July 31, 2010

  by Jose Villa

So I was thumbing through AdAge’s latest installment of the annual Hispanic Fact Pack, and I was struck by something.

In addition to a solid combination of data and statistics on everything Hispanic advertising, the Fact Pack is full of ads from Hispanic media companies and ad agencies at the center of the industry. I counted a total of 25 ads this year. Of those 25 ads, 8 (about a 1/3) were for digital media companies (3) or focused on digital advertising by the aforementioned Hispanic ad agencies (5). There were even two ads with QR codes!

The irony of this “digital-centricity” comes into focus when you go to the first page of statistics on page 6 — “Hispanic Major Media Ad Spending.”

$6.3 billion of media spent targeting Hispanics in 2009. But wait — only $300 million went online. Yup, that’s a paltry 4.8%.

A lot of talk (and ads) about digital, but no one appears to be putting their money where their mouth is.

Courtesy of Jose Villa / Sensis Agency and


I was struck by a different chart. The "Top-programs in Spanish-language TV" chart shows Univision's programming, mainly the Prime-time novelas, as daily programs, so that one show is listed 3-4 times per week dominating the entire list of shows of only a few programs. They should have used the M-F average for those Prime Time shows. This does not accurately reflect the Spanish-language TV landscape. Different Univision programs and those onTelemundo and Telefutura would also show up on the list if a M-F average was used.

Great point! Two major trends: the latinization of the U.S. and digital media. Who's ready for the convergence of those two?

The reason for much talk no spend is simple. Hispanic agencies are at the helm of ad budgets and in essence control decision making and recommendations. As we can see, TV is outright the lion king, but and the retainer fees and creative fees charged to companies are enormous. Why would agencies recommended anything other - They simply would not make as much on the account. This of course, neglects all that/ what new media is about and all that 360 degree marketing plans incorporate. Unfortunately, many of our leaders are operating under a model that is simply not alive. TV is certainly not dead, but to dedicate only 4 percent to a medium that we all use day in and day out is simply outrageous. How can digital re-enforce radio, how can digital re-enforce TV, how can digital re-enforce out door. I can guarantee that all of that 6.5 B is already being planned by our leaders to be spent the same exact way as it was this year, and for that matter - 50 years ago. Time to evolve hermanos - If not, your general market counterpart down the street will take your business. Vamos!

You want to be first and the loudest for the future of online and mobile (hand in hand), or; Are you suggesting that Hispanics will never get to the online levels of general media?

I'm guessing that there might be a few agencies that prefer to stick with traditional media over interactive because of profit margins, but I know that my biggest challenge in getting interactive into my touchpoint campaigns is usually client apathy. In the late 90's and early 2000's, when our clients started getting excited about interactive advertising, the critical mass wasn't there for many Hispanic efforts. We all did such a good job of convincing clients that Hispanics weren't online, that the clients can't shake that mindset now, even though there's plenty of evidence that Hispanics have caught up. I can't tell you how many times I've presented data on Hispanic online penetration & usage, just to be told by the client that Hispanics aren't online! We all just have to keep pushing and pushing every day to change those perceptions.

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