landing pages to capture consumer data, marketers can drive traffic within Facebook to specific pages and directly capture the data.

Xavier Mantilla, SVP Multicultural, UMXavier Mantilla, general manager of LATAM for Gravity4, points out that Bolzter was already Facebook’s top revenue-generating partner, while Gravity4 is the largest buyer of Facebook advertising in Colombia, in part due to its representation of the Homecenter chain of stores. Mantilla, an executive with experience at Publicis, WPP and IPG, came to Gravity4 in March of this year and immediately opened the office in Sao Paulo.

Mantilla explains that adding Bolzter/CrossGraph to the Gravity4 platform will make retargeting more efficient, because data from all channels can flow into a single data management platform so that the same customers are not inadvertently retargeted multiple times as they move across platforms.

“Bolzter was the first company to go into Facebook Exchange and create lead-generation campaigns,” Mantilla adds. “This changes the lead-generation model from affiliate marketing to dynamic product ads.”

Mantilla says that, instead of delivering impressions via display or email and then creating landing pages to capture consumer data, with Bolzter, marketers can drive traffic within Facebook to specific pages and directly capture the data. He says, “It starts to become much more efficient.”

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Trump Effect could be positive for Hispanics; Honey Maid profiles Dominican immigrant family; Gannett downsizes; and Clinton ponders Latino campaign strategy.

The Trump effect

Yeah, he talked trash about Hispanics and made people very mad. But you know what? He also got more people to, um, notice Hispanics. And that includes general-market media. Publications including the Business Insider, International Business Times, and the Baltimore Sun (which covered Honey Maid’s “4 de Julio” campaign as part of the larger story), as well as usual suspects like the Yucatan Times, ran articles countering Trump’s egregious remarks by making the same points that Hispanic media outlets and agencies have been making for a long, long time: $1.5 trillion market + 17.1 percent of total U.S. population = important demographic. We told you so!

Honey Maid is sweet on Hispanics

“4 de Julio” is one of a new set of TV spots for Honey Maid, the brand that Mondelez International relaunched two years ago. It focuses on the Gomez family, immigrants from the Dominican Republic, talking about what it means to be American. According to Co.Create, along with the 30-second TV spot, the brand made short documentaries profiling three of the families featured in the ad. The campaign from Droga5 extends the #ThisIsWholesome theme, which aims to showcase American diversity by featuring same-sex parents, biracial couples and blended families.

Sell Clinton like Coke

HillarySpeaking of general market pubs covering Hispanic issues, BuzzFeed ran an article on a potential Hispanic marketing strategy for the Hillary Clinton campaign. BuzzFeed reported, “The campaign is said to be keeping its options open for talent, looking beyond Hispanic political firms that have been brought on for this work in years past to, as an example, ‘go get the firm that does Latino advertising for Coca-Cola,’ said Andres Ramirez, a 20-year veteran Democratic strategist who was part of the local meeting in Nevada.”

BuzzFeed reporter Adrian Carrasquillo spoke to several Hispanic marketing consultants, as well as Hispanic political consultants to get their views on how Hillary should get with Latinos.

Gannet is downsizing

Or maybe we should call it right-sizing. The media conglom spun off its newspaper properties under the Gannett rubric. Now, Tegna Inc., the digital and broadcast company that split from Gannett, is unloading its giant McLean, Va. headquarters complex. London-based Tamares Group will buy the complex and lease part of it back to Gannett. In June, Gannett completed its acquisition of the Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership, and CEO Robert Dickey said that he aims to have newspapers in the expanded chain work more closely together and share assets as USA Today Media Network.

Bromley retires and shuts agency

BromleyExecutives always say they’re leaving somewhere to pursue “other opportunities.” In the case of Ernest Bromley, who founded Bromley Communications in 1981, it’s really true. He’s going after a PhD in consumer behavior, according to the San Antonio Business Journal. Read our full interview with Bromley to hear his thoughts about the current Hispanic marketing landscape and why we need the kind of research that clients won’t pay for.

Local radio up while overall ad spending dips

Kantar Media’s quarterly ad-spending report found that overall dollars were down – and not only because of the extreme advertising for the Olympics last year. Sixteen of the 21 media types Kantar monitors saw lower spends. One of the exceptions was local radio: Hispanic local radio expenditures increased 6.5 percent, while English-language local radio was up 5 percent, thanks to auto dealers, legal services, and healthcare providers. Network radio went down 2.0 percent, and national spot radio dimmed 11.3 percent.

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In a converging world, Allrecipes offers advertisers the best of local and global.

allrecipe argentinAllrecipes is a community-driven network of websites where home cooks can share recipes – and brands can connect with their passion for serving nourishing and delicious home-cooked meals. With Spanish-language sites localized for Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, the recipe hub has found that Hispanic cooks may enjoy content from these countries as well as from the U.S. site.

Over half of U.S. consumers visiting the .mx site are fulltime homemakers, while only 30 percent of Mexicans are. U.S. Latinas visiting the Mexican version are more likely to identify as Mexican-American.

Some background on just how huge this operation is:

allrecipe brazilSixteen-year-old is ranked by comScore as the top website in the Lifestyles/Food category. It operates 19 websites across the world, serving 24 countries in 12 languages. According to Omniture, it served more than 117 million visits globally in May 2015, with 8.1 million visits in LATAM. LATAM visits come from audiences in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and the United States, all consumers using fully localized sites,, and

Patricia Smith allrecipes“It’s a community site based on busy home cooks sharing recipes,” says Patricia Lee Smith, vice president, international for Allrecipes. “We are committed to being authentic in every community we serve.” That translates to in-language content and completely localized interfaces, as well as having the majority of recipes onsite written in that country.

On the other hand, as food tastes and trends spread, the publisher also selects and translates recipes from other regions. For example, Brazilians enjoy a wide variety of cuisines. If the Brazil editor observes that users are searching for, say, pasta carbonara recipes, that editor might confer with the editor of the Italian site to find interesting recipes and then localize them to make sure that consumers in that region will be able to find the necessary ingredients.

That kind of collaboration is easy: All community managers are located at the company headquarters in Seattle. In addition to managing local communities, these managers support the editorial team and work with advertisers. Within Seattle’s highly diverse population, the company has found it easy to hire community managers who came from countries or regions; and, Smith says, they spend time in-country each year to collect recipes and do community outreach.

Meredith’s many media

In 2006, Allrecipes was acquired by Readers Digest Association with an eye to global expansion. In 2012, the property was sold to Meredith Corp. to bulk up its digital footprint and overall audience within the Meredith Women’s Network. At the time of purchase, Meredith said it would then be able to offer advertisers and marketers access to more than 100 million unduplicated American women across all media platforms.

better tvMeredith expanded the Allrecipes media reach by launching a print magazine late in 2013; it now has a rate base of 1.1 million, reflecting 120 percent growth since the launch. The recipes publisher also has branded segments on The Better Show, Meredith Video Studios’ lifestyle program. And, an Allrecipes-licensed line of cooking ware is expected this fall.

Smith says, “Meredith has done a creative and successful job of leveraging our content. The purchase was very strategic for them, and they have really helped us build our presence.”

International expansion

Meredith has helped the network of sites to continue its growth outside of North America. Says Smith, “When we started the international venture, we already had substantial traffic outside of the United States. We came to this expecting to learn something about the populations in every market — and there certainly are nuances –but by and large, it is a busy mom.” In other words, there seem to be more similarities than differences in the user base and in the way they use the site across countries.

For example, around the world, site traffic peaks around 3 p.m. local time, when mothers are trying to figure out what to make for dinner and whether they need to pick up something at the market. Access tents to be via the desktop in the afternoon, when working women are browsing and saving recipes.

Many use a smartphone at the market to shop for ingredients from a saved recipe, while tablet usage peaks at home, when cooks set it on the countertop and start cooking. The typical household is three to five people across all Latin American sites. Not surprisingly, 85 percent of all users prefer cooking at home to going out.

Interestingly, U.S. cooks may visit or Over half of the U.S. consumers visiting the .mx site are fulltime homemakers, while only 30 percent of Mexicans are. U.S. Latinas visiting the Mexican version are more likely to identify as Mexican-American.

One thing that varies enormously by country is mobile usage: Over half of the global audience outside the U.S. uses a mobile dev in the store specifically to look at a shopping list. In Brazil, 45 percent do, but in Mexico, that falls to 36 percent. Smith thinks that has to do with data access. “It’s expensive and almost prohibitive in Mexico, so users rely on public WiFi spots,” she says.

One more difference is that among U.S. Hispanics, 57 percent use online coupons or discount codes, while in Mexico, only 20 percent do. Smith attributes that to differences in prevalence of coupons in general in the two markets.

Platform synergies

Coupons and ecommerce are among the ways brands can connect with consumers, although at this point, online food shopping is still relatively rare in most countries. While 50 percent of cooks in the UK have tried it, along with one out of four cooks in France, Poland, Australia, and New Zealand, only 5 to 6 percent in Mexico have bought groceries online.

