Univision was supposed to hold its usual upfront event Tuesday—that is, until the entire upfronts week was canceled due to Covid-19. But the company still held what it called a virtual “business update” this afternoon for advertisers, in what ad sales chief Steve Mandala said was an effort to provide a “sense of normalcy” during the pandemic.
Much like NBCUniversal’s presentation yesterday, Univision insisted that the event was not a replacement for its usual content-centric upfront presentation, which will instead be livestreamed on Tuesday, June 16. Instead, Mandela and Univision evp of research, insights and analytics Roberto Ruiz provided a digital update to advertisers, agencies and the press about the company’s messaging to the ad community during this chaotic time.
The presentation didn’t include any programming announcements but was instead a more general look at why the Latinx audience remains such a vital one to reach, even in the midst of the pandemic. It also focused on why advertisers should target this group as part of their upfront buy.
While there was no programming news, Mandala shared perhaps the most important piece of content-related information for advertisers: Univision’s prime-time schedule is set with first-run episodes for the next 12 months, which is a boast that few English language networks can make during the pandemic since most productions have been shut down.
Ruiz made clear that despite the current crisis, the Latinx population has an “incredibly optimistic” view of America’s future. They’ve shown an increase in overall purchasing power, and they’re consuming more media than ever before. Sixty-one percent of the Latinx population is 35 and under, with a median age of 28 years old, and their life expectancy (82 years) is longer than that of Caucasians and other minority groups.
According to Ruiz, “62 million strong; 18% of the population, and 2020 is the year where our country will become minority-majority for the population under 18. It is a pivotal year in demographic change.”
Ruiz conceded that there were some Univision buyers back in 2017 that were disappointed with their ROI relative to their English-language network buys. So, the company engaged Nielsen to find out what exactly happened and what changes have transpired between then and now.
Matt Krepsik, Nielsen’s global head of MROI product leadership, shared the company’s findings and noted brands that didn’t leave Univision after 2017 “were patient, committed to their investment and continued to invest in the population, build that awareness, built that consideration … we actually saw them move the needle.”
More than half of the entire Latinx audience (65%) can be reached consistently only on Spanish language TV, said Krepsik.
Among Nielsen’s findings were that marketers should “invest in a growing Latinx population,” said Krepsik. “It’s money well spent, as we’ve seen through our study; every dollar we spend today looks better tomorrow, and every dollar we spent yesterday is looking better today.”
Mandala cited a 2018 Burke Brand Equity Study referring to Univision as “the most trusted media brand” and touted the network’s news operation, Noticias Univision as an important part of that trust factor.
“The most obvious connection to our community these days is our news teams,” said Mandala. “It’s also the crucial foundation for the trust our community has in us and, by extension, brands on our air.”
The anchors of the network’s flagship evening newscast Noticiero Univision, Jorge Ramos and Ilia Calderón, delivered a taped message where they spoke about how the network is addressing the needs of the Latinx population during the Covid-19 crisis.
“We are facing a crisis that is redefining history,” said Ramos. “Our world changed dramatically, and as the Covid-19 emergency became a matter of life and death, Noticias Univision will be shown to double-down on his commitment to be here. ‘Siempre contigo’; always with you, to inform and empower the Hispanic community.”
Calderón added, “Yes, we report the latest information, but we also report stories of hope.”