SALES OFFICE BY KEVIN CUDDIHY

Want More? Look To Spanish-Language TV

A local Spanish-language television buy is an economically sound purchase in that not only are you accruing more eyeballs per dollar, but in most cases you’re probably not paying a premium for the opportunity. With 76% of today’s Hispanics choosing to speak Spanish at home, it’s imperative for marketers to understand that this language connects these valuable consumers to content, culture, country (of origin) and community.

Nearing the end of the year, many of us in the local advertising community begin to take stock and make plans for the New Year.

As someone who doesn’t like to sugarcoat the state of affairs, my POV may be a bit blunt, but it will be honest to the same degree. So here goes: The economy may no longer be considered in a recession, but it remains quite soft. Brand loyalty is … well, it’s definitely not what it used to be. Lastly, the non-Hispanic population in the United States is no longer booming as it was in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s.

So where’s the sliver-lining you ask? Local advertising, for the most part, is all about moving the dial regarding transactions. And growing both your business and your share of business.

Therefore, if you’re selling cars or trying to generate consumer traffic for a retail outlet or supermarket, I have good news for your ad campaigns and sales objectives. The answer:  target Hispanic consumers in Spanish. In other words “cambie el canal” or “change the channel” to tap into this opportunity.

We have all heard it before — you can reach Hispanics with an English-language media buy. The truth? That strategy does not work with the quality of programming in Hispanic media today. With 76% of today’s Hispanics choosing to speak Spanish at home, it’s imperative for marketers to understand that this language connects these valuable consumers to content, culture, country (of origin) and community.

Hispanics, including those who are bilingual, prefer to consume Spanish-language media for content they can’t get in English media including news, sports, music and entertainment.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

In the majority of markets across America today — and the results of the 2010 Census will overwhelmingly support this fact — the Hispanic population is growing significantly. Take Los Angeles as an example. From 2003 to 2009, in all key demographics, the number of Hispanics has increased, with adults 18-34 up 9%; adults 18-49 up 12%; and adults 25-54 up 15%. The converse is true for the non-Hispanic portion of the population: adults 18-34 are down 4%; adults 18-49 down 2%; and adults 25-54 flat.

So I ask: Where will you find growth for your products and services? How will you reach your sales quotas in 2011?

You find it with a population base that is growing today like our country during the Baby Boom era — today’s Hispanics. In addition, the Hispanic consumer continues to be brand loyal and they over-consume key categories ranging from groceries to household items, beauty, telecom, entertainment, gaming and electronics. Just ask the advertisers that are marketing to U.S. Hispanics in Spanish, the language of the heart: television advertising has proven to consistently influence this demo’s loyalty. 

Here are some examples:

  • In only six months of its first Hispanic television campaign, an auto dealer in Houston began seeing foot traffic levels increase. The dealership saw a spike in Spanish-speaking consumers with their sales staff asking for more Spanish-speakers to be added to the showroom floor and at their call center. The biggest result, according to the general manager, was that the dealership quickly became a top-ranked dealership in the region.
  • A specialty retailer in the New York tri-state area has been an advertiser on WXTV for more than a half-dozen years.  The group’s management cites its outreach to Hispanics for the 50% increase in its profits during that time.
  • A campaign launched on Univision’s station in Fresno, Calif., was part of a local effort by a national retailer to look for new and inventive ways to reach customers. The campaign included Univision’s local talent going into the store and participating in product demonstrations. The result is that in just one-month’s time the Fresno store became the nation’s top store for the national retailer.

These are just a few examples of savvy decision makers who understood the tremendous value of directly targeting the Hispanic consumer. 

At the local television ad sales level we sell ratings points. This is great news for the budget-conscious who are seeking to maximize every marketing dollar, because the value of a Hispanic audience rating point has dramatically changed, while more Hispanics continue to turn to Hispanic media for their information, education and entertainment.

Let’s take a closer look at this ratings opportunity using New York as a representative market. According to Nielsen, between 2003 and 2009, New York’s total population has decreased 2%.  During the same period, a non-Hispanic TV audience ratings point fell 5% to 70,010 in 2009, while a Hispanic viewing audience ratings point rose 7% from 19,640 to 20,940.

A Hispanic ratings point is worth significantly more today than it was only seven years ago. A local Spanish-language television buy is an economically sound purchase in that not only are you accruing more eyeballs per dollar, but in most cases you’re probably not paying a premium for the opportunity. Something else for you to consider — a key point I’m sure won’t be overlooked by your boss, CFO or agency clients. Despite the fact that a non-Hispanic ratings point does not reach the same size audience as an Hispanic ratings point, you’re more than likely paying more for an English-language TV buy today. And you’re missing out on attracting market share from the fastest-growing segment of the nation’s population.

This exponential shift in the consumption of Spanish-language television viewing is also positively impacting Spanish television stations. Take Total Day viewing in New York (2002-08). The adults 18-49 share grew 30% among Spanish stations, while English station viewing slid 7%. Primetime viewing (18-49) rose 17% for Spanish stations during the same period and dropped 4% for their English counterparts in New York.

So do you want to know the answer to the age-old question of which part of your advertising is not working? It’s the premium you’re spending on English-language television buys to target the Hispanic consumer.


Based in New York, Kevin Cuddihy is EVP, Univision Television Group Ad Sales. All about sales and advertising, Sales Office appears once a month in TVNewsCheck through the cooperation of the TVB, which solicits the columns from its staff and members. To see all the columns in the series, click here.


Comments (4)

Leave a Reply

Tyler Condit says:

December 10, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Kevin,

Kevin Cuddihy

I wonder if we are related.

John Cuddihy

    Derrick Chresfield says:

    December 13, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    No, don’t believe we are…heard your name over the years…..

Amy Warren says:

December 10, 2010 at 9:53 pm

I’m not related but I am muy impressed by K Cuddihy’s rationale.

Ayo Adeyeye says:

January 9, 2011 at 5:55 pm

kevin good to know you are very much in the game. Media Pros has a setback and I am ready to come back into television. lets talk my very best rick


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