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The formula for success? Or the success of an old formula?

by Gus Razzetti on May 26, 2010

Viva el español!! Ricky Martin tweeted at the beginning of the Univision upfront. As we could all watch it on a huge screen while silently envying his amazing Twitter followers base (more than a million…)

That was the theme line across the whole event: successful Hispanic marketing should be done in Spanish.

And then we were exposed to the, once again, successful Hispanic passion points: music, novellas, soccer.

Of course many great news were shared: 20 new programs across platforms, top 5 network television reach 52 weeks of original content, and more integration opportunities than ever before with the launch of Univision Studios. And some of the new content, even some Telenovellas, I found them interesting. But is this what’s all about?

Many colleagues where discussing exactly the same, nothing really new under the sun. We keep saying that the young Hispanics are affecting America. Shouldn’t that effect be also reflected in Hispanic programming?

Don’t get me wrong. I respect Univision and I’m happy for all the great new news. I also love Spanish language and I believe that the role of Spanish will continue to grow both on a personal and business base.

What I don’t get is why we still focus on language as the key point of difference. Or why we keep improving a successful formula and not, additionally, exploring new avenues at the same time. It’s like we are stuck on what the Hispanic market used to be.

We are missing a broader and fastest growing opportunity: the bi-cultural segment.

More and more marketers are understanding that the growth opportunity in the Hispanic market will be targeting bi-cultural / bi-lingual segments.

Great to try new unchartered waters with Univision Studios. May be it’s also time to try already chartered waters (by mainstream media) of the Bicultural segments. MTV3, Mun2, Ugly Betty are good examples.

An Univision executive shared an interesting approach. “Why do Latinos speak in Spanish?” he asked to the audience. And his answer was based on simple common sense ”Because they can”. Well, nice approach. But that’s a partial answer; they can also choose to speak in English, in Spanglish, or all of the above.

Culture comes first and language second. Language is a choice.
The same happens with media, content comes first and language, second.

And when it comes to entertainment, content is the key driver.

As it was dramatized yesterday when comparing how a mainstream network would broadcast a soccer match versus a Hispanic one (Univision in this case). Yes, of course language added to the emotional experience. But the deep understanding of the world of soccer, dramatizing the passion and craziness of soccer, that’s what the experience is all about.

The right content with the right cultural (emotional) approach is what drives consumer choice.

The event was getting to an end and now it was my turn to tweet (though on a smaller, intimate screen). “@Univision upfront. Is this the formula for success? Or simply the success of an old formula?”

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