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“We are the first-ever conservative radio and TV platform in Spanish. It has not happened in the world before,” Jorge L. Arrizurieta, President of Americano Media, tells Portada. With a potential target market of more than 500 million Spanish speakers, Americano Media is a new multimedia platform for conservative Latinos, producing 18 hours of original programming for an under-represented audience.

The streaming and app content is available across all major platforms including Apple, Android, SiriusXM and Roku, providing information to Hispanic Americans looking to make informed choices ahead of the mid-term election season and beyond. Headquartered in Miami, Americano Media has about 80 team members including international correspondents and hosts in countries including El Salvador, Colombia and Israel.

We view ourselves as a place where there can be a republican coexistence from the center to the right. A place where Bush supporters and Trump supporters get along.
Conservative Media
Jorge L. Arrizurieta, President of Americano Media

The first priority for Americano Media is to engage the U.S. Hispanic market. While there are a wide array of conservative vehicles in English, there is none in Spanish. “There is very little quality conservative content in the U.S. in Spanish-language,” Jorge L. Arrizurieta adds. With the mid-term elections just months away, Hispanic Americans represent nearly 20 percent of the electorate. That number is growing, and with it, the diversity of the demographic’s political leanings. “Now being available on over-the-top video allows us to share real content that echoes our core values. At the end of the day, these are All-American values.” The new service will feature exclusive TV programming hosted by conservative personalities including:

• Lourdes Ubieta, Dania Alexandrino Nelson Rubio – all previously with Radio Mambi, a conservative media Miami talk radio station recently acquired by financier George Soros – and Emmy-award winning journalist Lucia Navarro.

• “Battleground Americano” – A war of values and principles is being waged in the United
States, and “Battleground Americano” is at the frontline, led by show host Jesús Márquez.

• “Buenos Dias Americano” (“Good Morning Americano”) – “Buenos Días Americano”
places the world’s news at your feet before you leave home each morning!

• “Así está el Mundo” (“This is the World”) – When you are wanting to know, “What is
happening?”, Lourdes Ubieta tells “Así está el Mundo,” a mid-day prime program in
which she covers the most important news so far and interviews the key characters of
each day, with emphasis on international politics.

Americano MediaWith the objective of increasing awareness among the U.S. Hispanic population, Americano Media will be releasing an advertising campaign in the next few weeks. soon. “We will be aggressively advertising in key metropolitan areas with a high Hispanic density. The campaign will include digital and also traditional media. Advertising creative will be in Spanish,” says Arrizurieta.

Conservative Media: A Place for Republican Coexistence from the Center to the Right

“We view ourselves as a place where there can be a Republican coexistence from the center to the right. A place where Bush supporters and Trump supporters get along.” Arrizurieta notes. He adds that conservative means something very different today than a few years ago, as the political spectrum has shifted to the right.

Americano Media is a business, not a political organization.

According to Arrizurieta, the Republican world today is very clouded by the Trump viewpoint, although some of the issues Trump espouses are more popular than conservative. “We will keep working hard to invite all spectrums of the Republican world to work together to beat the Democrats,” he asserts.

Advertising and Content Revenues with Fox as a Model

“Americano Media is a business, not a political organization,” Arrizurieta states. “During the election cycle candidates and PACs (Political Action Candidates) are going to be very significant advertisers. There is also room for traditional corporate and consumer goods advertisers,” he adds. Americano Media is currently building an advertising sales team led by Andrew E. Bazner,  Vice President of Sales at Americano Media Group. Another revenue source, Americano Media Jorge L. Arrizurieta president notes, are content sales to other radio and TV, and video properties.

Arrizurieta says that many observers have asked him if Americano Media is a Spanish version of Fox. “We are far from it, but we identify with the Fox model,” he asserts. In his view, Fox’s quality programming and news are a great content mix.

The Miami Cuban community is a very important constituency for Americano Media.  According to Arrizurieta,  Spanish-language newspaper and website el El Nuevo Herald never has embraced the local South Floridian Hispanic community and is very antagonistic to its basic values. Diario las Americas,  Arrizurieta notes, is more representative of conservative media as it is owned by a conservative Venezuelan family. Diario las Americas is a natural ally for Americano Media according to Arrizurieta.