Smith notes that Allrecipes has been doing native advertising almost since the site launched, because it includes recipes written by major brands in its collections. “We give brands the ability to engage with consumers throughout purchase journey,” she says.

allrecipe clamato popupOne recent example is a campaign for Clamato. It appeared in Spanish on the .mx site, targeted to U.S. Hispanic audiences. There’s a corresponding one in that ran on Meredith’s English-language sites, also targeted to US Hispanic audiences.

Hungry for recipes

Allrecipes doesn’t do outbound marketing, relying on search-engine optimization so that cooks looking for meal ideas will find the sites. “It’s a strategy of really understanding what consumers are search for and making sure the content they want is available and as high-quality as possible,” Smith says.

allrecipes tacosAllrecipes doesn’t attempt to create specific landing pages for searches in different languages. Every site is optimized so that if a consumer in the States is searching in Spanish, Google will be able to deliver Spanish-language results. Smith notes that a plethora of Mexican foods are part of the general market culture, so if someone searches for “guacamole,” for example, it may be impossible to know the searcher’s primary language.

While Smith’s job is to discover international solutions and to scale them, she says, “We have a lot of fun breaking assumptions here on behalf of advertisers. One of the most compelling things we do is embrace the fact that the world is multicultural. The future is that all these communities can connect with each other.”

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The whole is greater than its parts for Pantelion Films, a joint venture between Lionsgate Films and Grupo Televisa.

debrezFive-year-old Pantelion Films has been on a roll since the 2013 release of Instructions Not Included, a feature starring Mexican comedian, television actor and director Eugenio Derbez. Saying it “resonates beyond borders,” the Washington Post also said it was the most successful Spanish-language film at U.S. box offices in history.

That breakout success for Pantelion is the result of a business strategy that enabled the studio to experiment and refine its offerings.

Under the aegis of James McNamara, formerly CEO of Telemundo and now chairman of Pantelion, Lionsgate had released two Spanish-language films, Ladrón que Roba a Ladrón and La Mujer de Mi Hermano. Both were created as vehicles for TV stars, according to Edward Allen, COO of Pantelion Films.

“Latino audiences are very star-driven,” Allen says.

While those two movies met with some success, Lionsgate and Grupo Televisa believed there was more opportunity and more success to be had. They formed Pantelion Films to take it to the next level.

The new studio knew it might take some time to get the formula right, and that it would need to test many things – testing them within the context of releasing feature films. Pantelion didn’t know whether dramas, comedies or horror would most appeal to Hispanics, and whether features should be in English, Spanish or both. (Approximately 75 percent of the dialog in Instructions Not Included is Spanish.)

“We knew we needed to have as many at-bats as possible,” Allen says. “We managed our risk on a company level as well as on a film-production level.” In other words, budgets were carefully controlled so that the studio would have time to get the recipe right. “We didn’t want to go out and produce big-budget films and, after two or three failures, we’re done. Because we managed our losses, we have been able to keep trying new things until something worked.”

We didn’t want to go out and produce big-budget films and, after two or three failures, we’re done.

Turning point

Allen says the success of Instructions Not Included was that turning point – although the formula is not entirely clear or simple. Certainly the presence of Derbez, a crossover star who is not only hugely popular in Mexico but who has also appeared in mainstream U.S. movies and TV shows, was a huge factor. So was the universality of the plot.

“It’s a universal story that people — irrespective of your culture and your preferences – can relate to, about unconditional love,” Allen says.

Then, there’s the English title for this mostly in-Spanish movie. Allen says this decision was partly to address some perceptions that Spanish-language films were of less quality than English-language movies, but more to emphasize the universal appeal.

He says, “If you make a universal story that touches the human condition, but you perhaps dress it in or give it the DNA of a particular culture, that’s when magic happens.”

A true JV

catinflasWhen Pantelion Films was formed, it aimed to take advantage of synergies between Lionsgate and Grupo Televisa. Lionsgate had a solid infrastructure in place, while Grupo Televisa had access to acting, creative and production talent.

“We are a true joint venture,” Allen says. “We use the resources of both companies to operate our business.”

This means that the Lionsgate team that handles films like Hunger Games and Divergent will use those same contacts to get Pantelion films into theaters across America.

vatican tapesPantelion has a full and ambitious catalog of releases planned for the rest of the year. Next up is Vatican Tapes, to be released on July 24. The English-language horror film was produced by Lionsgate and Lakeshore Entertainment and stars Michael Peña. “Horror, especially with religious or Catholic elements, tends to perform well,” Allen notes.

On Labor Day weekend, Pantelion will release Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos, the third installment of a Mexican animated comedy film series produced by Huevocartoon Producciones. Allen says that each of the films has done very well in Mexico and that the Spanish-language film “contains a lot of Mexican DNA.”
[youtube]In October, Pantelion will release Ladrónes, a sequel to Ladrón que Roba a Ladrón, the Lionsgate film that started it all.

Allen now sees the market for its films as a lot higher than what it was when the studio was founded. But that doesn’t mean Pantelion Films can rest on its laurels. He says the studio will need to continue testing and evolving to meet the tastes of the changing Hispanic audience.

“The audience is changing,” he says. “More and more people are acculturating, and there are more young Latinos. Their experience and their tastes will be very different than those of their parents or the older generations.”

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The latest news on Hispanic media and marketing features Dodge, Acosta, Google, Twitter and Ipsos MediaCT.

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Restaurants put money where the mouths are

photo: Orin Zebest
photo: Orin Zebest

While in general, marketers seem to underspend to reach Hispanic consumers, targeted restaurant spending has increased 11.4 percent from 2010 to 2014, according to the AHAA. At the same time, the restaurant category upped its aggregate Hispanic advertising spend by 68 percent to $559 million in 2014.

That’s just the smart thing to do: Acosta Sales & Marketing and Univision Communications released their latest Why? Behind The Buy U.S. Hispanic Shopper Study. It found that Hispanic shopping spending has hit a three-year high, and these consumers are optimistic about the future. The report said, “The Hispanic consumer expects to be earning more and is spending more, as evidenced by the fact that their monthly grocery spend is at the highest point in three years.” It also found that Hispanic consumers eat more meals than the general population and spend 53.2 minutes doing the grocery shopping. But you can’t cook at home every night, right?

Trejo stars in Dodge campaign

Dodge tvDodge will release three TV spots for Challenger, Dart and Charger, all featuring Danny Trejo, star of Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn and Once Upon A Time in Mexico. Thirty- and 60-second spots will air on Hispanic media, as well as on YouTube and social media. The campaign, created “in partnership” with Lopez Negrete Communications, includes an original digital component: videos showing actors portraying customers taking test drives with Trejo playing car salesman.


Hispanic population growing but not as fast

A new study from Google and Ipsos MediaCT of 4,500 self-identified U.S. Hispanics confirmed many other findings that this group is highly digital and mobile. Seventy nine percent said they use search daily, and it’s their top online source for researching purchases. Plus, 66 percent of those who go online said they pay attention to online ads; this is close to 20 percentage points more than the general online population. From 2011 and 2014, the number of Spanish keyword searches increased from about 65 percent to 200 percent across categories such as auto, food, and beauty, although even Spanish-dominant consumers often use English online.

#HispanicGirlsUnited takes off on Twitter

The hashtag began trending on Twitter on June 25, 1215, when it was added to a Twitter conversation about narrow beauty standards, cultural expectations, sexism, and racism, according to #HispanicGirlsUnited was still in regular use following that weekend, as Latinas shared messages of empowerment.

Meanwhile, the growth of Hispanics in the United States slowed, according to new figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau. It’s still growing, just more slowly.

Dump the Donald

Showing that neither his billions nor his fame give him license to insult, media companies pulled out of events and shows owned by Donald Trump. Univision said it would not air the Miss USA Pageant, partially owned by Trump, while Hispanic leaders urged NBCUniversal to do likewise and sever their financial ties with Trump. Of course, there’s a hashtag for that: #DumpTrump.

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Full-service agency RPA helps clients occupy white space in the competitive landscape. The Elevator Pitch, the Origin Story, Secret Sauce, Media Strategy, Decision Makers and more….

Elevator pitch:

Full-service agency helps clients occupy white space in the competitive landscape.

farmers 1

Origin story:

RPA’s origins trace back to 1965 in the LA office of Needham, Harper & Spears. Following a series of mergers, acquisitions and client conflicts, in 1986 RPA founders Gerry Rubin and Larry Postaer spun out on their own, taking Honda’s account with them, later streamlining the name.


Secret sauce:

White space – that is, the territory no one else inhabits. RPA aims to identify and exploit areas where the client can successfully compete. A case in point is its Farmers University campaigns.

RPA Tim Leake Headshot 1.2014Tim Leake, senior vice president and director of growth and innovation at RPA, says that while Farmers’ competition outspent it by a factor of four to one, this long-running campaign not only increased consideration but also earned plenty of unpaid media, thanks to the canny casting of J.K. Simmons, who won a 2015 Oscar for his role in the movie Whiplash. The four-year-old University of Farmers campaign for Farmers Insurance has become a competitive advantage for the challenger brand, according to Leake.

Media strategies:

RPA believes creativity must go hand-in-hand with effectiveness, and it’s ready to put its billings behind that concept by sometimes offering a performance-based component to its fees. Says Leake, “Being independent and privately owned lets us make decisions the way we want to. If we want to negotiate compensation a different way, we don’t need to run it up the flagpole to France.”

