Hispanic TV Summit: There’s Still Room for Traditional TV

Digital may be the rage, but a panel of Hispanic network execs say TV still has impact
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New York -- While advertisers may focus on digital content to attract younger viewers, a panel of top executives claimed that for the Hispanic market, traditional TV still has a big impact.

At a panel session entitled, "New Directions in Media, Placement and Research," at the Multichannel News/B&C Hispanic TV Summit here, Univision president of advertising sales and marketing Steve Mandala said that too often, networks get bogged down in trying to cater to cater to individual tastes.

"Everyone is different," Mandala said. "Ironically, most of us are involved in mass media. We're our own worst enemies. It's still about getting the largest audience possible."

He pointed out that the average age of the Hispanic TV audience is 36 years old, compared to 58 years old for the top English language broadcaster.

"You can target younger viewers through Spanish language TV," Mandala said. "This is not CBS."

Data obviously is playing a key role in how advertisers target audiences, and Horizon SVP Multicultural Karina Dobarro said that for those looking to capture younger viewers, digital content is still the first stop. But she added that content has to be reflective of who those viewers are.

"We're not looking at daypart planning, but content planning,” Dobarro said, adding that there is still room for TV, but lower ratings and viewership can't be ignored.

"Everything we do is informed by data," she said. "How the audience relates to a brand rating, that data will drive how the dollars are going toward or away from Hispanic TV."

Group M Multicultural president Gonzalo Del Fa said while digital is important to finding younger audience, he agreed that a multi-pronged strategy using several types of media, including Spanish language TV, Facebook, Google or Pandora to reach audiences is best. He added that what we call traditional TV today can take many forms.

"What we used to call TV, it's a device that we may or may not watch, the content it produces lives in different places," Del Fa said. "It doesn't mean it has to be on a TV set, it might be on an iPad or a phone. I think we are moving away from, 'Do you buy TV,' to 'What kind of TV do you buy.'"

Mandala added that Univision uses data to track consumer behaviors, but added that most important is that all participants are on the same page when they are talking about targeted advertising and the information behind it. That is one of the reasons Univision joined industry consortium OpenAP, he said. 

"Everyone talks about data and what do, but the challenge is we don't have common vernacular," Mandala said. "Every company talks about it in different way. We will not be able to do this on mass level unless have common vernacular.”

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