We’re just midway through broadcasters’ Upfronts Week, but Univision may emerge as the company with the least defensive presentation. It was resolutely upbeat, and specific, even as it continues to fight a lingering impression among some advertisers that Spanish-language audiences tend to be comparatively old or hard up — losing younger, bilingual viewers to the major networks and digital outlets.
Advertisers who increase their spending on digital video are “trying to chase this fragmenting viewer,” Advertising Sales EVP Steve Mandala said in his company’s gathering today. “Fragmentation is about other networks, not [Univision].” Some 91% of its viewers watch live vs anywhere from 44% to 56% for other major networks. “There’s no way to drive the opening-weekend box office…if the consumer isn’t seeing your ad exactly when you want them to see it.”
He added that 73% of the Univision audience doesn’t watch the “top 10 networks where the majority of your TV dollars are being spent.”
Unlike most of its rivals, Univision discussed the effectiveness of specific ad campaigns. For example, JCPenney saw ads on the company’s networks as well as elsewhere result in sales to Hispanic consumers growing three times as much as other sales. Papa John had 43% growth among Hispanic buyers vs 4% for others. After a series of recalls sent Tylenol retreating to the advertising sidelines for two years, a return to the airwaves saw sales to Latinos up 34% more than the rest of the population. A Nissan campaign also resulted in Hispanics accounting for 33% of its sales growth.
Univision execs didn’t ignore digital spending. “We’ve heard you. We have to get bigger to meet your needs,” Mandala says, although he adds that “we already have the highest quality content for our digital business.” He talked up the company’s desire to “super serve” bilingual millennials — which the company calls “billennials.” The “only way to do that is to build brands with the billennial in mind” such as Fusion, Unimas, and El Rey.