Ad Age is marking Hispanic Heritage Month 2023 with our Honoring Creative Excellence package, in which members of the Hispantic community revisit some of their favorite creative projects. (Read the introduction here.) Today, guest editor Alejandro Clabiorne turns the spotlight to Rob Vélez, VP, inclusive network sales, Vevo, who writes about helping marketers connect with diverse audiences.
About five years ago, I joined music video network Vevo to develop and bring to market Somos Vevo, a dedicated division to help brands reach nearly 13 million Hispanic American viewers each month. With artists including Karol G and Christian Nodal regularly premiering their anticipated music videos on our network, Vevo recognized the importance of leveraging culturally relevant content to build authentic connections with this growing and influential demographic. Additionally, we knew brands were looking to execute multicultural marketing on connected TVs, where our distribution was expanding rapidly.
I hit the ground running with the development of Somos Vevo, building the ad sales team from the ground up and hiring six additional people. We then set forth on a path to establish and operationalize Somos Vevo as a key pillar of the Vevo business, and one that should be included in all media plans and key business development conversations.
Fast-forward to the present day. Vevo has intentionally evolved its Latin CTV programming to be more comprehensive and go beyond the very broad Latin genre, launching four linear channels (Vevo Latino, Vevo Reggaeton & Latin Trap, Vevo Regional Mexicano and Vevo Iconos Latinos) and various viewing blocks dedicated to specific subgenres, cultural themes and more.
Vevo has subsequently become one of the largest Hispanic TV networks in terms of reach, and I am so proud to have successfully overseen its monetization. In fact, Somos Vevo is now a key lynchpin in our upfront conversations with media buyers, boosting Vevo’s multicultural business to make up more than 20% of Vevo’s direct ad-sales revenue. With advertiser demand for diverse and representative content so high, Vevo also began holding dedicated multicultural upfronts.
This past NewFront in New York City was a culmination of all the progress we have been making. We had Colombian superstar J Balvin close out our presentation, representing the Hispanic audience on Vevo and the power of Latin music today, and personifying our direction as a business. I also had the honor of presenting on stage, on behalf of Somos Vevo and Vevo’s wider diverse audience business, to unveil our new inclusive network sales division.