NBC Universal Launches Company-wide 'Hispanics at NBCU' Effort

Research: Hispanics Think 43% of U.S. Population Is Latino

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NBC Universal is launching "Hispanics at NBCU" today in a company-wide initiative to boost ad dollars targeting Hispanics. The move follows similar themed cross-platform efforts including "Women at NBCU," "Green Is Universal" and "Healthy at NBCU."

"Integrated buys are a premium sales program for marketers looking to buy specific audience segments as broadly as possible," said Lauren Zalaznick, chairman of NBC Universal Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media. "If you don't want a commodity play with a lot of wasted dollars, NBCU offers one place to come, and reaches about 91% of Hispanics over age 18."

Ms. Zalaznick said advertisers who participate in Integrated Strategic Marketing Group's "Hispanics at NBCU" get both customized research for each deal, covering topics such as buying behavior and how consumers will think about the product; and customized content of spots, letting advertisers tap into NBC talent through devices such as custom blogs, custom slide-shows or vignettes.

NBCU's TV network, cable and digital properties cover Spanish-dominant consumers to Hispanics who speak only English. Besides Spanish-language network Telemundo and English-language Hispanic cable channel Mun2, and both channels' websites, other properties such as Oxygen, Bravo and iVillage have large Hispanic audiences.

"Real Housewives of Miami" has reached more than two million adult Hispanics, and "Bad Girls Club" on Oxygen reached more than 2.5 million acculturated Hispanics, Ms. Zalaznick said. She added that Hispanic families sit down together to watch "La Reina Del Sur" ("Queen of the South"), a new Telemundo drama about an innocent Mexican girl targeted by a drug gang who saves herself by becoming a powerful drug-trafficking boss.

Advertisers have to commit substantial resources to participate in "Hispanics at NBCU." "It's a pretty high bar, a minimum of four or five properties, and they must have a digital component," Ms. Zalaznick said.

Such programs increase an advertiser's reach, and help coax first-time advertisers onto the air. That's especially important in the Hispanic market, where some product categories still do little to target Hispanics or have only activated a few brands in the Hispanic market. That's despite the recently released but long-anticipated Census data showing that the Hispanic population grew by 43% in the last 10 years. Hispanics accounted for more than half of the growth in the U.S. population over the past decade, and there are now about 50 million Hispanics in the U.S. -- almost one in every six people living in this country.

Other media companies are eying those numbers, which have helped bring record ratings to Telemundo and its bigger Spanish-language rival, Univision. This week News Corp.'s Fox Networks Group announced the launch of Fox Hispanic Media to target Hispanics. That unit will include sports channel Fox Deportes, women's lifestyle channel Utilisima, and a new Spanish-language channel starting this summer called Nat Geo Mundo.

Along with the launch of "Hispanics at NBCU," the company did a study of female multicultural consumers that indicated multicultural women are less skeptical of advertisers than are white women, and in many cases wish that brands, especially aspirational ones, would make more of an effort to target them. Asked which product categories they would like to target their race or culture more, 44% of multicultural respondents said higher education (compared to 14% of white women), and 41% cited organic or health food brands, technology brands and cosmetic brands, compared to between 11% and 14% of white women.

In one odd finding, Hispanic respondents, asked what percentage of the entire U.S. population is made up of their own race or culture, estimated on average that 43% of the U.S. population is Hispanic. The true figure is 16%, according to the Census. That, Ms. Zalaznick said, represents "consumer perception vs. statistical reality." And it may be part of the reason Hispanics often feel under-served by marketers.

"I look for ways to monetize the gap between perception and reality," she said. "Talk to [Hispanics] as equals, not a 16% minority."

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