Leake says adding a performance-based component, when it makes sense, better aligns the client’s goals to the agency’s incentives, while reducing advertising for art’s sake.

Media decision-makers:

The agency has a full media department, comprising 17 percent of the 455 total employees in its Santa Monica office. Leake says media is fully integrated and collaborates with creative teams. He points to the fact that media strategy and planning practice across all channels is headed by Mike Margolin, formerly the agency’s director of digital, is evidence of how well digital is integrated. “We don’t try to buy things as individual media channels; we try to craft a plan to reach a specific audience. The media clients we have had most success is when you take more of a craftsman approach,” Leake says.
Media heads:

  • Mike Margolin, senior vice president, director of audience strategy
  • Cathleen Campe, senior vice president, director of media investment
  • Lisa Herdman, senior vice president, director of national programming and branded entertainment

Selected clients:

Honda is a major account. The agency won’t say how much of its revenue the business amounts to, but says it’s still by far the biggest of its 16 clients. But RPA has added several in the last two years alone, and the roster includes, Intuit, the LA Clippers and DirecTV Home Security.

Cool campaigns:

RPA handled the creative and social media campaigns for Honda’s HR-V SUV crossover. As an April Fool’s joke, it did a spot promoting HR-V Selfie Edition, a special trim for the vehicle targeted toward young consumers. With 10 embedded cameras that operate when the car is in park, it supposedly lets the self-obsessed instantly upload pix via their phones and HondaLink. In the spot, beta-tester Ashley says, “Everyone’s talking about how cool the self-driving car will be, but the selfie car – that’s the future.”


What’s new:

rpa book excerptExecutive Creative Director Jason Sperling recently became the first person to release a book on Instagram. Look at Me When I’m Talking to You, about getting consumers’ attention, is coming out in one illustrated page a day for 160 days – in the kind of snippets that suit today’s info snackers.

Check out other agency profiles recently published by Portada:
-Spark, a Boutique Backed by a Global Agency Network
-The Media Kitchen, How Chefs Cook Up Media Plans
Innocean, a Full-Service Agency with a Maverick Spirit

Join us at PORTADA Mexico!

The latest news features MassMutual, Meredith Hispanic Media, Vice, Microsoft and Fast Company.

Pharma companies lag in Hispanic marketing

photo: Luca Volpi
photo: Luca Volpi

Some pill-pushers just don’t get it – it being the importance of Hispanic consumers to any company. According to an analysis and report from AHAA, Johnson & Johnson-Janssen-Ortho-McNeil leads in marketing targeted to the nation’s Latinos, but the category as a whole lags other sectors. The average Hispanic ad spend by pharmaceutical companies decreased 9 percent in 2014, from $6.9 to $6.3 million, the report said. On the other hand, over the past five years, the top 500 advertisers boosted their spending in Hispanic targeted media by 63 percent.

They should have been at this IAB Town Hall

On May 23, the IAB held a town-hall meeting to discuss opportunities and strategies for reaching Hispanics. provides an excellent recap of what was presented and discussed. Included were case studies of Verizon Wireless’s “Goling” campaign during World Cup 2014 in partnership with Facebook’s Hispanic Creative Shop; Home Depot’s “Retool Your School” campaign from Briabe Mobile; and P&G’s “Orgullosa” social media campaign, created by Dieste. One of many interesting stats in this article: 66 percent of Digital Hispanics said they pay attention to online ads, considerably larger than the overall market (46 percent).

Nonprofits get creative infusion at Cannes Lions

Create GOOD is a joint initiative between Fast Company and Microsoft that aims to recognize and reward creative and socially drive organizations. The three winners are Haitian trilingual elementary school l’Ecole de Choix (the School of Choice), scientific cancer history research organization Paleo-oncology Research Organization (PRO), and Rainforest Partnership, the international non-profit committed to protecting tropical rain forests. Reps from each org will get a trip to the 62nd Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to lead workshops at the Microsoft Beach Club, where they can take advantage of the talent buzzing around to help them with marketing and identity challenges. Fast Company and Microsoft will take the final assets created from the workshops and run digital advertising on behalf of each organization on to further generate awareness. The winners also will be featured at Fast Company’s Innovation Festival in November.

Expanding Vice

viceVice, the edgy and ever-expanding media conglomerate, is opening an office in Miami in order to expand its Hispanic-oriented content for consumers in the United States and Latin America. Brand journalism and sponsored content seem to be a big part of the mix, but current Vice programming for younger Latinos includes “Miscelánea Mexicana,” a show about Mexican “cultural oddities,” and a series that follows the 2012 presidential elections in Mexico. The Miami bureau will coordinate all Vice’s Hispanic and LATAM activities.

Qué bonita

Meredith Hispanic Media just released a new report on social media’s influence on purchasing by U.S. Latinas. The report, Siempre Beauty III: Latinas and Social Media, found that Latinas continue to outspend mainstream consumers in the beauty category, with the majority of them finding social media the best way to get information and tips. Language is important to them: 52 percent of Latinas and 48 percent of Latina millennials prefer to receive beauty information from social media in Spanish as well as English, while 55 percent prefer to follow US based influencers and bloggers who provide access to bilingual content. Many more stats in the press release.

MassMutual and Univision go live in sponsorship

MassMutual will host free community events to offer financial education in Spanish in Houston. “Financial education starts at a local and individual level,” said Dr. Chris Mendoza, Latino Markets Director at MassMutual, in a press release. The sponsorship with Univision is part of a broader effort by MassMutual to help Hispanics secure their personal and professional financial futures, the company said. It also provides Spanish-language financial information and resources online at

Nuances of culture are important for anyone trying to reach Hispanics, from political candidates to mainstream brands to media.

Fox Buys Majority in National Geographic Magazine and Cable: Will  Climate Change Denial Win?

The 127-year-old nonprofit National Geographic Society has struck a $725 million deal that gives 21st Century Fox a majority stake in National Geographic magazine and other media properties, expanding an existing TV partnership. The agreement will give the company controlled by Rupert Murdoch’s family a 73 percent stake in the new National Geographic Partners venture. The National Geographic Society retains 27 percent ownership. The move shifts the longtime nonprofit flagship magazine into a for-profit venture. The arrangement brings together National Geographic’s magazine with its cable channels and other media businesses.  This is the second major deal announced in the last 10 days which puts together TV and magazine assets, the other one being the acquisition of Meredith Corporation by Media General. National Geographic originally partnered with Fox in 1997 to launch the National Geographic Channel. Officials said aligning the various media brands will help fuel future growth. In the Hispanic market, NatGeo-MundoFox (now MundoMax) ad sales are operated by Fox Hispanic Media. “This expanded partnership, bringing together all of the media and consumer activities under the National Geographic umbrella creates vast opportunities and enables this business to be even more successful in a digital environment,” said James Murdoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox, in announcing the deal. Al Jazeera has another take: Rupert Murdoch’s high-profile purchase of National Geographic — perhaps the most esteemed remaining icon of middlebrow American print culture — has touched off alarms over how the swashbuckling Australian press lord may visit a Fox News makeover on the science monthly…Murdoch’s acquisition of a 73 percent share of National Geographic — for a cool $725 million — is especially troubling to the cause of climate science, since the National Geographic Society (founded as a nonprofit foundation for exploration and research) administers a $1 billion grant program to research scientists.”

A case in point is Pepsi’s new limon flavor. The new flavor was made with the help of Adelante, an employee association at PepsiCo meant to “foster relationships with the Hispanic community,” according to Latinos Health. In order to get the taste right, Pepsi uses 2 percent real lime juice. For now, Pepsi Limon is available only in selected markets in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, as well as Chicago. We can only hope it spreads to the rest of us.

Don’t stereotype lifestyle or spending power

Carlos Garcia_GfkIn fact, marketers still struggle to create messaging that’s truly culturally relevant and nuanced enough to avoid stereotypes, according to Carlos Garcia, senior vice president of multicultural at GfK Media. And this goes beyond not plopping a Spanish icon into a commercial. There are more subtle stereotypes that can keep an ad from resonating.

Garcia told eMarketer that Hispanics are brand-loyal because they want to stick with what they know, so advertisers trying to win them away need to focus on a value proposition, not image advertising. He said, “Be specific. Why should I buy this product? It’s just as good and cheaper, it’s the same price but bigger, it’s better taste, it has more natural ingredients, it has aloe in it, it has more protein, it has something.”

Garcia also noted that, while the Hispanic population as a whole may have below-average household wealth, it is still a viable market for higher-priced goods. He said, “They organize their lives differently. They have different priorities. They are buying high-quality, high-cost electronics. They are buying houses. They are buying appliances. They are doing all these things that the sheer income numbers would suggest are impossible.”

Sweet new hub for Latinas

popsugar latinaSpeaking of mainstreaming, POPSUGAR Latina, a mobile-first hub within the fashion and lifestyle site, aims to better serve the 12 percent of traffic to the main site comprised of Hispanic women. The English-language site will skew the regular diet of celebrity gossip, fitness, fashion and recipes to Latinas. Anna Fieler, executive vice president of marketing at POPSUGAR, told CNBC, “Our intent is to deliver the content in English, focusing on content for the Latina who considers herself to be 100 percent American and 100 percent Latina.”

