To industry outsiders, the NewFronts seem like something out of Mad Men – and that’s because they are.

For the uninformed, the NewFronts are digital’s answer to television’s Upfronts, through which networks debut programming including new shows and old hits, and executives do their very best to wine, dine and schmooze their way into securing commitment from advertisers before the season starts.

In contrast, the NewFronts are events held over the course of two weeks that are organized by digital video companies to show advertisers the kinds of bang they can get for their buck on their platforms. Those who can’t do that are “left to the scatter market,” as Yahoo’s director of sales for US Hispanic Matthew Harris says.

Ditching Old School for Digital

It’s all very old school, which is why it seems strange that digital, such a modern rejection of everything TV, would try to copy TV. But as digital slowly starts to catch up to television, the NewFronts have come into their own, and the increasing value of reaching the Hispanic consumer has played no small part in shaping today’s digital landscape.

Multicultural Digital always rises to the top as a priority due to the Hispanic consumer media behaviors.

Harris affirmed that US Hispanics were a “recurring theme” at Yahoo’s even this year, and that Joe Zee, Yahoo’s style editor, mentioned Hispanic consumers in his presentation, which was “a signal of Yahoo’s broader commitment to the Hispanic community,” confirmed Harris.

But reaching Hispanics means understanding the evolving Hispanic consumer. Harris pointed out that Yahoo transformed its Yahoo en Español  into Yahoo US Hispanic for bilingual, acculturated audiences, as “Spanish-language only is a disservice and disadvantage,” Harris says.

Mobile and Video Reign

“Multicultural Digital always rises to the top as a priority due to the Hispanic consumer media behaviors,” says María Fernández Ordóñez, senior vice president and and media director at the agency Identity. Hispanic consumers tend to keep up with the latest trends in mobile consumption, so “when developing media plans for this consumer and seeing how driven they are to use digital media and particularly mobile and watching video, these two platforms get the highest media allocations,” Ordóñez adds.

popsugar-newfronts-hed-2016-444x250All platforms were excited to introduce their Hispanic-oriented content to advertisers. Geoff Schiller, POPSUGAR’s CFO, comments that it went beyond its regular POPSUGAR Latina channel this year, creating strategic partnerships with Mas Mejor, Broadway Video’s premium comedy studio starring Latino influencers.

At its NewFronts event, POPUSUGAR also premiered Cooking Rodriguez, a scripted comedy about an aspiring Cuban YouTube chef created by Marlena Rodriguez, a writer who contributed to season two of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

In general, the NewFronts also reflected the general shift in advertising budgets from television to digital. Ordóñez notes that IPG committed $250MM to buy Google Preferred inventory for Broadcast 2017, and 250MM more to an upfront deal with YouTube. Schiller says: “TV to digital investment has yet to reach its apex, but many brands such as General Motors and Hilton are making deep investments with us in the digital video space and we anticipate investments like this to increase substantially, both with POPSUGAR and across the industry.”

Viewability didn’t seem to be a huge concern, at least nobody will admit that it is. But everyone is investing in understanding consumer behavior – with an emphasis on Hispanic consumers. Yahoo says that its data and insights team is constantly producing material on trends in Hispanic behavior so that advertisers are assured to connect with this complex audience, and both Yahoo and POPSUGAR have put together studies of US Hispanic digital consumption and behavior.

Understanding Consumer Behavior

Other trends included the increasing adoption of technology and data to optimize resources. Yahoo believes that its “focus on data” is more important than ever, as Harris highlights the company’s acquisition of Flurry, an analytics firm, which provides access to millions of touch points across mobile devices to help him and his colleagues learn about audiences and find device IDs, and BrightRoll, the DSP that helps Yahoo serve advertisements and target audiences.

While the NewFronts still maintain the structure of television’s upfronts, the digital landscape is now large and complex enough that we would be wise to stop comparing the two.

All of this technology is aligned with the company’s content strategy for news, lifestyle, sports and finance in a restructuring effort that Harris says helps the company “focus on the couple of things we do well, hone in on them and take resources that were too spread out.”

While the NewFronts still maintain the structure of television’s upfronts, the digital landscape is now large and complex enough that we would be wise to stop comparing the two. Digital is still creating its own path and grappling with how to make the best use of its data, but there is no doubt that today, consumers are living in a digital realm on multiple screens, and advertisers are paying attention.

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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.”

it’s really about making sure every IPG company is thinking about Multicultural and being best-in-class.

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!”