Americano Media is the brainchild of Arrizurieta and Iván García-Hidalgo, CEO/Founder of Americano Media. Both Ivan and Jorge are experts on the Hispanic voter base. They have decades of expertise consulting on Presidential campaigns and working with publicly-traded media companies and have now come together to launch an exciting new platform.

 

GoDigital Media Group (“GoDigital”), the owner of mitú, announced the acquisition of NGL Collective with the backing of MEP Capital, a media and entertainment-focused investment firm. The new entity will retain the name of NGL Collective.

8/4/2022 Update/Correction:
This article previously mentioned that reVolver podcasts is part of the Latido platform (owned by mitu), however reVolverpodcasts is not in anyway included in, or a part of the NGL /mitu transaction. reVolver and Latido parted ways amicably last year, Jack Hobbs, president reVolver podcasts, tells Portada.

mitú acquires NGL

As part of the acquisition, NGL Collective (“NGL”), a leading New Generation Latinx digital-first media and entertainment company co-founded by actor and activist John Leguizamo and industry leader David Chitel, is merging with GoDigital’s mitú.  The new entity will retain the name of NGL Collective. It claims to be the largest 100% Latino-focused digital-first Latinx media company in the country helping advertisers connect with this coveted audience regardless of age or language preference. NGL will cater to a network of Latinx creative and media partners, reaching U.S. Latinx communities via an array of social media and editorial sites, in-person and virtual community events, and published research. Digital media in all its facets, including influencer marketing, social media and CTV, has become the prevalent way to target and engage the GenZ consumer(check out our recent interview with Tecate’s Belen Pamukoff).

This unprecedented business combination solidifies our mission of being the #1 New Generation Latinx digital-first media and entertainment company in the U.S.

“Latinx media consumption is exploding. NGL’s expertise in Latinx media solutions and our shared commitment to culturally relevant creativity makes it a great addition to GoDigital’s portfolio,” said Jason Peterson Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GoDigital Media Group. “This acquisition cements our foothold in the U.S. Latino media space.”

Mitú, a heavily funded former multi-channel Youtube Network 

Mitú, started as a multi-channel YouTube network targeting the LatinX consumer in 2012.  The company got more than US $50 million in funding by investors including the Chernin Group. In February 2020 mitu  was bought  by Latido Networks, a subsidiary of GoDigital. Latido Networks owns the Latin music-focused YouTube multi-channel network VidaPrimo. “It’s very much a “zipper” concept, meaning they provide much of what our other brands (most specifically Latido) were seeking to build, and we have the infrastructure and media impressions that will help mitú get even more out of its brand reach”, a source at Latido Media told Portada at the time.

mitú Acquires NGL Collective: Consolidation in the Hispanic Digital Media Sector

mitú’s acquistion of NGL Collective is a further step in the consolidation of the Hispanic digital media sector.  The consolidation in the Hispanic digital media sector includes recent transactions like MyCode’s purchase of Impremedia and TelevisaUnivision’s acquisition of Vix, the former Batanga,  in February 2021.
NGL’s premium Latino video, on web, mobile, social, and connected television and the #1 comScore ranking, coupled with mitú’s community of more than 13 million social followers and web visitors, will provide an unmatched video-driven experience for consumers and advertisers. With the combined market presence of mitú brands, comprising wearemitú, somosmitú,  FIERCE, crema, and Things That Matter, and NGL brands, consisting of Latina Moms, Hispanic Kitchen, and Hispanicize, the new NGL community will constitute the largest gathering of Latinx influencers, content creators, entrepreneurs, trendsetters, and media and entertainment innovators in the world. NGL’s in-house Emmy®-nominated production team will also join forces with mitú’s social content and brand studio team, which operates mitú Studios, a 14,000-square-foot studio in Eastside Los Angeles.

Digital media in all its facets, including influencer marketing, social media and CTV, has become the prevalent way to target and engage the GenZ consumer.

