Randy Falco, the CEO of Univision charged with bringing the company into themainstream, has made a bold proposition to media buyers: Take your general market dollars and give them to his network. The former NBC President even took a stab directly at his former employer in an ad campaign that began running late last month.
“Guess how many nights we beat NBC in 2011?” one headline says.
The answer is 195 in prime-time audiences ages 18-to-49.
“It’s about how we get more English-language general-market money, if you will, moving to Univision,” Falco said later of the ad. “Whether it’s NBC or anyone else, somewhere along the line, the slowest animal in the herd is going to get cut.”
Danielle Gonzales, exec VP-managing director of Tapestry, a Publicis Groupe media-buying unit that specializes in multicultural media adds that Spanish language networks like Univision have not been subject to losing viewers to online broadcasts like mainstream networks have.
Still, Falco may be jumping the gun a smidge. While one of Univision’s top rated shows, La Fuerza del Destino earned an average of 2.6 18-49 year-old viewers in its Tuesday-night spot, a more popular mainstream broadcast show lie CBS’s The Big Bang Theory garners an average 7.2 million in that same time period.
Falco is definitely playing offense, looking to get ahead of the pack quickly coming up on his heels. News Corp. is preparing to launch rival MundoFox this fall and NBC Universal is in the midst of a rebranding blitz for all its networks including Telemundo.
Plus, not everyone is convinced that clients are going to steal from one budget to feed another.
Spanish-language TV “is a part of the consideration set of national video options,” says Mike Rosen, president-director of activation at Publicis Groupe’s Starcom. “But that doesn’t always mean advertisers should draw from one to supplement the other. Advertisers should instead find out what their customers are most passionate about and spend money around those connections.”
Defending general market against Hispanic advertising? There’s a twist.