A summary for Corporate Marketers, Media Sales Executives and Advertising Agencies to see what clients are moving into the Hispanic market and/or targeting Hispanic consumers right now.


  • Thomas Nelson
    Thomas NelsonThe publisher and producer of Christian books, bibles and Videos is introducing a marketing campaign to promote the Spanish-language book “Francisco, el primer papa Latinoamericano” (by Mario Escobar) on the recently elected pope Francis I. The advertising promotional campaign starting on May 7th in the U.S. and Mexico comprehends:
    -Radio Interviews in key Markets (Miami, Puerto Rico, South Texas, Mexico, Los Angeles)
    – TV product placement (Morning Shows – Mexico, Miami, Puerto Rico, Los Angeles)
    – Online Ads (Adwords)
    – Online Ads (Yahoo, Univision)
    – Online Video Ads (Youtube and Pay per view content outlets)
    – “Francisco” will also be promoted through Thomas Nelson direct mailed catalogs.
    Thomas Nelson is the sixth largest American trade publisher and the world’s largest Christian publisher.


  • J3/Identity  Edwin Camacho is the new Group Media Director Multicultural Division at J3 Identity. The position was previously occupied by Malena Bustelo who left Identity last fall to join Carat as SVP Group Media Director, Multicultural.


  • Open English
    Open EnglishOpen English, the online and off-line English-language school originally founded in Caracas, Venezuela, is going to soon target prospects in the U.S. Hispanic market and Spain. Open English has already done substantial marketing and advertising in Latin America, including in Brazil where it is a top 15 cable Advertisers. Mario Cordon, Open English’s Chief Marketing Officer, will be speaking at Portada’s Latin American Advertising and Media Summit in Miami on June 4-5.


  • Absolut Mexico
    Absolut MexicoAbsolut Vodka is bringing its limited edition bottle design Absolut Mexico to the United States for the first time. The bottle debuted in Mexico last year. The release of Absolut Mexico is the latest limited edition offering from the vodka brand and pays homage to Mexican culture and multicultural heritage. This design was created in partnership with Dr. Lakra, one of Mexico’s most renowned contemporary artists and tattooists from Oaxaca, Mexico.  The work of Dr. Lakra has been featured in exhibitions and museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Hammer Museum and the Walker Art Center.For Absolut Mexico, Dr. Lakra combines three legendary icons from ancient Mayan culture — Hurakan (Hurricane), Kukulkan (Serpent) and Balam (Jaguar) — and brings them to life on the Absolut bottle through a modern artistic lens that represents Mexico today.


  • Del Taco
    Del Taco has opened its first restaurant in Alabama, opening its doors on April 3 in Dothan, the Birmingham Business Journal reports.  The new Dothan Del Taco, located at 4700 W. Main St. in the Publix shopping center, features a 72-seat dining room, Del Taco’s new salsa bar and drive thru that will be open 24-hours.This is the first of 20 Del Taco restaurants planned by Del Taco franchisee and developer/operator Larry Blumberg & Associates which operates 68 hotels in 11 states, representing the Marriott and Hilton brands.  In addition to the first location in Dothan, Larry Blumberg & Associates is planning at least a dozen locations in Alabama including Huntsville, Montgomery, Birmingham and Tuscaloosa. In Florida, the company is planning locations in Tallahassee and Jacksonville. The Del Taco, menu includes Mexican offerings of tacos, burritos, quesadillas and nachos as well as American favorites like hamburgers, crinkle-cut fries and shakes. Del Taco also serves breakfast featuring a full line of breakfast burritos.


  • Goya  Foods and Beech Nut
    Goya Foods and Beech-Nut launch a unique joing line of authentic, nutritious latin-flavored babyfoods made with Hispanic moms in mind. The joint announcement was made by Beech-Nut President Jeff Boutelle and Bob Unanue, President of Goya Foods.“Our research shows that Hispanic moms have been waiting for just such an offering, which combines the authentic, traditional Latin flavors Goya is famous for with Beech-Nut’s nutritious, natural ingredients free of preservatives,” said Mr. Boutelle. “Our products are as close as possible to home-made, and that’s very important to Hispanic families.”“The Beech-Nut/Goya line of baby food offers mom the best of both worlds,” Mr. Unanue said.