“Latinos are the largest ethnic group in the U.S., accounting for 11% of the buying power, and yet their contribution is consistently excluded in media and entertainment,” said John Leguizamo, Co-founder and Partner of NGL Collective. “With NGL Collective and mitú’s shared commitment to amplifying the voices of the Latinx community, our platforms and reach will expand. We will create more opportunities for Latinos in front of and behind the camera to speak directly to our community and influence how America sees us and how we see ourselves.”

“For ten years, mitú has built its legacy through creating communities and ensuring Latino voices are heard. Joining forces with NGL enables mitú to continue to build brands, cultural content and experiences that resonate with and represent the diverse U.S. Latino community,” said Vanessa Vigil, Chief Brand Officer, NGL Collective (former General Manager at mitú) . “It’s exciting to bring these companies together in a shared mission, with complementary solutions, and be part of leading mitú and NGL brands into the next decade.”

NGL will be helmed by current Chief Executive Officer and Founder David Chitel, with the creative support of Partner John Leguizamo. Vanessa Vigil will be elevated from General Manager of mitú to Chief Brand Officer of NGL. Ben Leff, NGL’s Chief Operating Officer, Ben DeJesus, President of NGL Studios, and Joe Bernard, NGL’s Chief Revenue Officer, will remain in the same capacities. Stephen Brooks, President of mitú and Latido Networks, will oversee the integration of the two companies, focusing on strengthening GoDigital’s investments in Latinx media.

“This unprecedented business combination solidifies our mission of being the #1 New Generation Latinx digital-first media and entertainment company in the U.S.,” concluded David Chitel, Chief Executive Officer of NGL Collective. “The power and influence of U.S. Latinos merits a company like NGL exclusively focused on connecting advertisers with our coveted audience in-language, in-culture and in-context. The depth of our newly expanded offering inclusive of mitú makes us far and away the leader in our space.”

 

Song Exploder is launching a new Spanish-language spin-off called Cancion Exploder, a podcast targeting Spanish-language speakers worldwide.   The new podcast series takes listeners “deep into the process and art of writing a song, and thereby reveals something essential and true about the artist telling their story in their own words.” Cancion Exploder is hosted and co-executive produced by Martina Castro, with Song Exploder creator Hrishikesh Hirway serving as Executive Producer.

Martina Castro tells Portada that  the Cancion Exploder, Song Exploder’s Spanish-language spin-off, is the first to really delve deep into the Latin identity of both the artists and the creative process itself. According to Castro, Cancion Exploder takes listeners “deep into  the process and art of writing a song, and thereby reveals something essential and true about the artist telling their story in their own words.”  Back in 2018 Martina Castro was introduced to Hrishikesh Hirway to make a Song Exploder Spanish-language spin-off version. Created by Hrishikesh Hirway, Song Exploder is an award-winning podcast and Netflix series  where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made.

Martina Castro
Martina Castro, host and co-executive producer, Cancion Exploder

Castro, a Uruguayan-American, notes that Cancion Explorer’s content reflects the fact that many of the artists live in one country but have roots in other countries. The podcast series is a testament to how speaking “Spanglish”, or having a multicultural identity, influences music and, at the same time, the interest in and consumption of Latin music. “Cancion Explorer dispels the idea that you have to speak perfect Spanish to be a Latino. In fact, many of the artists perhaps are not that comfortable in Spanish.”

Cancion Explorer dispels the idea that you have to speak perfect Spanish to be a Latino

The first season of Canción Exploder will feature an eclectic array of award-winning and chart- topping Latin Music artists, including Nathy Peluso, Jorge Drexler, Mon Laferte, Silvana Estrada, José Gonzalez, iLe & Adrian Quesada, and Ibeyi. The first episode is available now and features Bomba Estéreo breaking down their song “Deja” from their critically acclaimed album of the same name.

Canción Exploder is produced and distributed by Adonde Media in partnership with Radiotopia from PRX. Adonde Media is the multilingual and global podcast production company behind podcasts including “Duolingo Spanish,” “TED en Español,” “El Verdadero Robo del Siglo”, “Emprendedores con Luis Von Ahn,” “The Last Days of Maradona,” “Vivo Songbook,” and “Después de Ayotzinapa.”