POPSUGAR has partnered with JCPenney as the sponsor of the launch. In the press release, Eileen Carty, EVP Brand Partnerships at POPSUGAR, said, “Latinas are the fastest growing market in the United States, and this young, family-oriented woman loves to shop and gather information and is connected with her smartphone at a faster rate than any other demographic.”

2016 election could see spending shift

Arturo VargasWhile political candidate have been used to reaching Latino voters via Spanish media, changing demographics may cause them to rethink their media plans for the next election. Arturo Vargas, the executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in Los Angeles, told Aljazeera America that candidates must understand the diversity in language, culture and generations. In 2013, Latinos born in the U.S. made up 65 percent of Hispanic Americans. “[Candidates] need to understand that there isn’t a single Latino profile,” Vargas said.

Candidates shouldn’t simply translate campaigns into Spanish; they’ll need to craft Hispanic-centric messages. “The outreach is not about language,” said Felipe Benitez, the communications and development director for Mi Familia Vota, another voter advocacy group. “It’s not about Spanish or English. It’s about addressing the issues that really matter to our community and listening to our community.”

That could mean more intensive work on platforms and advertising, as well as more thoughtful media plan to reach acculturated Hispennials outside of traditional Hispanic media. Multicultural agencies should clarify their ability to understand this changing audience, while Spanish-language media may need to refine their pitches.


Amazon’s Pedro Huerta,  director of Kindle Content in Spanish for Amazon talks to Portada about the expansion of Spanish-language titles, growing usage in the U.S., Mexico and Spain, and its latest Indie Literary Prize.

Amazon recently announced its second annual Indie Literary Prize for Spanish-Language Authors. Authors can upload their previously unpublished work to the Kindle Direct Publishing Platform, and, after August 31, five finalists plus a grand winner will be chosen. The contest is another step in Amazon’s continuing expansion for Spanish-language readers in the United States, Spain, Mexico and Latin America.

Pedro Huerta close up“Over the past 18 months, there has been an extreme acceleration of self-published content in our store in Spanish. Many people are not only reading but also writing in Spanish,” says Pedro Huerta, director of Kindle Content in Spanish for Amazon.

When Huerta spoke to Portada in January, 2014, Amazon’s Tienda Kindle had 70,000 Spanish-language titles, already a significant amount. Today, according to Huerta, there are more than 120,000. More important, he says, is Amazon’s ability to make any book digitally published in Spanish available in Spain, the United States, Mexico and Latin America.

The online store also has increased its promotions to Spanish-language readers, offering them two or three daily deals. “All of Amazon’s promotional and marketing capabilities we are now applying for Spanish-language books as well as for English-language books,” Huerta says.

All of Amazon’s promotional and marketing capabilities we are now applying for Spanish-language books.

While technology-loving U.S. Hispanics represent the largest and fastest-growing market for Tienda Kindle, sales in Mexico have been growing significantly. Amazon recently launched Kindle Unlimited in Spain and Mexico; the service provides unlimited access to 75,000 titles in all languages for a set monthly fee. Huerta says that 30,000 of the titles available with the Unlimited service are in Spanish.

Amazon has found that, aside from language preferences, there is little difference in reader tastes or trends in the different Spanish-language markets and the overall U.S. market: romance and general fiction rule.

tamesisAmazon has segmented its customer base according to preferred language, in addition to its other sophisticated mining techniques, so, for example, someone who prefers to read in Spanish will see the list of the top 100 Spanish-language titles, rather than the top 100 overall titles translated to Spanish.

Huerta explains, a bit cagily, “We apply the technology that Amazon has developed for recommendations to create similar content for Spanish readers, and we can delight them with specific Spanish content. We are manually guiding the technology.”

Amazon also creates promotions for different regions based on specific events. For example, when Deepak Chopra appeared in Mexico recently, Tienda Kindle had a special promotion for his books.

Aside from language preferences, there is little difference in reader tastes or trends in the different Spanish-language markets and the overall U.S. market.

Promoting Independent Authors

ConcursoThere has been tremendous growth in the number of authors self-publishing on the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform; Huerta says that 30 percent of the 100 top bestsellers in Spanish are self-published. The Indie Literary Prize for Spanish-Language Authors is a way to help independent authors get more visibility in Tienda Kindle. The first contest, last year in Spain, drew hundreds of entries.

To enter the contest, authors simply upload their works to Amazon’s KDP, including “concursoindie2015” in the search keywords metadata field. The grand winner’s work will be published in print by La Esfera de los Libros, as well as translated and published in digital, print and audio formats in English by AmazonCrossing, the Amazon Publishing imprint for world literature in translation.

All the novels taking part in the contest will be available in full in the Kindle store. Throughout the contest, entries will be highlighted in various ways. Huerta hopes that the contest will encourage people to publish on the KDP even if they don’t want to be a professional author. He says, “The contest is a great accelerator, but anyone who has a story to tell, especially in the Hispanic population, should think of publishing as a way of delivering a small legacy of your personal story for your family, town or friends.”

Besides you never know what’s going to be the next million-seller. It could be your tia’s memoir.


Elevator Pitch:

Think big and act small is the mantra of this Huntington Beach agency that’s infused with the maverick surfer ethos.

Secret Sauce:

Thinking big means coming up with wild ideas for challenger brands – as well as for Hyundai/Kia. Innocean USA partnered with neuroeconomist Paul Zak, AKA Dr. Love, to explore the love we have for brands; and it wrangled film director Amir Bar-Lev and Grammy-winning musician Mark Ronson, of “Uptown Funk” fame, to host a seminar at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

Origin story:

Innocean USA, part of the Innocean Worldwide agency, was founded to provide advertising services for Hyundai and Kia, but it’s expanded its U.S. footprint and client roster since 2012, when golf-wear-maker Footjoy became its first non-automotive client. The U.S. branch is now 300 people strong, with offices in New York, Chicago, Dallas and Hawaii. The agency is cagey about just how much of its billings come from Hyundai/Kia, but in 2014, Reuters reported that its domestic Hyundai-related business had dropped to 43 percent in 2013 from 100 percent in 2005.

Greg Braun
Greg Braun

Media decision-makers:

Innocean has a full-service media team that includes strategy; planning; execution; optimization; and reporting on results and ROI. According to Executive Creative Director Greg Braun, the agency’s creatives and media experts work collaboratively. “We don’t want media to be an afterthought,” he says. “When we attack projects and campaigns, we always want our media experts shoulder to shoulder with creatives, strategists and account people.”

According to James Zayti, group director of Hyundai Media, as the account planning team begins to define the target for a campaign, “We build a thematic of what our target does on a daily basis: Where are they most receptive to messaging?”

Notable Clients:

Innocean USA provides media account management for Hyundai/KIA; Berkshire Hathaway Homes; energy company NRG; Alpina Foods.

James Zayti
James Zayti

Cool Campaigns:

For the FIFA World Cup Tournament, Innocean worked with ESPN, Univision and other media partners to embed Hyundai into the programming. Says Braun, “Most of the brands made platforms for famous athletes. We love them too, but we made it a forum for fan passion.” Innocean created the meme #BecauseFutbol, using it in TV spots and social media. Braun says, “It becomes not only a rallying cry but an excuse for any crazy thing you might do.”

futbol socialZayti adds, “Each time we’d run the work in halftime, our brand would trend organically on Twitter.” In fact, Hyundai saw a 1,415 percent lift in Hyundai mentions in relation to World Cup or soccer chatter, with 92 percent positive sentiment, shattering pre-campaign benchmarks with 95,328 total mentions of #BecauseFutbol.

In February of this year, Hyundai became the exclusive auto sponsor of IFC’s Comedy Crib, and Innocean created a web series called Sound Advice, featuring Vanessa Bayer of SNL. Each episode opens with a custom Hyundai integration featuring Bayer driving or vamping in front of a Hyundai Veloster; then, her character, a ditzy media coach named Janessa, attempts to give advice to famous musicians, including Al Yankovich and tktktk.

janessa and carsZayti says, “We looked at the media side and saw IFC as a great space that shared a lot of brand identity with Hyundai. Then, speaking with the creative side, we took it another step.” Moving beyond product placements, Innocean’s writers worked with IFC’s writers to integrate the brand further into the segments.

“For all product integrations, we sit down as a team to see where we can take it,” he says. “Sometimes we just want a car in a TV show or movie, but sometimes we think there’s an appetite to take it much further.”

Check out other agency profiles recently published by Portada:
-Spark, a Boutique Backed by a Global Agency Network
-The Media Kitchen, How Chefs Cook Up Media Plans


Even bilingual Hispanics sometimes search in Spanish, while Spanish-language searchers may need localized landing pages. Search and multicultural experts explain best practices for SEM.

PHOTO: Jenny Downing
PHOTO: Jenny Downing

With the growth in the number of bilingual and English-dominant Hispanics in the United States, search marketing cannot simply be a matter of translation. Even someone who is very comfortable in English may switch to Spanish for some searches, according to Gonzalo del Fa, president of GroupM Multicultural.

“Even though digital overall has been growing extremely fast against Hispanics, I still feel search is not there yet and … the biggest barrier is language,” he says.

