On the eve of its upfront presentation to advertisers, ESPN has issued a new study designed to demonstrate to marketers that the network and its sister
Spanish-language channel ESPN Deportes can serve as a one-stop shop for reaching Hispanic males with a single ad campaign.
“There are nuances,” said Julie Perlish, senior director of advertising analytics at ESPN -- and campaigns targeting the networks’ Hispanic audience need to reflect that, she said. Any campaign aimed at Hispanic marketers needs to be mindful that different techniques may work better with certain Hispanic audience segments, depending on its level of acculturation.
That said, ESPN and Deportes deliver a huge Hispanic audience. The combined cumulative reach of the two networks is 29 million, according to the company. About 60% of that audience watches ESPN, while 20% tunes to Deportes and the remaining 20% watches both.
The just-released study tested 24 ads from 11 advertisers across multiple product categories, including automotive, technology, quick-service restaurants and telecommunications. Five ad formats were tested, including English and Spanish-language spots, ads with a mix of English and Spanish language, subtitled spots and ads with no language but featuring words or music.
The study found that language is not the dominant driver of ad success. Instead, it determined that ads are more likely to drive impact and appeal to Hispanic men when incorporating Hispanic cues, such as a family setting, relevancy within the context of sports and brand attributes.
Hispanic men are less impressed with ads that attempt to tickle the funny bone or bring out other emotions while watching ads, the study found. They prefer to reflect on what they have viewed and decide after the fact whether a spot was informative or relevant. “They want a little bit more of a connection before they welcome you into their world,” said Perlish.
For the bilingual audience, the study found, there did not appear to be a preference based on language in an ad. “They’re used to switching back and forth” from Spanish to English and vice versa in their daily lives, Perlish said.