Kraft Is First Brand Attached to Univision’s YouTube Channel

As the exclusive launch advertising partner for YouTube’s new Univision channel, Kraft Foods is looking to get a big online branding push with Spanish speakers in the U.S. In a deal scheduled to run two months, the Northfield, IL-based CPG giant will be the sole marketer running video overlays, pre-roll ads, companion banners, and other displays, according to Shanna Preve, YouTube spokesperson.

It’s the first time Univision’s full-length TV programs will support online ad sales, as its own site traditionally has only featured clips and mash-ups. For the time being, Preve explained, Univision will handle its own ad sales instead of using AdSense or YouTube’s marketing team. “But that could change down the road,” she said.

Kraft’s willingness to be the first YouTube sponsor for Univision makes sense, since the two firms have an ongoing relationship. Kevin Conroy, president of Univision Interactive Media, added, “We are working with a wide range of clients and brands, across categories, and plan to bring in many advertisers as sponsors.”

Meanwhile, the deal appears to be a significant step forward for both Univision and YouTube.

San Bruno, CA-based YouTube will take advantage of Univision’s popularity with Latino-Americans as the highest-rated Spanish-language TV network. And the videos Web site has long had a growing presence in the Hispanic community. New York-based research firm Experian Simmons found YouTube’s adult Latino audience grew by 80 percent in 2008 compared to the year before. YouTube has also struck partnerships in recent years with Venezuelan network Venevision and California-based Azteca America TV.

Preve suggested the Univision deal should build on that growth, creating a more robust content selection for consumers and further reach for advertisers. “It’s a need that hasn’t been met yet,” she said. “Univision gets us a little closer.”

Los Angeles-based Univision gets a place on the interactive map to better monetize its content online. And ads won’t only be sold when the network releases videos of recent programs, Conroy said. (He stated that the network – which includes Univision, TeleFutura, and Galavision channels – plans to put 20 hours of shows per month at YouTube.com/Univision.)

While employing YouTube’s ContentID system, when regular visitors to the dedicated channel decide to upload a show themselves, he explained, ad inventory will run. “This further establishes Univision as the ideal vehicle for advertisers to connect with U.S. Hispanics anytime, anywhere,” Conroy said.

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