More evidence for the importance of getting the language question right: A recent survey by One Hour Translation found that more than 75 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from a website written in their native language.

Lior Libman, One Hour Translation
Lior Libman, One Hour Translation

The most common mistake marketers make, according to Lior Libman, president of One Hour Translation, is assuming that a simple translation is enough. He says marketers often think, “If a campaign is working in English, I’ll hire a translator, and it’s good to go.” Especially in search, where a tiny difference in wording can result in huge changes in clicks, copy should be fine-tuned and tested by local, native speakers.

The translators need to understand the objective of each keyword, as well, according to del Fa. He points out that there can be many more keywords in Spanish that can express a single product or idea. “Think about ‘furniture,'” he says. “In Spanish, we have five ways of saying it. Often, with search campaigns, the client comes in with 50 keywords, and when we put it into Spanish, it becomes 120.”

Doug Platts iCrossing
Doug Platts, iCrossing

Localization involves more than translation, as Doug Platts, iCrossing’s head of SEO, points out. He says that translators should not only be local to the campaign, they should also “be on top of what the trends in that culture are.”

Nuance becomes even more important when marketing products that have more emotion attached to them, such as insurance, finance or healthcare. “I don’t want to make a mistake in those cases,” del Fa says.

But it’s even more complicated! Many Hispanics switch between English and Spanish when searching. In a July, 2014, blog post, Lisa Gevelber, Google’s vice president of Americas marketing, pointed to a Google consumer survey that found that the majority of U.S. Hispanic mobile users typically search in English or a mix of English and Spanish. At the same time, the number of Google searches that included common Spanish-language question words had nearly doubled since 2011.

Del Fa says that 65 percent of Hispanics know how to search for something in English; if they don’t find what they’re looking for, they switch to Spanish.

Landing the deal

Finessing the language doesn’t stop with the search campaign: How marketers handle landing pages is equally important. According to research by GroupM, the majority of consumers who consider themselves bilingual can operate at work in English but are more comfortable speaking Spanish in their personal lives – including while using search.

In the best of all possible searches, someone who searched for a Spanish keyword would get results leading to pages that were in Spanish and appropriate for his or her region. In the real world, every site can’t offer all its pages in English and Spanish. At iCrossing, the advice is to build some core landing pages at the product or service level.

Another good practice, according to del Fa, is to deliver search results in the language in which the landing page is written. “If results are in Spanish, but clicking on one takes them to a website that is not in-language, it will throw the person off,” he says.

If it’s not possible to create a landing page in Spanish, he advises that it’s better to return English-language search results for an in-Spanish search. “If the results are in English, I know the page will be in English, so it’s not an issue,” he says.

In global campaigns, Spanish-language landing pages need to be localized, as well as the search campaigns themselves, Platts advises. Using hreflang tags to denote the correct regional URL in search results ensures that searchers find what they need. “We don’t like to create a Spanish page and that will cover everybody,” Platts says. He also notes that paid search paid is an excellent way to test whether a larger digital campaign should be launched in English or Spanish, before a brand invests larger assets.

Gonzalo del Fa
Gonzalo del Fa, GroupM

Finally, search marketers need to remember that language is a tactic, not a strategy, del Fa says. “Let’s put a strategy together. Then, when we are down the road planning the tactics, then language will kick in.”

Join us at PORTADA Mexico!

NBCUniversal announces CultureFirst, the IAB hosts a multicultural town hall, Hispanics could drive auto sales, while the New York Times examines what makes multicultural TV shows relevant to all.

Universality Is Key to Crossover Appeal of TV Programs

jane-the-virginThe Hispanic audience is fragmenting along with all other TV audiences, as a plethora of over-the-top video choices wear down television’s mass appeal. In this landscape, TV shows should aim beyond Latin-centric characters and themes, according to a New York Times article. A case in point is the critically acclaimed Jane the Virgin, which has garnered respectable audiences across cultures. The reason, according to the article, is “it captured the essence of the culture without banging it over people’s heads.” While Jane and her family are Hispanic, the Times notes, it’s “built around a mother-daughter-grandmother dynamic that could translate to other races and ethnicities: ‘It’s just a girl who wants a dream to come true.'”

TuYo Enters OTT Market

TuYoHispanic digital entertainment TuYo, led by Jenni Rivera and “I Love Jenni” producer Peter Salgado will launch in July, according to VideoInk. The digital channel will include free, ad-supported programming as well as paid, on-demand offerings in Spanish and English. A wide mix of programs includes series, documentaries, movies, sports, reality, gaming, news and music. Content partners include Latin World Entertainment, World of Wonder, VIP 2000, Dhana Media and Great Glass Productions.

[vimeo 126905154 w=500 h=281]

NBCU Upfront Pitches Targeting via Culture

NBC Universal’s Upfront presentation included the unveiling of CultureFirst, a new way of targeting Hispanic consumers via cultural traits instead of language. . It also announced NBC Deportes, which will produce sports content for Telemundo and NBC Universo, as well as its digital properties, with offerings to include FIFA World Cup, NASCAR and Olympic qualifiers. League, NFL and NASCAR. And, in a play to capture the interest of Hispennials, NBCUniversal Hispanic Group said it would do whizzy new things like dual-screen storytelling and an interactive comic book series. It also made a deal with Defy Media to create new content across platforms, centered on Defy’s Clevver TeVe, a Spanish-language YouTube channel covering fashion, music and lifestyles with a millennial focus.

IAB’s Town Hall to Promote Digital for Multicultural

In the IAB Blog, Jessica Ramirez spelled out 8 things marketers should know about Hispanics. Those eight will be familiar to anyone working in the Hispanic market, but the post also serves as an invitation to the IAB’s Multicultural Creative Town Hall to be held May 27 in New York. Ramirez notes that multicultural spending still lags population growth; the town hall may give agencies and publishers more ammunition.

Hispanics to Drive Growth in Car Sales

toyota hispanicAccording to Automotive News, Hispanic consumers could be the auto industry’s leading growth engine for the next 20 to 30 years. The article includes stats from Polk Automotive that Hispanic buyers delivered 96 percent of Ford and Chevrolet’s combined year-over-year retail sales growth, 33 percent of Nissan’s, 35 percent of Toyota’s and 100 percent of Honda’s. Wow. While a lot of car companies’ efforts are going to helping local car dealerships better serve the variety of Hispanic and Latin consumers coming through their doors, it’s also good news for Hispanic media, with Hispanic advertising becoming an important part of new-vehicle launches.

With increasing pressure from digital, broadcasters will strut their best and brightest stuff this week. Here’s what media buyers from Zubi Advertising, Horizon Media, Havas Media, Dieste, Bromley and Innocean USA expect.

Azteca’s Baila si Puedes
Ahead of the TV Upfronts, Azteca America gave a sneak preview of “La Hora Ganadora,” an hour of family-oriented programming that will rotate shows in short seasons of a few weeks.

Says Manuel Abud, president and CEO of Azteca America, “For advertisers, it means I am committing to a genre that will bring a similar type of viewership.”

“La Hora Ganadora” offerings include dance competition “Baila si Puedes” and game show “El Rival Más Débil.” Each show will run for around eight weeks. Abud says of the new approach, “It’s getting more difficult to get an audience engaged for a longer period of time, so we don’t ask for such a big commitment as in the past.”

La Hora Ganadora
La Hora Ganadora

His statement is central to the conundrum of the Upfronts, as networks try to get advertisers and agencies excited enough about shows to put big bucks upfront – as viewing habits and media consumption change.

TV: Still Relevant

Make no mistake, though. TV as we know it is not going away, and neither are the Upfronts. Certainly, TV consumption overall is changing, with people – especially younger people – watching less broadcast and more over-the-top and direct-to-digital video. Nevertheless, media buyers say television is important for reach.

karina-dobarro-188“We are dealing with a consumer that over-consumes media, so we are still able to find them through linear TV as well as online video,” says Karina Dobarro, vice president and managing director of multicultural brand strategy for Horizon Media.

Media buyers agree that television remains the fastest and best way to generate reach, even as it evolves.

Media buyers agree that television remains the fastest and best way to generate reach, even as it evolves. It’s important even when reaching Hispanic millennials, according to Isabella Sanchez, vice president of media integration for Zubi Advertising – and so is Spanish-language programming. “People think millennial equals English, and that’s not necessarily the case. Millennials just happen to be younger. If you look at Univision’s numbers on any given day, they have a huge foothold on the 18-to-34-year-old populations,” she says.

Isabella Sanchez_Zubi_BW
Isabella Sanchez, Zubi

A case in point is the gigante gap in Sunday-night television that will be left with the demise of the elderly and beloved Sabado Gigante. Univision may reveal a replacement during its upfront. Says Sanchez, “It looks like a dated program, but millions of people watch it. I have no doubt Univision will come up with something tremendous as a replacement.”

Sabado Gigante looks like a dated program but millions of people watch it. I have no doubt Univision will come up with something tremendous as a replacement.

Meanwhile, says Dobarro, the end of the show “represents an opportunity to continue to attract their current TV audience while trying to grow that younger audience.”

