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Gadsby: Digital Dollars Trending to Hispanics

NEW YORK — As dollars shift from more traditional TV buys, more marketers are aiming their sights on Hispanic consumers, given their youth and willingness to embrace new social and mobile technologies, multicultural marketer Monica Gadsby said last Thursday (Oct. 2) in opening the daylong Hispanic Television Summit.

“We are migrating to the age where all media is digital,” Gadsby, the CEO of SMG Multicultural & Latin America, said in a keynote Q&A. Programmatic technology is starting to change the way multicultural ads are being placed, from buying schedules on the highestrated networks to finding target audiences however and wherever they are consuming media, she said.

“The technology will enable us to be more precise,” she said, and it’s incumbent on marketers and programmers to adapt to the new conditions, which will reqiore some time to really take hold.

After nearly 30 years in the media business, Gadsby said, that change is to be expected and can be invigorating, even if it means learning and talking about algorithms instead of ratings. “Models break, new models need to be reinvented, and to me that’s what’s exciting about the job and has kept me so engaged for years.”

Under Gadsby, Starcom MediaVest Group’s multicultural units — Tapestry and MV42 —have placed millions of dollars of advertising in Hispanic TV. The market has become so big that the days of 30% growth are pretty much over, she said.

“But we still have growth in the high single digits,” she told Broadcasting & Cable executive editor Dade Hayes. “To me, that’s still great news.”

Asked about advertising categories, Gadsby said the biggest growth will likely come from existing sectors, such as consumer packaged goods, personal computers and automotive.

Pharmaceuticals and technology have emerged and are still growing, she said, while luxury goods and travel are still lagging.

She praised existing Hispanic-TV leaders Univision and Telemundo and other big media players investing in the space, such as 21st Century Fox and Discovery Communications, for adapting to the times and developing new networks, digital platforms and programming genres.

Bilingually targeted networks, such as Fusion, El Rey Network and Tr3s, are still trying to find their space, she said.

The Spanish language still resonates with bilingual consumers in terms of ad messaging comprehension and recall, she said. But she warned against overusing both English and Spanish in ads. Studies have shown the brain gets overtaxed going back and forth, she said, and ad recall suffers.