Breaking from traditional lengthy programming recaps, Univision Communications Inc. offered an experiential presentation designed to get media buyers to connect with its content.
Billed as "Culture Unbound," Univision recently held four sessions showcasing six separate experiences: news, entertainment, music, sports, the Univision creator network and Delicioso, its multiplatform food vertical.
That is not to say that Univision’s presentation didn’t have the traditional trappings. Lisa Valentino, executive vice president of revenue innovation, touted Univision's focus on digital, citing the company's 20 partnerships with companies such as Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc., Snap Inc., PopSugar Inc. and The Players' Tribune Inc., which give advertisers access to U.S. Hispanics.
Univision Deportes President Juan Carlos Rodriguez talked up the company’s vast soccer holdings, including LigaMX, Mexico’s top circuit, Major League Soccer and coverage of the Mexican and U.S. national teams. He said soccer is America’s fastest-growing sport and Univision nets 59% of its audience. Despite those numbers, Rodriguez said a piece had been missing: the best European football, which it will now present via the top two club competitions, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa.
Steve Mandala, president of ad sales and marketing, rattled off a number of stats, including that 92% of Univision viewers watch content live, and 91% screen the commercials. He noted that 79% don’t watch any programming on the top 10 English-language networks and that 81% of U.S. Hispanics speak Spanish. To that end, he said marketers that communicate "in culture impact hearts, minds and wallets."
Mandala also announced that Univision has joined Open AP, a consortium of media outlets, including Viacom Inc., Fox Networks Group, Turner Broadcasting System Inc. and NBCUniversal Media LLC, committed to advancing audience buying.
But the hour-long discussions were a prelude to Univision executives exhorting attendees to immerse themselves within the various experiences.
A walk through the exhibits during the early afternoon on May 15 revealed plenty of attendees listening to music and taking pictures that were inserted into satiric news publisher The Onion.
In the entertainment area, others hit the L.I.K.E. button on a kiosk issuing questions about how they viewed themselves in high school: the crowds they hung with, their favorite subjects and books, their extra-curricular activities, to determine which cast member of the new show they most resembled.
In the "House of Soccer," attendees walked through a "hype" tunnel, home to three video screens depicting Univision Deportes’ futbol coverage and large-scale photos flanking the trophies bestowed on the winners of Liga MX, Concacaf Gold Cup, MLS, UEFA Champions League and the inaugural UEFA Nations League, which kicks off this fall.
The scenes made Chief Revenue Officer Tonia O'Connor’s introduction ring true: "Forget the theater district. We’re upfronting in the hip and fun district, which is like the experience we’re giving you today. The upfronts have been done the same way for the past 50 years. It’s time for some disruption."