Broadcasters Expand Digital

Of course, digital placements on network dotcoms have been available for years. As TV consumption continues to move fluidly across screens, media buyers are interested in seeing how networks will showcase and handle digital.

At last year’s Upfront, Azteca America announced a partnership with YouToo Technologies, a “social TV platform.” This year, Azteca and YouToo will offer online and mobile trivia games for new programming including “La Hora Ganadora” and “Viernes Futbolero.”

Manuel Abud foto
Manuel Abud, Azteca America

Abud says, “Digital will be a bigger part of the upfronts in general. As the technology keeps moving, we will.” Because consumers have become device-agnostic when viewing TV, he says, “My focus is on developing content-centric franchises.”

Eric Bader, CMO of RadiumOne, a provider of programmatic advertising solutions, points out that television and digital aren’t so much at odds with each other when it comes to marketing goals. He says, “Television is essentially designed to meet brand and exposure metrics at the top of the funnel. Digital has effectively grown to service the bottom of the funnel and more direct marketing expectations.” Instead of buyers trying to decide which content is superior, or how much budget should go to TV versus digital, he advises, “The first thing that has to happen is that the advertiser has a full picture of both the brand goals and the direct engagement goals. It has to start with the measurement goals being defined, and then going into the market and seeing where you will find the audience that meets these goals.”

Says James Zayti, group director of Hyundai Media at Innocean USA, “We have to think about all the touchpoints where someone buying a car would be viewing content. For younger consumers, that would be more digital touchpoints, but we definitely need a marriage of both.”

Horizon Media’s Dobarro has seen a shift in how Spanish-language networks position their digital offerings. While they used to compare their online video to established, digital-native content companies like Yahoo, now they are going up against other broadcaster dotcoms. “It’s more of an even playing field for them,” she says. “They have realized they are not going to be able to gain the audience and reach of Google, for example.”

Still, much more needs to be done, according to Sue De Lopez, group account director for Bromley. The new marketing model, she says, is “dynamic, always-on and iterative. There is a tremendous void in multi-platform and multicultural content right now.”

She is seeing advertiser budgets shift from television to digital and to multiscreen. In fact, Bromley has shifted its own rhetoric, now talking about “video” instead of TV/digital; and it now sees its teams as working in content instead of advertising.

Meanwhile, De Lopez says, “Broadcasters are offering digital, but the units they offer are basic, the same old units: banners, static, B-roll videos. It’s all very cookie cutter. Brands and agencies are looking beyond the expected digital offerings. We want to know how we can tap into culturally relevant digital content that is customizable, so brands can fit in in a very organic way.”

The question of rates

In earlier days, broadcasters may have thrown in some digital advertising on their dotcoms as a value-add. With today’s shift to digital, that would be crazy.

Says Bader of RadiumOne, “Now they are bundling it in a different financial package, because there is more viewership on those platforms.”

Abud says that Azteca will be flexible – but not give freebies. “There are some clients that want to deal with digital separately, some want to see it as a combined effort,” he says. So, some advertiser budget that formerly went to Azteca broadcast may now be split. He adds, “Digital is still a complement for broadcast. Someday it will have a life of its own, but I’m not there yet.”

Univision has one strong property next year — soccer — and will probably try to bring in a lot of revenue for that

Zubi’s Sanchez acknowledges, “Everyone always wants to increase their rates; it’s the game we’ve all been playing for years. They ask for a lot and then buyers fight them on it.” She thinks that more cross-platform opportunities can help networks increase revenue without raising television rates. She notes, “Univision typically has led the pack in setting CPM increases. They have one strong property next year — soccer — and will probably try to bring in a lot of revenue for that. But all predictions say it will be a soft upfront when talking about base programming.”

Greater accountability from networks

Measurement continues to be a concern of TV buyers. Dave Morgan, CEO of Simulmedia, says, “There is no question we will see a greater use of data. There is a lot of rhetoric with buyside and sellside positioning, both saying they are bringing their best data to the table.” Simulmedia uses data to aggregate audiences for agencies and advertisers, mostly in the scatter market. “Brands and marketers themselves are clear that they want true ROI, but that isn’t how most TV media has historically been bought.”

Joseph Abruzzo, Havas Media
Joseph Abruzzo, Havas Media

Joseph Abruzzo, chief exploration officer for Havas Media, concurs. “One thing that’s changing is networks are very interested in protecting their revenue base. They will be selling greater accountability [by] starting to offer data-infused targeting options,” he says.

For example, Azteca is working with Furious Corp, the Nielsen-funded startup that works with television programmers to use real-time data from smart TVs and other connected devices to plan and optimize revenue across platforms. Meanwhile, Turner Broadcasting System, CBS and NBCUniversal have announced initiatives to add performance-based metrics to TV buying.

Abruzzo says that merging third-party data sets gives broadcasters the ability to create richer profiles of those who are actually watching a program, so an advertiser could target, for example, people who are most likely to buy a Lexus. “These are still linear buys,” he says, “but you are buying a program that has an audience composition mostly made up of [your target audience].”

Better targeting is especially important to buyers on multicultural desks, according to Greg Knipp, CEO of Dieste. “In our space in past, it’s been Univision and Telemundo, and then you fill in around those two. As we get more sophisticated in segmenting our audience, and the more targeting we can get in traditional media, the better off we’ll be.”

Knipp expects even greater shifts in the media landscape in years to come. He notes that a lot of the most talked-about content among young Hispanics and bi-culturals is stuff you can’t buy: programs like “Game of Thrones” and “Orange is the New Black.” Acknowledging that broadcasters must be more conservative than OTT providers, the question he sees is, “How will we reach this audience that is watching things that don’t have advertising?” The answer, in his opinion, is using data from set-top boxes and smart TVs, combined with third-party data, to get better addressability.

Morgan of Simulmedia thinks it’s possible that measurement could actually show that some TV spots are undervalued. His question for agencies is, “Now that you have sellers willing to sell on ROI, are buyers willing to buy on ROI?”


As Hispanic media consumption patterns shift, top brands work to follow them.

Nissan Taps Smart Glass Tech for Altima 2015 Thrill

Nissan_ride_of_life_06Good things come in shiny packages, and Ride of Your Life, Nissan’s multi-channel campaign to launch the 2015 Altima is a prime example. A group of consumers were invited to a shopping mall and presented with a large Smart Glass box. Smart Glass goes from clear to opaque, allowing Nissan to show exciting video footage before revealing the actual car inside the box. Some consumers were then carried to a nearby race track to experience high-speed demonstration rides. It’s a retread of last year’s popular campaign that highlighted the car’s performance.

A video on Nissan’s YouTube channel shows the in-mall event. Along with the full video, the campaign includes :30 and :15 national and cable broadcast spots, plus a range of digital executions, as well as Hispanic versions; it also includes point-of-purchase materials such as a hanging hood sign and race car wraps. The actual Smart Glass box will live on as part of the Universal Nissan attraction in Orlando.

GSD&M + LatinWorks = New Sibling

Austin-based agencies GSD&M and LatinWorks joined forces to create Sibling, a new multicultural shop integrating creative and media. Sibling aims to target Hispanic millennials with what it says is “a new strategic model for reaching the ever-evolving mainstream.” The agency will operate out of Austin with creative development led by Executive Creative Director Rafael Serrano will lead Sibling’s creative team, while Alejandro Ruelas, cofounder of LatinWorks, and GSD&M CEO Duff Stewart will provide leadership support and guidance. Sibling will launch with blue-chip clients including Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Southwest Airlines.

Hispanic Media Face Shifts in Audience, Pew Says

With six out of 10 U.S. Hispanics either bi-lingual or English-speaking, it’s not surprising that audiences for news programs on Univision, as well as for Spanish-language daily newspapers, dropped in 2014. Pew’s latest Hispanic Media Fact Sheet shows that it’s not simply a case of Hispanic consumers migrating to mainstream media. Telemundo’s evening news viewership rose last year, while total circulation for a group of 31 weekly newspapers also grew. Overall, the report, which is chock full of interesting stats, shows Hispanic media in a holding pattern – and falling behind growth in general-market media.

Top Brands Increase Hispanic Spending

Good news for Hispanic media comes from AHAA, which had its Annual Conference last week, which found that the top 500 US marketers have grown their spending on these media. They’re now dedicating 8.4 percent of their total spending to Hispanic media, up from 5.5 percent in 2010.Okay, that’s not a huge jump, and it’s far from keeping pace with the growth of the overall Hispanic population in the U.S., but that amounts to a total spend of $7.1 billion, up from $4.3 billion in 2010.

Top marketers that have upped their Hispanic media spending include Nissan, Toyota, Walmart, Target, Lowes, Verizon, AT&T, Ruby Tuesday and Wellpoint, according to AHAA.

Sprint Founds Puerto Rico Innovation Hub

Sprint is one major advertiser putting its money on Hispanics, with the creation of a new business unit focused on wooing this demographic. Sans a groovy and/or Spanglish moniker for the new unit, it will be led by Robert Solé, formerly CMO of TIM Brasil. Solé’s brief will be to develop new products and services to create a differentiated offering for this market. He also becomes president of Sprint Puerto Rico, which will be the hub of the telco’s Latin efforts.

aol park benchDigital Content NewFronts grow as line between TV and digital blurs. How Horizon Media, AOL, SMG, INNOCEAN USA, Havas, AOL and Yahoo  see the NewFronts evolving.

