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Importance of Spanish TV at Univision, Telemundo and MundoFox Hispanic Upfronts | with Lili Gil

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Published on May 22, 2012

New York, NY - And there were two...now three! That's right, making history during this Upfront season; this year three big Hispanic broadcast networks dazzled executives, brands and agencies to bank on the power of U.S. Hispanics. Will 2013 finally be the year when we break into the "double digits" for Hispanic media investments as a percentage of total U.S. advertising? The numbers will tell the story, but certainly Univision, Telemundo and new comer MundoFox did their fair-share to educate, incentivize and even entertain the thousands of attendees that paraded this year's Upfront presentations.
Clearly there is still much camino por recorrer (path to walk through), and it seems that a combination of undisputable numbers and emerging network partnerships and new cross-screen content offerings may help a as a catalyst for this much needed growth. The 2010 Hispanic Investment Trends Analysis done by the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA) shows that advertisers allocated 5.4 percent of ad dollars to reach Hispanic consumers. A shy 5.4 percent of ad dollars to reach 50 million consumers representing 16% of the population and growing at a 43% rate versus growth of 4.9% for the rest of the market...which continues to keep 95% of the budget while targeting a shrinking and aging audience. This may be a case of analysis paralysis, fear or plain ignorance! And this is exactly what executives from the Hispanic broadcast media "big-three" exposed and shared with excitement during their impressive events.
1- Network Rebranding: While executives from both Univision and Telemundo said neither of them knew of the each others re-branding efforts, it was quite ironic to see both presentations closing with the big unveiling of new logos. Telemundo went for a modern look that animated the build of a logo that unites layers that fall into place to form the "T" as a representation of the contemporary mindset and bicultural duality that identifies Latinos today. While, Univision went for a bold upgrade of the iconic tulip by giving it a more futuristic and 3-D look. Unlike Telemundo, this upgrade was not necessarily contextualized with a deep insight but simply as an important evolution as part of the network's growth and contemporary status. Will this rebranding matter? Not sure, but clearly branding matters as visual equity must translate and apply well across channels, mediums, merchandising and screens.

2- Distinctive Sales Pitches: Styles were clearly different from one Upfront to the other when it came to selling. Univision's President of Advertising Sales & Marketing David Lawenda made his point clear with a "balancing act" that presented top reasons to shift 15% of advertising from the non-Hispanic networks into Univision. Besides the obvious #1 numbers, his reasons included the fact that Univision's audience is an entire generation younger, more engaged, mobilized and unduplicated. Lawenda left attendees educated, empowered and with a clear take away: "give us 15% incremental budget." On the other hand, Dan Lovinger, who made his upfront debut as Executive Vice President of Advertising Sales & Integrated Marketing for Telemundo Communications Group, shared communicated with a very different tone and approach. While still rooted on a confident presentation of the facts, Telemundo growth trends, winning track record of Mun2 with adults 18-39 and impressive new content highlights, his presentation felt less like a pitch and more like a strategic partnership conversation. His call to action was founded more on earning the investment versus asking for it; which was a nice touch especially in a week saturated with presentations that are trying to get your millions! So, who did it best? I personally liked both for distinct reasons...may the attendees and the ultimate budget allocations be the judge.

3- Sticky Themes:
4- Plays Across-Screens:
5- Finally! The Unveiling of MundoFox: The most anticipated Upfront clearly was the one for MundoFox. After months of waiting, the vision and programming for the newest of Fox Hispanic Media's quartet of Spanish-language networks targeting the U.S. market, unveiled. Ahead of MundoFox's first Upfront event in New York, Emiliano Saccone said the joint venture between Fox International Channels and Colombia's RCN Television Group would offer challenging programming in a market ripe for the new US Hispanic network.

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