Hispanic Broadcasters Put Integrated Ads Center Stage

In an attempt to siphon away ad dollars that traditionally go to the English-language networks, Hispanic nets Univision and Telemundo are employing similar strategies that prominently promote their ability to offer advertisers a broad range of product-integration options within their shows.

Telemundo has the advantage when it comes to its scripted dramas because it produces its own shows via studios in Miami, Mexico and Colombia and can integrate products into story lines at the script level, while Univision buys Televisa’s novelas that have previously aired in Mexico. That said, Univision has many high-rated unscripted shows, airing largely on weekends, that it produces itself or through deals with producers that can include product integrations.

Telemundo, which did not hold a traditional upfront presentation this year, sent its executives on a cross-country tour, meeting with advertisers and their media agencies and gathering ideas from clients on which products they would want to do integration deals around. Also sitting in on the meetings were Telemundo studio executives and show creators, so they could hear firsthand what advertisers want.

“At the core of this year’s upfront strategy is our concept integration model,” explained Jackie Hernandez, Telemundo’s chief operating officer. “The advertiser and partner can take center stage and play a key role in the original programming process.”

One example, said Mike Rodriguez, senior vp, network sales and marketing at Telemundo, would be “one of the characters in our novelas interacting with the story line on a nightly basis.”

Not to be outdone, Univision opened its upfront presentation with CEO Joe Uva and sales and marketing president David Lawenda laying out a sales pitch on why advertisers should move a portion of the ad dollars into Univision, sibling broadcast net TeleFutura and its cable network Galavision. That pitch included prime-time ratings that touted Univision’s strength versus the English-language broadcast networks, as well as the broad opportunities for product integration.

Lawenda told the audience that Univision’s 18-49 demo offers a 60 percent unduplicated audience (where viewers are not exposed to an advertiser’s message on any other network), compared to 6 percent for NBC, 7 percent for CBS and 8 percent for ABC.

He boasted that on more than 50 nights this season, Univision was the No. 1 network, beating all the English-language broadcast nets in the adults 18-34 demo. Meanwhile, Univision will add more product-integration opportunities for advertisers than ever before.

Its signature Saturday night variety/game show, Sabado Gigante, is undergoing a major overhaul, with plans for a faster pace and a more modern look.

The net also will expand its Nuestra Belleza Latina (Our Latin Beauty) competition on Sunday nights from one hour to two, to build viewership and add product-integration opportunities. Joining Univision’s lineup will be Via el Sueno! (Live the Dream!), a 13-week singing competition, also with product-integration possibilities.

In the sports arena, Univision will air El Juego Supremo (The Ultimate Match), in which five Mexican soccer legends will join five others from the U.S. and Latin America to coach two amateur soccer teams in a “boot camp.” Players will be eliminated until only five remain. They will then play the best of the legends in a televised game. Again, product placements will be offered.

Ray Rodriguez, president and COO of Univision, said product integration will also be offered in some of Univision’s news programming, promising the tie-ins will be tasteful and not infringe on the integrity of the news operation. Rodriguez pointed out that the median age of those who watch Univision news broadcasts is 40, compared to 61 for the English-language broadcast nets.