Multi-Platform: Best Way to Reach Hispanics

Don Francisco's '3-Screen Approach'

In a keynote speech kicking off the 7th annual Hispanic Television Summit, legendary broadcaster Don Francisco urged advertisers and programmers to find the right “marketing mix” to reach Hispanic-media consumers. And he stressed the need for the growing Hispanic-media sector to adapt to new technologies and emerging platforms.

“I'm convinced that the proper combination [of platforms] will allow us to engage the consumer,” said Francisco, the creator and host of Univision's variety juggernaut Sábado Gigante.

Francisco, whose real name is Mario Kreutzberger, recounted how “creative and effective advertising,” particularly product integration, helped make his globally distributed show the longest-running variety program in TV history.

Francisco marveled how much the Hispanic market—which accounted for $5 billion in ad spending in 2008, according to TNS Media Intelligence estimates—has evolved since Sábado Gigante relocated from his native Chile to the U.S. in 1986, and began its run on Univision.

Now, he said, the challenge is to stay current with new media and adopt a “three-screen approach” to reach consumers via TV, the Web and mobile video.

Referring to the show's use of Skype to interact with viewers on-screen and its segments featuring viewer-submitted videos, Francisco said, “I attribute our success to our ability to adapt to our audiences and to changing technology.”

Time Warner Learns From 'El Paquetazo' Rollout

Time Warner Cable is still in the early stages of rolling out its “El Paquetazo” programming package, but it is already learning from its mistakes in how to market it. Jeffrey Hirsch, president of residential services for Time Warner Cable's New York region, discussed the service in a conversation with Multichannel News Editor-in-Chief Mark Robichaux.

Hirsch, who had previously led the company's Los Angeles division before coming to New York, said that Time Warner missed an opportunity when it first rolled out El Paquetazo in L.A. “We launched it with another product, an international phone product,” Hirsch said, recalling that the hope was potential customers would also be interested in calling relatives abroad. “We lost the opportunity to establish El Paquetazo as a brand in L.A.

“We learned a lot there,” Hirsch added. “When we brought it to New York City, we did things differently; we didn't launch it with another product.”

While Time Warner is still in the early stages of establishing the El Paquetazo brand (it is available in L.A., New York and Texas), Hirsch said the goal is to make the product, which features about 40 Spanish-language channels and 100 English channels, the go-to television package in the Hispanic marketplace.— Alex Weprin

Promotions Execs Build Brand Awareness

Promotions executives have found experiential marketing and events-based promotional campaigns to be a strong builder of brand awareness among Hispanic consumers, panelists said at the summit Sept. 24.

“Cox understands that we Hispanics are much more community-centered,” said Renata Franco, marketing segmentation manager at Cox Communications. “Events do really well for us.”

While community events may not immediately translate into customers for MSOs or their partnering sponsors, they allow brands to interact face-to-face with consumers and serve as product showcases, Franco said. Cox employs bilingual brand ambassadors at their events to speak with those attending.

“Our number-one objective is to connect with our audience emotionally,” said Telemundo Station Group President Ronald J. Gordon. The broadcast group recently launched a tour that took the stars of popular telenovela Sin Senos No Hay Paraíso on two promotional runs to four different markets. “The results were fantastic,” Gordon said, citing increased ratings in the markets the stars visited.— David Tanklefsky