  • Novartis
    Swiss drug maker Novartis is taking a sassy new tack to win converts to its oral multiple sclerosis  treatment, Gilenya. Its “Hey MS, Take This!” campaign shows patients sticking out their tongues with Gilenya capsules on them to show their willingness to fight back against the neurological condition. An image from a video ad from the Novartis campaign for its multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya. The campaign, which begun last week,  is aimed at younger people with multiple sclerosis, a chronic autoimmune disease with symptoms like fatigue, difficulty in walking and blurred or double vision. The campaign will be in national print outlets, including a half-dozen national magazines like People, Shape and Self, and on the Web sites of women’s magazine. A television-style online video will also be available on social media outlets.“MS strikes in the prime of life, and many patients use the Web and social media to connect,” said Dagmar Rosa-Bjorkeson, head of Novartis’s multiple sclerosis unit. “Many are now being diagnosed in their 20s and 30s, and early treatment makes the most impact, so we are trying to target those people who are active and digitally savvy.”Novartis is trying to set the Gilenya campaign apart from other pharmaceutical advertising.All such ads must conform to federal regulatory strictures that consumers receive balanced information that not only includes the drug’s effectiveness but also enumerates its risks in consumer-friendly language. “It’s all about attitude,” explained Mike Devlin, creative director of the campaign’s ad agency, Draftfcb, part of the Interpublic Group, which interviewed the multiple sclerosis patients. Tapestry does media buying and planning. Shortly after Gilenya entered the market, Novartis conducted a smaller marketing effort, with ads in magazines aimed at those with multiple sclerosis as well as a limited placement in national magazines.Its new campaign emphasizes empowered young patients, who use phrases like “No needles for me” and “Take this, you bully” to show their defiant attitude as they cope with the disease.


  • Xoom 
    Xoom Corporation, a global online money transfer provider, launched POWR (Pay Only When Received), to Filipino   last month. Today, Xoom announces that the breakthrough initiative is now available to qualifying remitters throughout Latin America and the Caribbean who choose to send with their bank account(https://www.xoom.com/pay-after-received). Xoom claims to be unlike other money transfer companies in that, if the sender pays with a bank account,Xoom will only withdraw the total amount of the money transfer once the money has arrived.”With POWR, we show once again how Xoom is revolutionizing moneytransfers to Latin America and the Caribbean,” says Julian King, Xoom’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Development. “When our customers send money and pay with their bank account, Xoom will not charge them until their loved ones get their money.


  • Unilever and Northgate Gonzalez Partnership
    Hispanic grocery chain, Northgate Gonzalez Market  and Unilever, have  partnered  to launch a shopper marketing promotion that will  reward consumers who purchase Unilever products with an exclusive performance by  multi-platinum Latin artist, Reyli.


  • Esurance
    Esurance has split its media planning and buying responsibilities between Starcom and incumbent Havas Media, following a review, Adweek reports. Starcom will join the brand’s roster in the lead role on strategic media planning for TV, radio, out-of-home, print and digital. Those responsibilities were previously handled in-house. Starcom has also taken on media buying chores for Esurance’s general advertising in TV, radio and out-of-home. Havas, the incumbent on the account, previously handled buying for TV and radio. Out-of-home was handled in-house. Havas Media, formerly MPG, has been on the account since 2005. The agency will retain planning and buying responsibilities for the brand’s direct-response marketing, which includes work in TV, radio and print.Esurance will continue to handle its own digital buying, as well as some tactical digital planning. The other finalists in the review could not be immediately ascertained. Starcom also handles planning and buying for Allstate, which said in May 2011 that it would buy Esurance, a competitor that sells insurance directly to consumers online.


  • HSBC
    Mindshare retained the US $400 million global HSBC Account. GroupM (Mindshare’s holding company) defended against finalist Zenith. The decision on the media account comes only a few weeks after HSBC decided to split its creative business among three different agencies. Two of those agencies, JWT and Grey are, like Mindshare, part of WPP. Reportedly, HSBC asked all the new creative agencies to recommend the best media agency and obviously the two WPP agencies recommended their incumbent sibling.


  • American Airlines
    American Airlines is cancelled  its direct flights Santo Domingo and Santiago to New York as of April 2. “After careful review of our route network, including performance of individual routes within our global network, American has made the difficult decision to cancel service between New York (JFK) and Santo Domingo (SDQ) and Santiago (STI) effective April 2,  2013″, the company announced. It added that ” American Airlines has proudly served the Dominican Republic for over 37 years. We remain committed to the Dominican Republic and will continue to serve the market through our Miami Hub, where we operate four daily flights to Santo Domingo, three daily flights to Punta Cana (PUJ), one daily flight to Santiago (STI) and Puerto Plata (POP) and one seasonal flight to La Romana (LRM). American Eagle also serves La Romana from Miami.”

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