Song Exploder’s Spanish-language Spin-Off: Partnership with Hrishikesh Hirway

Cancion Exploder is partnering  Hrishikesh Hirway to bring this type of artful audio storytelling to listeners en español”.  The series has featured some of the biggest artists in the world––Fleetwood Mac, U2, Billie Eilish, Solange, Metallica, The Roots, Dua Lipa, and more––breaking down the sounds and ideas that went into their writing and recording. Song Exploder has been celebrated as “warm, deep, and illuminating” by “The New Yorker” and deemed as “probably the best use of the podcast format ever” by “Vulture.” In addition, “The New York Times” praised the show as “filled with serious lines of honesty, cinematic production, and peeks inside the creative
process.”
New episodes of Canción Exploder will be released every two weeks, on Wednesdays, and will be available free on-demand to listeners around the world across all major podcast platforms, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, and iVoox.

We are the first and only carrier to provide Spanish-only ad-free content made for Latinos by Latinos.

Podcast Marketing of Cancion Exploder

Castro says that there is an enormous growth in the Spanish-speaking podcast space and yet, many “Spanish-speakers don’t know what a podcast is. Adonde Media will be launching a TikTok channel, as well as Instagram and Twitter accounts. Extra content will be provided on these channels.” There are two weeks between each podcast episode giving Cancion Exploder time to build up the universe in different countries. Gonzalo Castro, COO of Adonde Media, is leading the podcast marketing initiative for Cancion Explorer. The target number of listeners will be established after the current initial phase. 

Cancion Exploder’s business model relies on monetization through advertising, either through the (CPM-cost per thousand listeners model or through branded integrations. According to the Latino Podcast Listener Report  by Edison Research, U.S. Latinos show an affinity for brands advertised on Latino podcasts — 75% say they are likely to purchase a brand on a podcast hosted by Latinos. Music content certainly plays an important role in marketing, and even more so in the Latino market. Other monetization options include integrated interviews or 30 second ads.

Growth in Latino Podcast Listening

The above cited Latino Podcast Listener Report shows that there is a big opportunity to bring diverse and inclusive content to Latino audiences. “Podcasting is easily accessible but not intuitive. CancionExploder has all the ingredients to bring audiences to podcast for the first time”, Martina Castro asserts. The Latino Podcast Listener Report 2021 from Edison Research finds that 36% of U.S. Latinos age 18+ (16 million people) have listened to a podcast in the last month, which is a 44% increase over 2020 (25%). This is narrowing the gap with the overall 18+ U.S. population, of whom 40% are monthly podcast listeners. New research shows that this dramatic increase comes from both English-dominant and Spanish-dominant listeners.
One factor may have contributed to the changes seen in the most recent study: the COVID-19 pandemic. Over half (54%) of Latino monthly podcast listeners say they began listening to podcasts during the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020 or after).  Forty-four percent of non-Spanish dominant U.S. Latino monthly podcast listeners and 57% of Spanish-dominant U.S. Latino monthly podcast listeners began listening within the last year, which reinforces the idea that available content for Latino listeners is increasing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cancion Exploder

 

 

Hispanic CTV Advertising provides brands the positive audience features of linear TV (co-viewing, large screen engagement) and the targeting and interactive capabilities of digital marketing. Hispanics are one of the highest growing cohorts in CTV adoption. What do advertisers need to take into account when it comes to target U.S. Hispanic consumers through CTV?

Hispanic CTV Advertising
Darcy Bowe, SVP, Media Director at Starcom USA.

“CTV can be used as broad video impressions to replace or complement television or it can be a part of a digital campaign and have the same KPIs as that campaign. It can offer a deeper level of audience targeting vs. television and you can overlay interactive elements on an ad to create viewer interaction as well,” says Darcy Bowe, SVP, Media Director at Starcom USA, where she is involved with video media planning and buying for cients.

CTV can offer a deeper level of audience targeting vs. television and you can overlay interactive elements on an ad to create viewer interaction as well.

Nielsen’s recent Total Audience Report revealed that 17% of connected TV (CTV) device users in the U.S. are Hispanics.  52% of Hispanics watched CTV in Q3 2020, the second-highest cohort. Asian Americans, 54%, lead in CTV consumption followed by White Americans (49%) and Black Americans (46%). Reach of traditional TV among Hispanics is the second-lowest at 76%, after Asian Americans (65%). Hispanic CTV viewing increased 25% to 54 minutes a day in Q3 of 2020.

