TV Upfronts

Telemundo Takes Upfront to the Next Level With SNL's Marcello Hernández

Exclusive: NBCU is also rolling out Peacock AX to better reach Hispanic audiences

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Live from New York, it’s Telemundo’s upfront.

In addition to Telemundo presenting at NBCUniversal’s upfront event on Monday, May 13, ADWEEK can exclusively reveal that Telemundo will host its event again later that evening at cultural center The Shed in Hudson Yards.

To kick off the festivities, Telemundo will feature Saturday Night Live’s Marcello Hernández in a special appearance.

“We’re very excited to have him on our show. Hispanics, we speak English and Spanish. We’re bilingual. And the beauty for us is that NBCU can reach Hispanic audiences at such a wide level across our entire portfolio,” Mónica Gil, chief administrative and marketing officer, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises, told ADWEEK. “Someone like Marcello represents both [the English and Spanish] worlds. And my message to advertisers in many ways is that when you think of Hispanic audiences, we’re not either, or. We’re and.”

In addition to Hernández, award-winning urbano and reggaeton singer Manuel Turizo, a musician who’s collaborated with Shakira, Marshmello, Sebastián Yatra, Ozuna and Beele, will serve as the musical guest. He now joins a pantheon of talent that has graced the Telemundo upfront stage, including Enrique Iglesias, Nicky Jam and J Balvin.

In 2023, Telemundo’s theme was “Come With Us,” inviting brands to join them on a journey to reach U.S. Hispanics. For 2024, Gil said the company’s theme is taking things to the “Next Level.”

“We create content by U.S. Latinos and for U.S. Latinos. We see that as an honor and a privilege, quite frankly,” Gil said. “For us, it’s not just about reaching the next level in entertainment, news, sports, reality and content. It’s our audience. We believe that we are setting the stage for a more vibrant future, and ‘Next Level’ is not a destination but our starting point.”

Telemundo is undoubtedly reaching that audience, coming in as the most-watched Spanish-language broadcast network across weekday primetime for eight weeks in a row (Feb. 26 to April 21), Gil noted, with reality series La Casa de Los Famosos and scripted drama El Senor de Los Cielos leading the gains.

Meanwhile, the company has a robust slate ahead, with the third season of Top Chef VIP premiering in May, news coverage under the banner of Decision 2024 and Telemundo “doubling down” on live events thanks to multiplatform experiences such as the Billboard Latin Music Awards and Miss Universe.

Plus, the company is touting tentpole sports events, including working alongside NBCU to present “the most extensive” coverage for the Paris Olympics as the event’s exclusive Spanish-language home in the U.S.

“Telemundo has created a new category in sports for us that sports are better in Spanish,” Gil said. “And for us being able to work with our colleagues on the Olympics and start preparing for [the 2026 World Cup] is a difference.”

At 64 million strong, with a buying power of $3.4 trillion and a median age of around 13 years younger than non-Hispanic white consumers, the Hispanic audience is coveted heading into the upfront. So, in addition to its reach through Telemundo, NBCUniversal is rolling out a new offering to better connect advertisers with the audience.

Adding to Peacock’s suite of products

NBCU recently conducted a study with over 7,000 people to take a deeper look at how Spanish language plays a key role in preserving culture and the fluidity with which Spanish-speaking audiences experience both Spanish and English content.

The findings ultimately led to a new offering within Peacock’s suite of tools, Peacock AX. This tool helps connect advertisers at scale with the Hispanic audience through Spanish-language and English-language content across NBCU’s portfolio, with even more robust targeting coming in the future.

Additionally, with new legislation, including the California Privacy Rights Act, recently coming into effect to limit the processing of personal information such as ethnicity, the offering also gives marketers targeting precision in a privacy-compliant way.

“People are making choices to watch Spanish-language content, so leverage that as the secret sauce to reach them,” Carla Kelly, svp of client partnerships of Hispanic and multicultural at NBCUniversal, said. “We’ve been able to take that insight—qualify it with all of the insights [from the study]—but then transform that into a solution where it can allow for brands and marketers to come in and execute against it in a meaningful way.”

Reaching a growing audience

Latinos have grown at the second-fastest rate of any major racial and ethnic group in the U.S. electorate since the last presidential election, according to the Pew Research Center, and the U.S. Census Bureau projects that one in four Americans will be Latino by 2060.

“When you look at categories such as insurance, autos, CPG, their growth only can come from multicultural audiences while still trying to maintain their current mix,” Mark Marshall, NBCU’s ad sales chief, said. “What we have a lot of advertisers trying to do right now is figure out the right way to talk to this audience … people want to be able to do it in the right tone, the right sensitivity and the right cultural sentiment, to make sure that they’re delivering to their audiences in the right way.”

According to Marshall, that’s where NBCU’s portfolio and its studies around the fluidity of language come in.

“Through our portfolio, we get to talk through both English language and Spanish language together,” Marshall said. “So the opportunity for us to be able to target U.S. Hispanics across the broad portfolio or within programming that they’re watching is unique across the marketplace.”

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