MTV Tr3s Offers Youth Insights

NEW YORK Marketers who want to reach today’s young Latinos must know and speak the language of this often elusive 12 to 34 demo. That means delivering messaging that’s authentic and culturally relevant.

“We call that speaking Tr3s,” Lucia Ballas-Traynor, svp, gm at MTV Tr3s, said in a message that she and other MTV Tr3s executives and talent delivered Tuesday night, talking up the bilingual network’s theme for this year’s upfront, “Speak Tr3s.”

It was an opportunity for the not yet two-year-old network to provide marketers and media buyers with key insights for speaking and connecting with the culture and language of young Hispanics.

“Latino youth are shaking up America’s political, economic and cultural foundation because their sheer size and role as trailblazers, communicators and gatekeepers all add up to unprecedented clout and influence that you can’t ignore in order to grow any business,” said Ballas-Traynor.

The youth-targeted network mounted an upfront presentation at B.B. King’s in Times Square earlier this week that was the hip, tricked-out version of a culture/demographics conference.

But this cultural confab was designed to educate and entertain while positioning MTV Tr3s as a key industry player ready to do business with marketers who demand creative content and metrics data.

“We’re at the dawn of a new frontier in Hispanic TV,” said Dan Lovinger, svp, MTV’s brand sales, reiterating MTV Tr3s’ intent to guarantee program ratings via Nielsen in 2009, a strategic move that obviously resonated with the industry crowd, judging by the thunderous applause.

“It’s what we needed to hear,” said Lillie Roman, partner and associate director, national broadcast, Mediaedge:cia, New York, who buys ad time in Hispanic media for AT&T, signaling her approval with a clenched fist and an energetic “Yes!”

MTV Tr3s’ Ballas-Traynor revealed the network’s intent to join the ratings race in the May 5 print edition of Adweek Media’s “Hispanic Marketing Report,” saying the move is necessary to compete for ad dollars as the demand by marketers for metrics data has grown.

The network said it has doubled its distribution, increasing its viewing shares among the 12 to 34 demo since Nielsen began measuring its audience last October, per MTV Tr3s.

Distribution has grown to 6.3 million U.S. Hispanic households and 33.3 million total households, providing the highest concentration of Hispanics 12 to 34, or nearly 68 percent of the marketplace, per Nielsen.

The bilingual pop culture network shared insights from its coveted Cooltura panel, a group of Hispanic trendsetters and trend spotters in major U.S. markets, who are key influencers in shaping MTV Tr3s’ programming and as decision makers and influencers in their households on behalf of their parents who often are less acculturated.

For many of the young panelists shown to the audience via video that means taking charge of complex tasks such as navigating the banking industry, making major purchases of technology and electronics and getting their parents to participate in the political process.

Touting its in-house integrated marketing approach, the network outlined its capabilities to create customized programs that integrate client products and messages seamlessly into youth-targeted content across multiple platforms, citing the recent successes of the Toyota Yaris campaign with Conill Advertising and projects with clients Harley Davidson and Pepsi.