As the 2015 Digital Content NewFronts wound down, AOL said it had shifted from a NewFront “season” to a NewFront “year,” part of its “Content 365” strategy. (It’s unlikely that this means AOL would not hold a NewFront in 2016. A spokesman said, “It’s not enough to hold a once-a-year event, trot out some programming, and then never talk to advertisers again.”) It announced the renewal of original series including Park Bench with Steve Buscemi (pictured).

AOL and NBCUniversal also announced a content distribution and development agreement for both exclusive and non-exclusive content. This summer, NBCUni video clips and segments will be available to stream on AOL online and its mobile app.

AOL The_Pursuit[1]Meanwhile, Yahoo announced 18 new premium video series, including the live series Ultimate DJ and the original, long-form series The Pursuit.

Armando Rodriguez, head of Yahoo, Latin America and US Hispanic, says his team works in parallel with Yahoo’s global teams. “Not only do we localize US video content for our market, we also locally produce close to 150 original video clips per month, divided between daily news coverage and weekly video programs,” he says.

These NewFronts, as well as many others, illustrate the contradictions in the Digital NewFront/TV Upfront dichotomy – a divide that’s becoming more and more unnatural. It’s clear that consumers don’t pay that much attention to whether the video content they’re watching originated as a broadcast, a theatrical release or a digital-only release. So, why should advertisers and agencies?

It’s clear that consumers don’t pay that much attention to whether the video content they’re watching originated as a broadcast, a theatrical release or a digital-only release.


Total Video Plans

While INNOCEAN USA, for example, looks at a total video plan for clients, rather than considering TV and digital separately, Greg Braun, executive creative director, says that the NewFronts have not outrun their purpose. “Some content [digital producers] are putting out is groundbreaking,” he says, giving kudos to Netflix for its Emmys. And, he adds, “The Amazon Prime model is awesome.” Braun does appreciate that the NewFronts and Upfronts are now contiguous in time.

AbruzzoBecause the NewFronts come before the Upfronts, they remind agencies and advertisers to set aside funds for the digital properties they see, according to Joseph Abruzzo, vice president and chief exploration officer for Havas Media. “Everyone continues to spend in television, but, as new dollars become available, they are noting to allocate those dollars for opportunities in digital content,” he says.

Because the NewFronts come before the Upfronts, they remind agencies and advertisers to set aside funds for the digital properties they see.

There’s evidence that digital video is increasing overall ad spending, according to ZenithOptimedia’s Advertising Expenditure Forecasts. According to the report, global ad spend will grow 4.4 percent to reach $544B in 2015. Meanwhile, it said that global online video grew 34 percent to$10.9 billion last year, and it’s expected to grow at an average of 29 percent a year to reach $23.3 billion in 2017. Meanwhile, spending on TV advertising is expected to decline 5 percent in 2015.

MarlaSkiko, SMG Multicultural
MarlaSkiko, SMG Multicultural

It’s unclear whether – or how much – ad spending digital video is taking away from broadcast. Certainly some of that additional ad spend will go to traditional broadcasters that are offering broadcast/digital packages. “For broadcasters, TV is the number-one game, but they are shaping how they are serving up their content and the Upfronts, understanding they have to be more screen-agnostic,” says Marla Skiko, executive vice president and director of digital innovation for SMG Multicultural.

But TV audiences continue to decline. According to ZenithOptimedia, to date during the 2014/2015 TV season, primetime television usage has declined 7 percent among adults aged 18 to 49 and 5 percent among total viewers.

Because broadcasters want to maintain their revenue from one year to the next, they have traditionally offset the audience decline by increasing the cost of advertising. This is not a sustainable proposition.

“Advertisers and agencies hate to spend more for less,” Abruzzo says. While broadcasters can definitely charge more for top-tier programming like Walking Dead, he says, “There is such a long tail for television programming that it won’t support that kind of inflationary thinking. Because TV audiences are shrinking, that money will become available for digital.”

While broadcasters are making more and more content available for digital replay – such as the AOL/NBCUNI deal – Abruzzo says, “It’s the same content, so it probably has the same audience — and it tends to be on the expensive side, not necessarily any less expensive than television.”

SMG Multicultural has seen a shift in budgets from television to digital in general, according to Skiko.

SMG Multicultural has seen a shift in budgets from television to digital in general, according to Skiko. She says, “The appetite for digital video is only growing, and this will cause more and more questioning of how much we spend on television.”

Loosening up

While the TV Upfront season does result in deal-making, the NewFronts have always been more about showcasing content, with a “save some money for this” message. What’s new this year is a greater flexibility, along with a growing emphasis on targeting and programmatic buying on the part of content platforms.

Jason Smith Headshot (highres)In the past, according to Jason Smith, vice president for digital media activation at Horizon Media (photo), “A lot of publishers were asking brands for firm upfront commitments around inventory very similarly to the Upfront; but there hadn’t been a lot of ability for advertisers to control that inventory.” For example, they might not have been able to optimize across sets of digital video inventory; advertisers were expected to buy a certain number of channels; and there were limits on audience guarantees. There was even a lack of flexibility in cancellation policies.

During this year’s NewFronts, Smith says, “They have been more focused on giving brands more control and programmatic access to some of the inventory. They are offering more forward-thinking ways to help people understand how to put their money against the inventory. That is a very big step.”

Armando Rodriguez Yahoo smallerSays Yahoo’s Rodriguez (photo), “When I speak to an advertiser they are looking for an efficient way to buy video impressions at scale.” He points to Yahoo’s integration of Brightroll as a way of giving video advertisers more access to data and programmatic buying. “Yahoo’s data from over 1 billion global users including desktop, mobile video advertising inventory, and audience insights available on BrightRoll’s media-agnostic DSP,” he says.

While deals are less likely to be forged at the NewFronts, Skiko says there’s a lot of value in them. For one thing, she’s always keeping an eye out for a client that might want to, for example, reach an audience of acculturated, bi-lingual Hispanics with an English-language cooking show. “You go there to learn and to assess,” she says. “It gives you the ability to begin the negotiation from a much better place.”


A lot is going on this week says Susan Kuchinskas including ‘how Hearst Tech partnerships make ad sales — and ads themselves — snazzier’, an Adsmovil-Pubmatic deal for programmatic, Sabado Gigante bidding adieu and more…

chevy coloradoPrint and Video: Better Together

Hearst Media put together an eyeball-grabbing campaign for Chevrolet that planted an actual video screen into print issues of Esquire and Popular Mechanics. Using Americhip technology, 10,000 subscribers of each publication got special print editions in which a Chevy Colorado truck ad began playing when they turned to that page. Chevy used Hearst’s consumer data to identify the best recipients of this pricey campaign.

Don Francisco Says Adios

don franciscoMario Kreutzberger, host of Univision’s pioneering variety show Sábado Gigante, will soon hang up his act. After months of rumors that Kreutzberger, known as Don Francisco on the show, was ready to retire, Univision made an official announcement last week. According to, the audience for the show, which premiered with Univision in 1968, frequently drops under 1 million. The Los Angeles Times noted that viewership among 18-to-35-year-olds, viewership plunged by 43 percent. And, with an increasingly fragmented Hispanic audience, the old-style, Spanish-language show was past-due for a refresh. According to the LA Times article, “When people think of Univision, they also think of ‘Sábado Gigante,’” said Lia Silkworth, managing director of Tapestry, part of advertising firm SMG Multicultural. Maybe that’s not such a good thing, as Univision prepares for an IPO. Sniffed Aura Bogado in The Guardian, “Latinos outgrew Sábado Gigante’s racism and misogyny long before it ended.”

SBS to Sell Radio Programmatically

The Spanish Broadcasting System signed on with WideOrbit to make its digital audio inventory available to demand-side platforms. WideOrbit‘s WO Programmatic is a fully automated, beta offering that let stations offer inventory through direct selling channels and ad network partners via its platform. The deal will include 13 of SBS’s owned and operated radio stations, including the top-rated US Spanish language station WSKQ-FM New York.

MiCasa and SimplyME Hook Up

MiCaasaMiCasa Network, the Hispennial-oriented entertainment provider, has joined with SimplyME Distribution in a joint venture that includes content, distribution and ad sales. SimplyME is a media distribution company that works with independent content creators, and it will distribute MiCasa content across its network of cable and satellite TV companies. MiCasa,in turn, will spread SimplyME’s content. Collectively, they plan to reach more than 200 million English-predominant Hispanic households, with a generous helping of Millennials.

Adsmovil Tech Deal Lets It Focus on Sales

Adsmovil will use PubMatic’s programmatic solution for mobile ads to premium Hispanic publishers in the United States and Latin America. Alberto Pardo, CEO of Adsmovil, said the deal will allow the tktk to focus on developing relationships with publishers and advertisers, while PubMatic does the heavy lifting on technology.

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It’s not a simple question of Spanish vs. English. Marketers must understand levels of acculturation – and who the influencers are.

latin grammmieMaria Lopez-Knowles, CMO of Entravision, has seen some marketers shy away from speaking to bilingual audiences in Spanish out of concern it might be misinterpreted or be unwelcome. In focus groups across the country, she’s found, Spanish-dominant consumers will say they are okay with brands speaking primarily in Spanish with a few English words thrown in; that’s how they speak to their kids.