Hispanics over-index versus most other cohorts in CTV consumption and under-index in traditional TV consumption.

Opportunities for Brands

Where do opportunities for brand marketers lie when it comes to engage the U.S. Hispanic consumer through CTV?

Isabelle Rafferty, CEO & Founder Canela Media, notes that “the advertisers best positioned to engage Hispanics via CTV are the ones who recognize Hispanics as a social, cultural and economic force. Brands who understand this fact possess detailed knowledge of the diverse backgrounds, passion points and types of messaging that resonate best with Hispanic audiences. For example, McDonald’s has consistently used its Hispanic-focused advertising to showcase experiences and situations that resonate deeply with Hispanic viewers, which not only creates an emotional connection but also demonstrates how well the company understands the audience.”

“Interestingly, while cord-cutting has become increasingly prevalent amongst Hispanic audiences, there is still an incredible lack of Spanish-language news shows and current affairs programming available on streaming services. We set out to bridge that gap by launching Canela News, which gives Spanish-speaking cord-cutters access to the latest in current events, sports and weather,” Rafferty adds.

Hispanic CTV Advertising: QSR, Auto, Energy, Alcohol and Tech

For any brand looking to make a meaningful connection with Latinos, CTV/OTT is a must . Rafferty notes that on Canela.TV, “”we’ve seen the greatest growth in ad spend from QSR, Auto, Energy, Alcohol and Tech and look forward to helping other brands and verticals define their footprint with US Hispanics.”

Precisely for reaching a market as heterogenous as the Hispanic market, with its many language, country of origin and cultural nuances, Hispanic CTV Advertising provides targeting capabilities via a myriad of data triggers that can provide customized ads – by making a reference to cultural customs (e.g. food, music, sports etc.) – in order to make the ad experience much less standard than it usually is on linear TV.

We’ve seen the highest growth in ad spend from QSR, Auto, Energy, Alcohol and Tech.

Plus, brand recognition tends to be lower by multicultural consumers therefore increasing the potential for advertising campaigns. Nielsen’s latest Annual Auto Marketing report found that driving connections with the multicultural consumer is key to the automotive industry. According to the study, consumers from multicultural groups – Hispanic, Black and Asian Americans – are aware of 10-20% fewer car brands than the general U.S. population. The reports adds that “automotive brands are less top-of-mind for multicultural consumers, and there is an imperative for marketers to close that gap because most purchase decisions can be traced back to brands that consumers already have in mind before starting out on the path-to-purchase. Another category that over-indexes in terms of Hispanic consumer demand are telecommunications, consumer electronics, money transfer as well as certain parts of the grocery and retail sector.”

Canela.TV differs from most OTT offerings because it was truly one of the 1st AVOD streaming entertainment platforms built exclusively for Latinos by Latinos. With Canela.TV, Latinos are no longer an afterthought or “subsection” of a larger offering. “Our entire platform was build with diverse Hispanic audiences in mind, offering culturally relevant content from around the world in Spanish and English. We cater to the complex origins groups, tastes and language preferences of the modern Hispanic landscape in America,” Rafferty emphasizes.

Isabel Rafferty
Isabelle Rafferty, CEO & Founder Canela Media
About 50% of Canela TV’s viewership occurs on connected TVs. 

Canela.TV has attracted a total of 3.2MM unique users in less than a year of being in-market, and is pacing to achieve over 8MM unique users by the end of 2021. Canela.TV is 100% over-the-top, and about 50% of its viewership occurs on connected TVs.Canela.TV uses audience data to enable brands to determine where they should be advertising, as well as the best way of establishing meaningful and in-depth relationships with U.S. Hispanics. “We also use audience data to figure out what types of content resonate most with our audiences, which in turn influences the programming that we decide to add to our library as well as the recommendations we offer to our advertisers,” CEO Rafferty adds.

