Women to Watch: Ruth Gaviria, Univision Communications
As Univision steals viewers from the English-language TV networks and makes a big play for their advertisers, marketing head Ruth Gaviria is behind the scenes pushing "a complete reset button" on the Spanish-language media giant's outdated brand identity.
Colombia-born Ms. Gaviria brings a brand-management background that ranges from Procter & Gamble to publisher Meredith. "We weren't signaling to the community that we're forward facing and digital and mean business," she said.
Now Univision has a revamped master brand for the main network; second network Telefutura is reimagined as UniMas; digital is addressed in part with the launch of UVideos and audio with Uforia (note all the U's). And Univision will have its first gateway to English viewers through an alliance with El Rey, a cable network to be launched by film director Robert Rodriguez.
"People think marketing is the fun stuff, but 60% of marketing is process," said Ms. Gaviria, speaking like the scientist she is. With a degree in genetics, she spent time skin-grafting African albino frogs and was headed to medical school until the need for a job led her into marketing.
"Branding never ends," she said. "It's about where we'll invest the money and where we have the right to win with consumers. Univision wants to be the most-loved [brand]. The place where Latinos live."
Best advice I ever got: "To believe in myself. One [inspiring] book is 'The Four Agreements' by Don Miguel Ruiz. The only person who sets limitations for you is you. I'm a work in progress. How can I lead better and inspire people? If I make mistakes, admit it immediately. Fail with grace, and pick yourself up."
Ms. Gaviria was born in Colombia and lived there for 20 years before moving to the U.S.
First job? Cashier at a Walgreen's in Miami.