While the majority of Hispanic millennials say they’re bicultural, biliterate and bilingual, Lopez-Knowles says, “You have to be careful of how much you are putting in Spanish, because they may not understand it.”

Indeed, “bilingual” does not necessarily mean equally fluent in two languages. Gonzalo del Fa, president of GroupM Multicultural, says that for many workers, knowing enough English to operate at their jobs counts as bilingual. But this doesn’t mean that English marketing messages will resonate. “There’s not just one way of being bilingual.”

Even though the original tweets were in Spanish, language use among consumers responding was highly mixed, with people getting the message in one language and responding or retweeting in the other.

Finding the sweet spot

Oscar Padilla“Be aware that acculturation will drive language,” says Oscar Padilla, vice president of strategy for Luminar Insights, the Entravision-owned provider of data solutions for digital and traditional media.

Luminar likes to talk about Hispanic generational audiences on a scale of one to three. Hispanics 1.0 came to the United States as adults and are heavily Spanish-speaking. The 1.5 Hispanics immigrated to the U.S. as children, and very likely, both parents are Hispanic 1.0. The 2.0 generation was born here, and it’s likely that at least one parent was born in the United States.

Because the 1.5 and 2.0 generations are much more acculturated, Padilla says, “To reach them you would start reaching them in English with culturally relevant messaging.”

The other important thing about these generations is that they’re also often going online to do research or transactions for their Spanish-dominant parents. If 1.0 Hispanics are the marketer’s target, Padilla says, television is still the prime medium. The trigger to go online may be a TV spot that creates interest and directs viewers to a website. But the person who closes the loop on the transaction may not be the recipient of the original ad. “You have to find the optimal mix of offline and online media,” he says.

Maria Lopez KnowlesLopez-Knowles notes that marketers who want to reach the general Hispanic market can use those more acculturated consumers as influencers. Moreover, because they spend so much time online, “You can use your general market assets and change a couple of words into Spanish. You do not have to start from the bottom up.”

Switching around

Gonzalo del FaThere’s still another tricky thing: Even those highly acculturated 1.5 and 2.0 Hispanics may use both English and Spanish depending on the context. Using himself as an example, the Argentina-born del Fa says, “Soccer is in Spanish for me. My mindset is in Spanish and I curse, scream and enjoy it from a Latino angle. When I watch American football — which doesn’t’ make any sense in Spanish — I enjoy it and feel it and curse in English.”

A study of Hispanic women done by GroupM bore this out. In the multiethnic and multigenerational households of today, the majority of them spoke Spanish 50 percent of the time and English the other 50 percent.

For many workers, knowing enough English to operate at their jobs counts as bilingual. But this doesn’t mean that English marketing messages will resonate.

A case in point was a social media campaign that GroupM did for a client during the Latin Grammy Awards. The agency decided to do the campaign in Spanish because it aired on a Spanish network. It found that, even though the original tweets were in Spanish, language use among consumers responding was highly mixed, with people getting the message in one language and responding or retweeting in the other. Says del Fa, “That is the dynamic of the Hispanic consumer.”

Padilla insists that choosing the right language for social media campaigns is not that hard. “If you want to be part of the conversation, you have to do your homework and understand those channels. Social monitoring is a widely available practice to get a pulse on the content being consumed, whether it’s Spanish, English or a mix. It’s not much different from any other social media strategy.”

Slippery brands get entertaining, enticing Hispanic consumers to pay attention.

Havas Goes Faux for DishLATINO

streakerTo excite Hispanic consumers about subscribing to DishLATINO, Havas tapped Mexican TV actor and comedian, Eugenio Derbez for a new spot called Streaker. It eased the campaign by “leaking” what looked like a cellphone video showing someone streaking at a soccer game.

According to the agency, “The leaked video garnered 2 million views in less than 36 hours—all from fans surmising whether the streaker was real or fake, trying to guess his identity, and even blaming soccer security guards for letting the fan storm the field in his birthday suit.”

The end of the Streaker video directs viewers to a “choose-your-own adventure” on the Dish site. Havas also created newspaper wraps for in key Latino markets; the wraps purported to be from fictional tabloid site Scandal seekers who went to the URL were redirected to a landing page on DishLATINO. And … there are even more components to this campaign. Read about the rest of them on Yahoo News.

Mazola Taps Professor and Bloggers

photo: Miami Mommy Savings
photo: Miami Mommy Savings

ACH Food Companies, owner of the Mazola corn oil brand, teamed with Latina Mom Bloggers and Florida State University for a digital influencer event in Miami. ACH and the blog network funded a study by Dr. Sindy Chapa, Associate Director for Florida State University’s Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication, finding that 80 percent of Latina mothers believe in keeping to authentic ingredients – like Mazola. The event featured celebrity chef and author Ingrid Hoffmann. The event generated social media coverage, while a sponsored campaign enticed bloggers including Miami Mommy Savings wrote posts featuring the event – and Mazola.

Spanish TV Booms while Mainstream Channels Weep

Mainstream television channels in the United States are suffering declining ad sales and weakening viewership, as younger folks go over the top and ignore professionally produced content in favor of YouTube, Vimeo and the rest. On the other hand, viewers are more than willing to watch appointment TV shows like telenovelas or Liga MX football, according to the Financial Times. Maybe that’s why, in the first two months of 2015, ad spending at Univision and Telemundo rose 11 per cent, while total TV ad bookings fell by 12 percent.

Tono Studio Finds Niche in Nuance

Pundits keep admonishing marketers that their Hispanic-aimed ads must be authentic – and sometimes that authenticity comes down to very nitpicky stuff. A case in point is Tono Studio, the Los Angeles commercial audio company that helps advertisers with every aspect of sound design for a spot, from casting to sound design. A profile in the New York Times explains how Tono can capture a Spanish-speaker’s laugh or make sure that a dog’s bark sounds just right to a Hispanic ear. The studio’s latest focus is bringing that same authenticity to Spanglish.

Sponsored Mobile App Aids SMBs

The Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce released an app for small businesses. Wells Fargo underwrote the mobile app, which aims to provide Hispanic SMBs with will provide business development opportunities, education, and connectivity.

MLB spot still
LatinWorks wins MLB account, as baseball swings for the hearts of Hispanics.
Hispanics are widely represented in baseball, including more than 20 percent of players. If you include players with some Hispanic heritage, that jumps to 30 percent. While MLB has long reached out to Latinos, Opening Day 2015 on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball revealed the kickoff of the organization’s first Hispanic ad campaign via LatinWorks.

“Looking at 2015, we wanted to do more to reach out to Latino fans in places we haven’t been. We are buying media and forming media partnerships to engage Latinos more proactively,” says Jacqueline Parkes, chief marketing officer for Major League Baseball.

The campaign is called Aquí, with 30 and 60-second spots running on ESPN Deportes.

Television commercials are backed with a full digital and social media campaign. Consumers are asked to post their own “aquí” moments to social media.

“We will curate those and share them through a portal we’re building out on,” Parkes explains.

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MLB chose LatinWorks as its “multicultural partner,” a term Parkes says describes the same kind of relationship as “agency of record,” following an agency review of multicultural and Hispanic agencies. MLB already works with mainstream agency Anomaly, and did not consider other mainstream agencies with multicultural desks or capabilities.

Parkes says, “Both agencies will cooperate on the overall communications architecture. But we very much want LatinWorks to have their own point of view. The last thing we would want to do is translate a general market campaign. LatinWorks brings its own perspective, expertise and communications strategy, and its creative represents that.”

During the pitch, the agency provided MLB with an analysis of Major League Baseball’s current position among Hispanic consumers, as well as an outline of opportunities for moving forward. “”LatinWorks has been hugely helpful in educating us on what is going on in the marketplace and developing creative that’s authentic. They presented several opportunities and potential pathways,” she says.

LatinWorks’ creative for MLB will incorporate a multi-platform national campaign for the upcoming season, as well as strategic brand activations surrounding MLB Jewel Events including Opening Day, All-Star Game, and Hispanic Heritage Month. The agency’s full marketing campaign will be unveiled nationally later this month.

Parkes wouldn’t say what other agencies participated in the review. While agency pitches included sample creative, the new campaign came together following an official agency assignment to LatinWorks in early February. The TV commercials were produced in partnership with MLB Network.

MLB aT BATIn addition to the LatinWorks spots, MLB is courting Hispanic consumers by launching a Spanish-language version of its app, At Bat. Another ad ran opening night promoting the app and encouraging downloads. The ad for the app was produced by Carlos Lopez Estrada of Landia.

LatinWorks will be part of a new communications strategy organized by incoming Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, according to Parkes. “We are working collaboratively with and MLB Network.”

Parkes adds, “This is us saying to Latino consumers, ‘You are here, you are part of the game, and we want you to be here more frequently.’ The campaign celebrates the nuances of the game and the powerful influence that Latino players have on the game.”

DOWNLOAD our just released 2015 Soccer Marketing Guide!: Portada’s 2015 Soccer Marketing Guide!

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