As the upfronts schedule moves forward, Univision is revving up its ad sales with luxury automakers. Keith Turner, president of advertising sales for Univision, said that in the last couple of years, BMW, Mercedes and Audi have been on the air.
Automakers have been a focus for Univision, which rather than fret about tougher competition from Comcast’s Telemundo is working to get advertisers that spend money only on English-language networks to invest in the fast-growing Hispanic market.
“It’s still about business development for us, it’s still about automotive, it’s still about pharmaceutical, it’s still about movie studios, and we’ve made great strides,” says Turner, citing 80 new brand activations this year.
“It’s an educational process that we still have to go through.”
Univision will hold its upfront presentation May 17 at the Lyric Theatre in New York.
At the presentation, media buyers will see the network taking a “younger, smarter and crisper” approach to the telenovelas Univision airs, Turner says. In addition, “you’ll see a comedy strategy. You’ll see a music strategy and a digital focus. We’ve been in the digital business, but as the industry changes we’re changing with it.”
Univision is also evolving its portfolio of brands into a content ecosystem with a focus on content verticals based around demographics, psychographics and genres. That includes verticals focused on comedy, sports and music—including regional Mexican music, one of the most popular genres for Hispanics in the U.S.
Turner says that advertisers are seeking innovation. “They want something that hasn’t been done before. That’s a challenge to the industry,” he says. Univision mounted a threemonth campaign with Sony for its movie Hotel Transylvania 2. The film generated $47.5 million at the box office on its opening weekend last September. Some of that success was due to the Hispanic audience supporting the film as a result of promotion that included media, custom integrations and talent involvement.
Like sales executives at the English-language networks, Turner sees a potentially strong upfront market this spring.
Univision’s upfront last year was stronger than most, he says. “The last three quarters, we’ve had signifi cant growth. The second quarter looks pretty strong. It’s always been an indicator. A strong second quarter usually signals a strong upfront. It’s way too early, but all the signals that we normally look at, all the indicators, it feels pretty good.”