Neccessary Ad-Tech Stack for Hispanic CTV Advertising

For its star product, Canela.TV, and its related Hispanic CTV Advertising,  Canela Media uses SpringServe as video ad server and use Google Ad Manager for Display & Video solutions across their O&O properties. Canela Media’s ever-growing OLV (Pre-Roll & Outstream) Network we relies on SpotX and FreeWheelCanela Media is also integrated withf DSPs and SSPs, like  Beachfront, Conversant, district m, e-Planning, EMX Digital, Freewheel, Google, Gum Gum, Index Exchange, InMobi, Magnite DV+ (Rubicon/Teleria), Mobfox, MoPub, OpenX, Pubmatic, Pulsepoint, Roku, Sabio, Simpli.fi, Smaato, Smart AdServer, SpotX, SuperAwesome, TappX, The Trade Desk, TripleLift, Unruly (RhythmOne), Verizon Media, Zypmedia. Additionally, Canela Media is connected for header bidding  via VAST and Ad Tags.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Impremedia, the leading Hispanic news and information company, and publisher of the two main newspapers in Spanish in the United States, La Opinión and El Diario, issued an open letter calling advertisers and media agencies to end the discrimination of Hispanics Audiences and the media serves that serves them.

The advertising investment in the Hispanic market in the U.S. is only 6% of the total while Hispanics are almost 20% of the population. The ad allocation in Minority-Owned/Operated Media is even less than the mentioned 6%.

The investment made by mainstream advertisers, agencies, and corporations to ethnic media in the distribution of their advertising funds represents neither the importance of communities nor their economic contribution. U.S. Hispanics alone have over 1.5 trillion of buying power. This is not translated into advertising.

The full text of the letter follows:

The worst in the COVID-19 crisis seems to be behind us. While the country has suffered greatly, the first signs of an economic awakening are visible.

During the long and terrible months of the pandemic, the print media, as a whole, lost staff positions, circulation, content and advertising. Many publications had to shut down. This left its mark on the national news landscape by depriving many communities of their primary sources of information.

The crisis has been especially cruel to the press in local ethnic communities, such as the ones served by Impremedia; with outlets including La Opinión in Los Angeles, El Diario in New York, La Raza in Chicago, and La Opinión de la Bahía in San Francisco, all of which owe their existence to a fundamental and organic link with the communities they serve.

For decades, newspapers like ours have been important tools for integrating immigrants into the United States, helping millions of newcomers become part of the American dream, and contributing to our country through their work, taxes and sacrifices. Latinos have become a group of increasing importance, represented in all spheres of the economy and government.

We’ve linked millions of readers to advertisers and the products and services they offer during all these years. We have done this by publishing advertisements on our pages.

This mission continues. And the economic, social and political problems our community has been subjected to have made it even more essential.

We must tell the truth: the crisis caused by the coronavirus has unfortunately accentuated a negative anomaly: The financial investment made by most mainstream advertisers, agencies and corporations to ethnic media in the distribution of their advertising funds has decreased significantly.

The meager fraction in those advertisement funds left for community ethnic media represents neither the importance of minorities nor the leading role that publications like ours and other Ethnic-Media represent. The advertising investment in the Hispanic market in the US is only 6% of the total when we are 19% of the population. The investment in Minority-Owned/Operated Media is even less than that. All this while Total buying power of the US Hispanic population is over $1.5 trillion, over 10% of the total.

Discrimination in Advertising

Specifically, they are reinvesting billions of dollars, but at an unacceptable rate, in the larger mainstream media, technology platforms and social media that targets U.S. Hispanics but that is neither owned or operated by minorities.

That way, there will be those who say that advertisers are abandoning our community. There will be those who claim that they are adopting a discriminatory attitude or impervious to the fate of community media outlets. Even when those outlets are crucial for the very communities they say they want to reach.

Advertising invested in other minorities also turns out to be minimal and inadequate relative to the proportion of that community in the general population. Important media owned by African Americans have mounted a public and successful campaign exposing the roots of that abandonment. We sympathize with their effort and demand that the treatment of ethnic media by agencies and advertisers change.

The decline of local and community news media destroys the media outlets themselves and the vision of an open, comprehensive, and democratic society. A vision that corresponds to current demographic trends, where the percentage of Latinos grows throughout the country.

