Putting a Little English on It

Spanish-language television leader Univision experimenting with English-language commercials on main broadcast network

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Spanish-language television leader
Univision is experimenting with running
commercials in English on its main
broadcast network.

“There are a lot of advertisers who
still haven’t done Spanish-language
creative, so to the extent that we can
put them on and it makes sense, we’re
going to do it,” says Univision Communications
CEO Randy Falco. “It probably
will not amount to very much,” Falco
adds. “We prefer that advertisers get
the sense that they need to speak to
this community differently than they
do through English-language ads. It’s
a different community. They can’t just
dub English-language ads into Spanish,
which is often the case. They really
have to start thinking about doing
advertising in culture and speak to this
community in a different way.”

Most recently, English-language
spots ran on Univision during the music
awards show Premio Lo Nuestro. Univision
has also tested spots in English
on UniMás and regularly airs spots on
radio and online.

News Corp.’s new network, Mundo
Fox, offers English-language commercials.
But media buyers who specialize
in Hispanic marketing don’t see the
concept becoming very popular.

“I don’t know if that’s getting a lot
of traction,” says Lisa Torres, president
of ZO Multicultural. “I don’t know if
that’s the right thing for the market
either. I tend to be a fan of your commercials
should match the language
of the programming that you’re in. I
don’t think it’s in their best interest to
take English-language
but I don’t
run Univision.”

Keith Turner,
president for sales
and marketing
at Univision,
says it’s early for
feedback, but
“we have had
no pushback
from the viewers.”
Turner says
Univision wants
to “stay true to who we are, but at the
same time there are certain brands that
don’t necessarily translate in Spanish, so
we have run English-language.”

Univision already offers Englishlanguage
closed captions on some of its
programming. The next step would be
creating programming in
English. Falco says Univision
is not in the business
now, but he can see it
down the road.

“That’s one of the ways
that we will be looking to
extend the brand,” Falco
says. “Remember, this
is about a very powerful
brand, Univision, that has
the highest brand affinity
with this community.
So as the community
branches out and they
start to become more bilingual and view
other content in this country, we want
to make sure that Univision is there with
whatever it is that they’re looking for.
So we’re going to be looking hard at all
kinds of different content and different
platforms in the future.”