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Hispanic Cable 2010: State Farm Ad Chief Says Hispanic Cable Market Still Needs To Grow

With the 2010 U.S. Census around the corner, many advertisers are looking to see what it says about the growth in Hispanic demographics. One of those advertisers is State Farm Insurance, the nation’s largest insurance provider and a huge television advertiser. State Farm spends approximately $60 million annually in Hispanic media, according to Nielsen.

State Farm advertising director Ed Gold spoke to B&C Business Editor Claire Atkinson about the Hispanic market at an event presented by Broadcasting & Cable and the Cable Advertising Bureau Tuesday, Sept. 15 in New York.

Gold said that while the Hispanic cable landscape is growing, it still has a ways to go before it can steal significant ad dollars from market leaders Univision and Telemundo.

“The mass viewership is still on the two big networks,” Gold said.

But as viewership and ratings on Hispanic cablers grow, the advertisers will follow them.

“Our efforts are going to be a bit disproportional there, but we want to be where we see the audience going,” he said. “[A]s ratings increase and viewers increase [on cable], we will make changes.”

Gold noted that State Farm, like all advertisers, has been reviewing their advertising strategy in the wake of the recession, but that the company was still willing to pay a premium for ads that have a lasting impact, or meet specific needs of the company.

“It is kind of like auto insurance, who doesn’t want a good deal?” he said. “But the cheapest option is not always the best option, sometimes you pay a premium for what works better.”

Those options could include “big tent” events, which attract huge groups of viewers. One of those that State Farm is eyeing is the 2010 World Cup, which will be televised by ESPN and its sister networks. With Mexico looking like it will make it into the tourney, it becomes an even more attractive buy for advertisers seeking to make an impact in the U.S. Hispanic marketplace.

“The eyes of the Hispanic market are on the World Cup," Gold said. “I think the World Cup is going to do very well, and it is definitely something we are looking at.”