Univision Sells Hispanic Digital Audience for 2012 Election

Univision spent more than a year ramping up its digital video and targeting capabilities in preparation for the 2012 election season. With the GOP primaries still limping ahead, the Spanish-language media outlet has yet to see any big money flowing from the political market, as relatively few Hispanics vote in Republican primaries. But the company is ready for the general election.

“At this point, there’s not a lot of money spent on Hispanic media for the purpose of the primaries, which is very different than it was four years ago in the Democratic primary,” said Joe DelGrosso, EVP, managing director, for political at Univision.

“The ability to string together different affiliates that we have, the ability to target all the swing states the ability to provide video inside those environments on a standardized basis – is something that we’ve developed over the course of the last couple of years,” DelGrosso told ClickZ Politics last week at the American Association of Political Consultants conference in Austin, TX. “The premium we get in the video environment is compelling enough for us to develop that in the consumer point of view, but particularly to launch it in this cycle, will make a big impact,” he told ClickZ Politics last week at the American Association of Political Consultants conference in Austin, TX.

Political advertisers have embraced video advertising since it mimics television, allowing them to persuade voters through emotive sound and imagery. The added bonus of digital video is interactivity, the ability to click through to a donation page or a volunteer sign up page, for example.

The immediacy of news and current events-related video content also makes it compelling for the political market. “A lot of the things that are happening are happening in real-time in video, and we’ve made that possible across all our interactive platforms, particularly the mobile platforms,” DelGrosso said.

Hispanics will be an important voting group in 2012, especially in swing states like Florida and Nevada. It’s no coincidence that the list of potential running mates for likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney include Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.

In-stream and pre-roll video ads are available in Univision properties, along with long-form offerings, although online and mobile in-banner video ads have sparked a lot of interest among political advertisers, said DelGrosso.

Univision can target geographically down to DMA and zip code levels, and offers some English content online and in radio. The company can also target against audience segments across affiliates.

Buying direct in Spanish-language or bilingual content is an obvious way to reach Hispanics, however it’s important to target political messages by demographics and other data, too, said Chris Nolan, co-founder of San Francisco-based Spot-on.com, which provides digital media services to political campaigns. “I think the problem here is that folks who are trying to buy the web for Spanish-language speakers are treating all of them as a uniform, undifferentiated group, regardless of age, income or place of residence,” she said.

“[M]ost online users are college educated and most online users access the web at work. That strongly implies that the Spanish-language audience is bilingual,” she continued. “Which, to me, suggests that they don’t go just to Spanish language sites when they want news and information. So we shouldn’t be treating them as ‘Hispanic’ but rather looking at other demos like age, income, location.”

To help attract the political market, Univision has a special site for advertisers dedicated to information about reaching the Hispanic vote. Univision has dedicated political ad sales staff for clients on the right and left. The team of seven sell in conjunction with other salespeople across the firm’s various properties, and provide a more strategic approach for political consultants.

Univision competitor Telemundo declined to comment about its digital offerings for this story.

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