No one should forget: aquí estamos y no nos vamos; here we are and we are not leaving.

Advertisers open the door to accusations that they are abandoning Hispanic readers and customers by neglecting outlets like ours.

Just when many media and entities accuse advertisers and agencies of this, supporting companies like Impremedia would be a key sign of commitment to plurality and diversity.

It is time for them to reconsider the distribution of their advertising budgets without prejudice or discrimination and look towards the future.

What: Video ID technology company ZEFR has opened a division dedicated solely to the Hispanic market after closing a US$30 million fundraising round led by Institutional Venture Partners.
Why It Matters: As the Hispanic population grows to 17.4% of the total U.S. population and will account for more than half of country’s growth by 2020, U.S. Online Video and Ad-technology companies looking to expand their reach are investing in reaching this key demographic.

Article by Gretchen Gardner

Angie Correa
Angie Correa

ZEFR, a Los Angeles-based video identification technology company that uses its videoID™ technology to help brands target influencers and topics through video content on YouTube, manages 275 million videos and tracks 31 billion video views a month. In the wake of a US $30 million fundraising round led by Institutional Venture Partners, ZEFR has opened up a division dedicated solely to the US Hispanic market. We talked to Angie Correa, the company’s new National Strategy and Sales Director for the US Hispanic market, and a former Terra Networks USA Senior Sales Executive, about how the company decided to invest in this growing market and the strategy they plan to put in place to conquer it.

“The Hispanic population accounts for 17.4% of the total U.S. population and will account for more than half of the population growth in the country by 2020. There’s no denying the consumer power of Hispanics is massive,” said Correa. What’s more, the Hispanic market is anything but homogeneous, and ZEFR knows that different strategies will be required for the U.S. vs. foreign-born Hispanics, “as well as varying levels of cultural integration.”

There is a huge need in the market to bring new technology to improve the connection possible between brands and Hispanic consumers.

Technology ranks Social Influencers

And ZEFR has never been a company that shies away from the nuances of different markets –in fact, that’s what has made the company unique from the beginning, Correa claims. “ZEFR is centered on improving advertising by aligning the right brand message with the right content and/or influencer,” Correa said, and her team knows that Hispanic consumers’ taste is just as, if not more, nuanced as that of the general American public, identifying “a huge need in the market to bring new technology to improve the connection possible between brands and Hispanic consumers.”

ZEFRs technical expertise positions the company well to take on this challenge, as its IMS technology “ranks every Influencer across every social platform” and allows them to find the perfect candidates for each brand’s campaign needs. This is a different approach to talent management than that of many other MCNs, as they choose not to “own”  talent, but identify Influencers that want to work with brands and help build that organic relationship.

Honda Campaign

Correa is adamant that this approach “drives better results and deeper relationships between the Influencer, brand and ZEFR,” and pointed us to a campaign they ran with Honda called “A Space for Dreams.” The campaign made use of two important statistics related to the Hispanic market: Hispanics use YouTube heavily, and are also key to auto sales. Selecting two Hispanic YouTube Influencers, they filmed a “Day in the Life” vlog in which they regularly used Honda’s CRV.

The results were huge: record-setting sales and 80% more organic views than Honda had paid for originally. In Correa’s words, the campaign was successful because it “brought to life content that resonated with their followers.”

What defines good creative in the Hispanic market is the same as in any other market. And it’s often difficult to define. Everyone agrees that it cannot be reduced to specific design elements, colors or images. “The quickest way to offend any audience is to reduce it to a stereotype. No one will connect with a Hispanic audience by standardizing
on swirly typefaces and bright color palettes that seem to ‘look’ Hispanic,” explains Ronnie Lipton, multi-cultural marketing consultant and author of Designing Across Cultures (How Design Books, 2002). “Such symbols and elements will fail in most cases because they show the advertiser didn’t even try to understand the market’s depth and diversity.”

