Univision's Steve Mandala on Audience Engagement, Ad Effectiveness

By Univision InSites Archives
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Recently, Univision completed a new engagement study using both Nielsen and comScore data that demonstrated how Univision connects with its viewers with both greater engagement and longer length of tune.  I spoke with Steve Mandala, President of Advertising Sales and Marketing, Univision Communications about the findings.

Charlene Weisler:  What do you think is the reason for UCI’s longer length of tune vs. its competitors?

Steve Mandala:  There are two key factors:  Our content and our distribution platforms. The breadth and depth of our portfolio in reaching Hispanics across multi-platforms from TV to radio and digital -- something that no other media company has -- is what differentiates us from our Spanish-language competitors.  Additionally, Univision has more hours of regularly scheduled live programming than any of the English-language networks, setting us apart from our competitors [in that arena], as well.

Weisler:  Is any specific program or programming genre driving this? 

Mandala:  We see extremely high tune-in and engagement for women in daytime, even higher than in primetime.  Sports is a key driver in delivering male viewers and we have more soccer than any other media company in the U.S.  Univision is the undisputed home of soccer.  Overall, our audiences are seeking big, live events; music and entertainment content that culturally resonates.  Univision has a special connection and unparalleled trust with the Hispanic community.  Our programming decisions are fueled not only by this connection, but also because that is what our audience expects from us.  With all of our shows or events we foster pride in our culture, support viewers’ daily lives and provide optimism towards the future that sets us apart from everyone else.

Weisler:  How was data used to get your results? 

Mandala:  We used Nielsen data for both television and radio and comScore for digital metrics.  We looked at average month Total Day with average number of minutes consumed among Hispanics for all measured networks, radio stations and digital properties within each media company’s portfolio.

Weisler:  How does it break out by age and gender?

Mandala: The same compelling story is evident for adults 18-34, adults 18-49 and adults 18-plus.  This indicates that our audiences’ loyalty transcends all age segments.

Weisler:  What do you think is the reason for the high level of ad effectiveness for UCI?

Mandala:  We justify our ad effectiveness success in two dimensions; viewing behavior and consumer behavior.  With viewing behavior, the vast majority of our TV viewers consume our content live, which leads to top levels of ad engagement.  Our viewers continue watching their programs even during commercials, with commercial retention of more than 90 percent.   Also, we know Hispanics are more receptive to advertising than non-Hispanics.  Hispanics are 19% more likely to agree that “advertising helps me to keep up to date about products and services that I need or would like to have.” (MRI)

With consumer behavior, ads that run on Spanish-language networks consistently outperform English-language ads on recall and likeability among Hispanics.  In 2017 alone, we saw that Spanish-language ads significantly outperformed English-language ads on all metrics.  Spanish-language ads’ likeability indexed 240 vs English-language ads.  We believe the key to the overperformance of Spanish-language ads is language.  Even with global campaigns (ads that are exactly the same in Spanish language vs English language and the only difference is language) we see Spanish-language ads consistently performing better on all metrics vs English-language ads.  Additionally, recent studies show that audiences exposed to contextually targeted ads have a higher tendency to respond favorably, especially within the concepts of language and culture targeting.

Weisler:  How does ad effectiveness impact the consumer journey and purchasing?

Mandala:  Creative continues to be the largest differentiator for campaign performance and positive ROIs.  Good creative helps cut through the clutter, drives clarity, delivers a message to consumers and leads to higher purchase intent and incremental sales.  Good Spanish-language creative speaks to the consumer in culture and in-language, establishes a dialogue, develops narrative storylines, leverages culturally relevant humor and uses relatable characters in a familiar setting.  Our source for this information comes from Nielsen’s “The Secrets to Spanish Language TV ROI”study.

Weisler:  How does the Hispanic audience compare to total U.S. audiences in terms of loyalty and purchasing?

Mandala:  From a study conducted in partnership with Acosta, we discovered that Hispanic shoppers continue to make more store trips than the total U.S. shoppers.  We also saw that Hispanic shoppers and total U.S. shoppers on average are spending basically the same; however, the Hispanic shopper with kids is outpacing both groups in monthly spend.  This increased trip frequency and spend provides retailers and brand marketers with more opportunities to engage with Hispanic shoppers.

In terms of loyalty, when asking Hispanic buyers what factors were most important in deciding [what] to buy, usually brand was the most important reason for brand selection, indicating that many are brand loyal buyers across a diverse range of categories.

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