Friday, March 02, 2007

Univision Has 'Strong Story to Tell,' Must Convince Advertisers

While Spanish-language network Univision is beating The CW among all adults and viewers in general market ratings, and is outrating one or more of its Big Four rivals in younger demos thanks to its popular telenovela La Fea Mas Bella, the network is still struggling to pull in top advertisers.

On the other hand, spending on Spanish-language advertising is growing at a faster rate than English-language TV, and there has been a growing sense of receptivity toward it, says Marc Goldstein, CEO of GroupM North America, MediaPost writes. Univision, itself, has seen ad spend outgrow spending on English-language networks by between 6 and 8 percent, according to Lee Westerfield, managing director and senior
broadcast research analyst at Harris Nesbitt.

The network, which has "a strong story to tell," will face the challenge of persuading categories such as luxury items, pharmaceuticals and computers to "take the plunge," during the upfront, says Westerfield.

La Fea Mas Bella has seen less of its audience defect to American Idol on Tuesdays than English-language networks, and beats ABC, NBC and Fox on Fridays among adults 18-34. However, advertisers are not clamoring for Univision avails for a number of reasons.

It takes a big commitment to produce commercials in Spanish. And, advertisers must do research to discover how to market to Hispanic audiences, and some brands do not sell as well in the Hispanic marketplace. "You can't just throw a commercial into the rotation like you would on any English-language network," says Goldstein.
Univision has taken the initiative of offering to help clients market creatively to the Hispanic audience.

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