Many advertisers and publishers talk about cultural insight or understanding as the most important element of good creative. According to Alex Pallette, Vice President and Director of Account Planning at The Vidal Partnership, ads do not need to be visually Hispanic, but the strategy and thinking behind the ads has to come from an understanding of the Hispanic consumer. “The creative we did for Nissan has nothing visually to suggest that it is an advertisement targeting Hispanics. Its ability to reach Hispanics comes from an understanding of the Hispanic consumer that is conveyed in the advertisement,” explains Pallette. The Vidal Partnership looked at what ownership means to a Hispanic consumer, which is very different from what it means in the general market, and used that understanding to create an ad that speaks to Hispanics. “Ownership is a much bigger deal to the Hispanic consumer, it means more. That has to come through in the ad,” explains Pallette.

Felipe Korzenny, Ph.D., Professor and Director of the Center for Hispanic Marketing Communications at Florida State University, also emphasizes the importance of gaining cultural insight when it comes to good creative. He gives the example of coffee. “Americans use coffee to wake up in the morning, to get themselves going, but for Hispanics it’s more a way to welcome the morning and celebrate the new day. So you are going to create very different ads to speak to these two understandings or uses of coffee,” explains Korzenny.

However, an ad based on a specific insight into Hispanic culture, or some segment of the Hispanic market, often requires educating the client on more subtle cultural differences. In the absence of symbols or elements that are identifiably Hispanic, clients have difficultly recognizing good creative when they see it. Rochelle Newman-Carrasco, CEO and Principal of Enlace Communications, a full-service ad agency specializing in the U.S. Hispanic market, says it’s not uncommon to present an ad to a client and hear “What’s Hispanic about it?”

Some argue that an advertisement that is both specific to Hispanic culture, and at the same time universal enough to be understood by general market consumers (and clients) is ideal. Newman says she can argue it both ways. “If something is that universal it may not really reach the specific target audience,” she explains.

Good creative is creative that sells product

Great cultural insight and design are just parts of the equation. When it comes down to it, good creative is creative that gets people to take action. “If an ad doesn’t get the consumer to buy the product, it’s not a good ad,” says Ruth Gaviria, Publisher and Executive Director of Hispanic Ventures at Meredith. Rochelle Newman-Carrasco says that direct mail is “good creative” in this respect. “Direct mail is known for being tacky and not very artistically designed, but it is really good at what it does,” says Newman. “They’ve figured out how to get the response they want. And it is measurable, so if it’s not working they know it and can make changes.” Newman says that she sees the more results oriented direct mail advertising and the more idea and creative oriented print and broadcast advertising incorporating the strengths of the other into their own medium. So direct mail is becoming more visually appealing and well-designed and print and broadcast becoming more results oriented.

What gets in the way of good creative?

According to Ernie Pino, director of Producciones Pino in Los Angeles, lack of time and budget restrictions often make it more difficult to produce great creative for the Hispanic market. “There have been times when an Anglo campaign is ready to launch, but at the 11th hour, a creative director is given an order to have us design the campaign for Hispanic distribution,” explains Pino. “At that point there’s little time to engage in a good creative process and the job must be done on a rush basis or not at all.” Pino says the same thing happens with budgeting.

Meredith’s Ruth Gaviria agrees that lack of investment is one of the biggest obstacles to good creative in the Hispanic market, especially when it comes to print. “Hispanic agencies’ bread and butter has typically come from TV, so print has been less important.” Gaviria says that agencies have focused mostly on hiring and developing talented TV creatives and have neglected print. However, as interest in the Hispanic market in general, and print in particular, increases Gaviria sees this changing. “Hispanic agencies have had to hire new people who really know print.”

What makes good creative possible?

Great concepts and cutting edge design are not just about talent. Good creative needs the proper environment within which to grow. According to Ruth Gaviria, what really allows good creative to happen is a combination of good insights and openness to risk. “In the end, it is all about the relationship that exists between the agency and the client. If there is trust and open communication the creative process can flourish,” says Gaviria. “The companies that are really open to that dialogue, who want their agencies to push them, to make them a little bit uncomfortable, those are the companies that are really going to come out with great creative that sells.” Multicultural marketing consultant Ronnie Lipton points out that the more companies advertise to Hispanics, the better ads have to be. “Increased clutter means that advertising that’s just there isn’t enough. More than ever advertising has to be good – has to connect – to even be noticed.”

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