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Can the Spanish Super Bowl Broadcast be a Touchdown for Brands? | LBBOnline


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This year, Spanish-language media giant TelevisaUnivision has partnered with CBS and the NFL to broadcast the Super Bowl across the States. CBS usually works with ESPN to simulcast the big game in Spanish, as the company doesn’t have its own Spanish-language TV network – but this year, TelevisaUnivision’s larger platform will reach more Spanish-speaking Super Bowl viewers than ever before.

Ahead of the broadcast, we asked leaders from some of the most prominent agencies in the US that have a Hispanic focus about the opportunities that arise from this increased Spanish-language viewership of the big game. Discussing how brands can best connect with this demographic, and what this event means for the future of bicultural marketing in the US, LBB’s Ben Conway spoke with creative leaders from TBWA\Media Arts Lab Miami, MEL (Messianu/Edelman/Lerma), alma, the community and Orci. 

“When one thinks of Hispanics and sports, the most common association is a fútbol (soccer) ‘goooooooal’ being yelled out by a commentator on Spanish language TV,” says Marina Filippelli, CEO at Orci. However, she points out that many Hispanic people in the US are strong supporters of American sports too – highlighting MLB’s LA Dodgers (or, ‘Los Doyers’) and its line of bilingual merch as a key example.

With the biggest American football game of the year just days away, Angela Rodriguez, SVP and head of strategy at alma, agrees and says it’s only natural that this connection between Hispanic people and US sports extends to America’s Game. “Hispanics are Americans too, and the NFL is their game as much as futból is. Their fandom runs so deep that many Hispanics bring their own cultural twist to it. For proof, just look at Raider Nation’s luchador masks and Cowboys fans’ charro hats.”

Why brands should get off the sidelines

While Univision will have its Televisa broadcast in Mexico, the company’s US stream is what poses the greatest opportunity for some of the largest brands in the US – such as confirmed Univision advertisers Verizon and Nissan – who will be able to target the multicultural, Spanish-speaking population of the States on a scale not previously encountered for the Super Bowl. 

[Above: Nissan – ‘El Test Drive’]

“It’s about future-proofing your business while connecting with a growing demographic in a less cluttered space,” says Marina. “Research shows that Hispanics already consider themselves NFL fans at almost the same percentages as caucasian or Black people in this country, and given that Hispanics are the fastest-growing group in the US, this level of interest will undoubtedly turn into a significant part of the NFL’s ever-growing audience. The Univision broadcast provides a great opportunity to connect with these fans today and build affinity over time.”

Pedro Prado, executive creative director at TBWA\Media Arts Lab LATAM, adds that it’s exciting to witness the US’ most iconic sporting event embrace an ever-growing multicultural America. “Sport is all about emotion and as over 20% of American hearts speak Spanish, this is a huge opportunity to truly connect and engage with this enormous audience. As an advertising creative I’m also quite curious to see the insane amount of opportunities this decision opens up in the coming years.”

And “enormous” is right, considering that the 2023 LDC UW Latino GDP Report measures US Latino purchasing power at $3.4 trillion.

“With this purchasing power, Hispanics’ impact on the economy and their ability to help brands grow is undeniable,” says Angela. “So yes, brands should absolutely see the Super Bowl as an opportunity to connect with them, and connect with them in Spanish.”

This is an important distinction, as TBWA\Media Arts Lab LATAM’s managing director, Luana Azeredo, discovered recently. “I came across a study that compares how different audiences react, engage and feel when watching a game in Spanish, in comparison to watching the same game in English. Within Spanish-speaking areas, engagement rates are higher, and people feel more emotionally involved when the commentary is in Spanish.”

She continues, “Having more channels broadcast the Super Bowl in Spanish doesn’t just reach the right audience, but it reaches the right audience in the right mood.”

“For marketers,” says Luis Miguel Messianu, president and chief creative officer at MEL (Messianu/Edelman/Lerma), “this presents an opportunity to tap into a demographic that is often overlooked but holds significant purchasing power and influence. By investing in strategies to effectively reach and engage Spanish-speaking audiences, brands can not only drive business results but also demonstrate their commitment to diversity and inclusion.”

Don’t just take a punt

The experts agree that the way to score points with Hispanic Americans during the Super Bowl, is – above all else – to listen to what they want. Spoiler alert: it’s not American ads dubbed into Spanish.

Luis outlines several key points that brands and creatives should pay attention to when marketing to Spanish-speaking audiences during the TelevisaUnivision stream: language and cultural sensitivity, inclusive representation, authentic storytelling, and community engagement.

“From here,” says Luana, “we need to ask: ‘How do we shape a message that goes beyond the usual cliches about Hispanics? How do we create a campaign that is more than just a translation of the one in English? How do we take into consideration that most of the Hispanics also speak English and consider themselves not just bilingual but bicultural?’.” 

It’s this tailor-made approach, designed specifically for the States’ Spanish-speaking community and relevant to their cultural nuances, that Angela says will see Hispanic audiences accurately represented. Not to mention the importance of showing the diversity within the Hispanic American population (rather than presenting them as a monolith) and telling their authentic stories.  

“Marketing to Hispanics in the big game requires big game thinking and marketers shouldn’t just dub over English ads or run uninspired Spanish ads that aren’t created for the audience and moment,” she says. “Research shows Hispanic audiences want to see themselves reflected in the content. A captive audience on the biggest stage of the year is a prime moment to give them the specificity of message, in Spanish and in culture, that they crave.”

Just like the viewers of the English language broadcast, they also want to see ads with just as much abundance, exuberance and over-the-top Super Bowl-ness as possible. Lee Maicon, chief strategy officer at the community, explains, “This Super Bowl is in Las Vegas, which means ‘the meadows’ in Spanish… a place of abundance in the desert. This Super Bowl should be no exception, with an abundance of creativity for the first time reaching 60 million people who have not seen a Super Bowl spot speaking to them authentically, in their language, tied to their culture… The Super Bowl historically has been THE show of abundance and creativity in our industry. We’re excited to see that abundance for all.”

Even beyond the broadcast itself, Marina suggests there are further opportunities to target Hispanic football fans and authentically represent their stories and varied cultural facets of being, as Luana described it, “bicultural”.

“[Brands] might consider supporting specific teams for which Hispanics have a higher affinity, such as the LA Rams, whose 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals went on to become the most-watched NFL game in Spanish-language history.”

Scoring a touchdown

For Lee, it’s important that any marketing used for the Spanish language Univision broadcast is not simply seen as an afterthought by brands and creatives. He says it’s vital for the marketers to view this newly expanded, and highly engaged, audience as an influential American demographic in its own right. He describes it as “the core driving force of a new mainstream, more diverse than ever before”, and says, “Brands will win with us, all of us, by having an abundance mindset, being open to opportunities, speaking to our unique needs, and staying away from stereotypes and ‘othering’ us.”

Similarly, Luis suggests that this dedicated and culturally aware mindset will not just grant short-term success for advertisers at Super Bowl 58, but potentially spark the beginning of long-lasting and loyal client-customer relationships for many years – and many Super Bowls – to come. 

“By crafting culturally relevant and compelling ads, brands can enhance their visibility, recognition, and engagement among Spanish-speaking consumers, ultimately driving business results and fostering long-term brand loyalty,” he says.

“This is a unique opportunity for brands to up their game, score big and leave a lasting impression on Spanish-speaking viewers during and way beyond this iconic event.”

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