Xavier Mantilla, new SVP at UM: “Our charge is to be the multicultural layer across all IPG agencies”

Xavier Mantilla is the new SVP Multicultural at UM. Mantilla will work across all UM clients and also work at Identity across all IPG agencies. Portada interviewed Mantilla, a veteran in both the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American advertising and media markets, about his new position and the challenges ahead.

Portada: What will your main function be as SVP Multicultural at UM?
Xavier Mantilla, SVP Multicultural.: “The position is to work across all UM clients and also work at Identity across all IPG agencies to create best practices, more coordination and research support and most importantly best practices across all our clients for more in-depth work on the Multicultural arena in all media types with a focus on Digital.”

Portada: What accounts will you be working on both at UM and Identity (plus we understand that you will continue servicing Sony Pictures for Latin America)?

Xavier Mantilla, SVP Multicultural, UM
Xavier Mantilla, SVP Multicultural, UM

X.M.:  “As my position is not only a UM position but part of Identity, our charge is to be the Multicultural layer across all IPG agencies. So from a UM side, it’s every UM client in North America, but from Identity it opens the door to work with clients at Initiative, BPN and every media agency in the IPG family (ID Media and others in that space). My work will be directly with Deidre Small-Landau who heads Identity and so it’s really about making sure every IPG company is thinking about Multicultural and being best-in-class. This is very exciting and I am happy to be a part of Identity.”

How will you develop Identity’s multicultural (digital) business?
X.M.:  “Identity is a layer of rich experience within IPG. What our aim has become from the digital side is to enhance the bases, strengthen the knowledge and work seamlessly with partners that we are already engaging across the various agencies. We are finding out what national partners have strength in Multicultural, as well as test and learn to make sure we have best in class across every IPG agency. The days of single, stand-alone partnerships will not do as we want to increase efficiency and work across the partner sphere and find the sweet spots in each relationship, and develop these relationships that better serve our clients. In a true sense it’s a win-win for everyone.”

Mediabrands’ Magna Group has made inroads into programmatic trading how, if at all, is multicultural media buying being integrated?
X.M.: “As my role with Identity is a MediaBrands role, our first order of business has been to work with the Magna team, our Audience Platform and our programmatic solutions to be able to have the best in class. There has been a great start of conversations as well brining in the IPG MediaLab that allows us to test and find solutions to every agency in the IPG family. This is strength in numbers, and our clients benefit, plus benchmarking and excellence, so Magna’s role is crucial in this endeavor.”

Will Mediabrands Magna Group also include a group of Hispanic media properties in its automated media buying program ? (Last year it announced a partnership with some English-language cable channel, radio and TV networks in order to develop a “programmatic buying approach”.)
 “As I mentioned before, Magna is part of our structure and along with the IPG MediaLab the ultimate goal is to include properties that can give us concrete results and scale. And this would be reflected across all our planning and buying and so it would be across the multiple media types, but again, this is a process so we are in the early stages to get there. This is the start of something that we believe will be very different from what other media agencies are doing and we plan to really research, and showcase our findings. J3 has started their research and we are a part of it, so folks like Liz Medina at J3 are what make this exciting from a research and results level, as well as all the great research that Deidre and the Identity team already have in place and are currently working on -more news will come on this front from her soon.”

You are very experienced in both the Latam and USH markets: Where do you see the main differences between the Latin American – Miami marketplace and the U.S. Hispanic marketplace?
I think the differences are marked between both markets. Tony Ruiz would always say – in Latam, that is the general market, while here we an integral part of the general market, not a sub-market. I always agreed in that description as work in the region can be focused on a particular country and all the media is “general market” so there is no question of acculturation or if the ad has to have Latin insights or not. Also the Miami marketplace is very much a re-seller market, in difference with Multicultural that you work with the partners themselves. This is because of the strong relationships that the re-sellers (companies that represent and sell media from various entities) have had with the ad agencies. This is an interesting model as it really does not work in-country (in countries of Latin America we buy directly from media properties who are our partners) but Miami has always had this interesting wrinkle. So it is an unusual market and I think as programmatic grows and we become more interconnected – it will be interesting to see how the Miami market will evolve, it’s definitely worth watching!”