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Secrets of Spanish Language Advertising 2.0: An Opportunity for Today’s Marketers

In 2017, we worked with Nielsen to develop the Secrets of Spanish Language TV ROI report, which was critical in highlighting the key variables that optimize ROI with Spanish-language media campaigns. (You can catch Matt Krepsik, Global Head of MROI Product Leadership from Nielsen, talking about the first report in depth at our 2017 Leading the Change conference.)

With the ever-evolving media and economic landscape, we wanted to take another look at Spanish-language advertising ROI and see how it’s evolved. We once again worked with Nielsen to perform the largest ROI meta-analysis across their Marketing Mix and Multi-touch Attribution databases, to investigate drivers of higher ROI across Spanish-language advertising campaigns.

While this research was initiated months ago, well before the Covid-19 crisis was in our collective consciousness and greatly impacting our lives and businesses, the data and insights reflected are particularly relevant as brands contemplate efficient and effective paths to growth in the post-pandemic world.

Let’s review the key learnings for brands as they plan future investments:

ROI 2.0: Bigger and Bolder

We start with some excellent news: Every Spanish language media dollar marketers spend today is worth even more than it was yesterday, and this is because Spanish-language TV ROI has increased steadily by 40% from 2017 to 2020.

“Spanish-Language TV ROI has increased +40%”

So why has ROI increased so much over this short amount of time? It’s because successful brands have focused on the following: 1) Investing beyond an occasional campaign to build trust; 2) Developing curated content; 3) Having culturally relevant messaging that resonates with Hispanic culture; and 4) Executing campaigns with consistent frequency. Brands that invest to engage the Latinx population see greater returns as they scale up marketing dollars. In fact, we see that brands investing over $1 million are seeing even higher returns.

Commit to Your Investment

To reach and capture a Hispanic audience, marketers must focus on more than a dollar investment – they need to invest time and patience.

But first, you have to know where to invest, and if you look at the numbers, TV is the clear frontrunner. Among Hispanics 18+, television reaches 89% of the population on a weekly basis and accounts for the most amount of viewing time across media types, followed by digital platforms. Spanish-language programs are critical to reaching Hispanics, and Univision has six out of the top 10 programs among Spanish speaking Hispanics, and seven of the top 10 among Bilingual Hispanic viewers.

Brands trying to break through to Hispanic consumers should be consistently reaching this audience on a weekly basis, and at the right frequency to drive interest and action. Brands that can reach Hispanic audiences for more than 20 weeks per year deliver an ROI 2X higher than brands without this consistency.

“65% of all Hispanics can only be reached consistently on Spanish-language TV”

Create Trust with Content & Language

U.S. Hispanic consumers want to connect with brands that embrace their culture and values. The easiest way for marketers to reach these consumers is to speak their language. These themes are echoed in a previous Nielsen/Univision/Starcom study on the Bilingual Brain”, which found that Spanish ads drove emotional engagement and memory activation more successfully than their English counterparts among Hispanic bilingual millennials.

With 75% of Hispanic households speaking Spanish at home, language is central as a cultural connector. Across platforms, the sales lift on Hispanics is 10-20% greater from Spanish-language advertising vs. English language. On top of that, serving a Spanish-language online video ad in Spanish context is 80% more effective than placing the same content in an English-native online video environment, like YouTube.

And, TV isn’t the only option in a marketer’s arsenal to reach this demographic. Hispanic audiences are quickly diversifying as the demographic grows. With digital investments making up more than 50% of U.S. ad spend, marketers too have an opportunity to further tailor content to more targeted audiences online. In fact, the ROI for Spanish-language mobile campaigns is 7% higher than the mobile average.

Using Spanish-Language TV is “Addressable” at Scale

When you hear addressability, you probably think of DMP, SSP, DSP, and all those targeting acronyms in the modern ad tech landscape. But put simply, addressability is the ability for advertisers to reach a specific group of consumers with tailored messaging. With the Hispanic community so engaged on Spanish-language TV, advertising on that channel is enabling marketers to accomplish their objectives while ultimately unlocking addressable at scale. In other words, to quote Matt Krepsik from Nielsen, Spanish-language advertising is the “OG of Addressability.” And Hispanic audiences are primed for curated messaging and data-driven marketing. When addressable tactics are applied to Spanish-language audiences, ROI improves by an additional 1.5x.

To wrap it up, I’ll further emphasize that, as the Hispanic community continues to grow and become an even more powerful influence on consumer trends, marketers have an unprecedented opportunity to design a strategy that reaches, resonates and captures Hispanics’ loyalty.

For marketers who want to be on the front lines of securing the enormous purchasing power of the Hispanic community, there is a lot of work to do. But as you just learned, the numbers say it will be well worth it.

Univision is here to help you on your journey with Univision Brand Labs, available through your sales representative, to help you tap into the power of Hispanic consumers. Please visit for more information on how we’ve helped brands grow.


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