Exclusive: For Telemundo, ‘TMI’ is Upfront Game Changer

At a time when media buyers are getting too much information thrown at them, Telemundo is telling them there’s another TMI to consider during this upfront.

The TMI Telemundo is talking about in a trade campaign breaking April 7 is total market innovation.

“This whole concept of total market innovation is in response to our clients and their agencies seeking holistic innovative total market solutions to reach the U.S. Hispanic consumer across the entire NBCUniversal portfolio in contextually and culturally relevant ways regardless of language and that’s a game changer,” says Mike Rosen, executive VP of ad sales at Telemundo. That portfolio reaches 90% of U.S Hispanics.

Telemundo is planning to fully explain TMI at its May 13 upfront presentation. In the meantime, it will hint at the concept in ads that play off those text message abbreviations all the kids are using. “TMI is a BFD,” is the headline of one ad. Another reads: “TMI that’s OMG.”

“It’s a playful way of having some fun with all the acronyms that everyone uses these days,” Rosen says. “We’re marketers too and we know just like our customers that it can be a challenge to break through the clutter.”

The clutter is particularly thick this time of year. Buyers are being bombarded with charts and graphs, about this network’s ratings and that media company’s assets. “We want to change the conversation into really what drives their business instead of bragging about how successful our business is,” he says.

Coming off a record-setting year, Telemundo could brag if it wanted to, Rosen notes. “But we don’t want to make this about us. We want to turn the focus and look through the lens of what it takes to drive our customers’ business and that’s where total market innovation comes in, because that’s customer focused instead of being focused on the network or the media company.”

Rosen says that up till now, the principal of total market has been available only as a media planning concept. “Up until now, the marketplace was not really built to deliver on the promise of total market,” he says. Now, NBCU is set up structurally to deliver on the promise of a total market media investment strategy. "That’s the unique proposition that we’re bringing to the market.”

It is early in the upfront process, and Rosen says it’s too soon to gauge how strong the upfront market will be.

In conversations with clients, Telemundo is trying to get them to reconsider the share of their budget they spend with Univision, the No. 1 player in the Hispanic market. “Last year we introduced a concept called 'shift in perspective.'" Telemundo says that while Univision’s ratings are higher than Telemundo, their reach is similar. That means big spending on Univision results in “excessive frequency,” Rosen says. “That allows many of the clients and their agencies to rethink the mix of Spanish language media that they use and having a mix that is both more effective and more efficient in the way they invest their money.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.