In what was perhaps one of the most interesting soccer tournaments in 100 years, the question that kept coming to my mind during the Copa America Centenario was: who won? I’m not talking about the obvious answer, when we saw La Roja – Chile –create one of the largest upsets in recent international soccer history by defeating Argentina in penalty kicks. I’m talking about another kind of victory, one that interested me for professional reasons. I’m talking about the winning advertiser during the tournament.
To give some perspective, let’s paint the big picture on why the tournament held so much value for brand marketers. During the tournament, Univision averaged about 2.9 million viewers per game. The Chile vs. Mexico quarter final game drew 5.6 million viewers and the Chile vs. Argentina final had 6.8 million viewers. The Copa America Centenario final had a larger tune-in audience than the 2014 World Cup. Let me repeat that, the final had more viewers than the 2014 World Cup!
Now that you understand the magnitude for advertisers, let’s get back to the question: who won? This was another upset. In most people’s mind, I’m sure the expectation was for brands like Coca-Cola or Unilever, Procter and Gamble or AT&T to take the prize. They tend to “own” these types of advertising opportunities with big global ideas activated across touch points and mediums, rallying consumers to connect with their brand. But that was not the case this time around.
This tournament was not as large or global as the World Cup or the Olympics but it was big. And, in turn, it was a big miss for many advertisers. To be fair, last year’s FIFA corruption scandal, coupled with speculation that this tournament might not happen, was a vacuum for big ideas and brand sponsors. I suspect the aforementioned events made a lot of advertisers hedge their bets and sit on the sidelines.
But there was one advertiser that was all in: Genomma Lab. The curious case of Genomma Lab is interesting indeed. The brand has a number of consumer products, which are developed in Mexico and marketed in over eight countries, including the United States, (targeting U.S. Hispanics). Brands include: Tío Nacho, shampoo and conditioner; Asepxia, soap, makeup and acne control; Cicatricure, skin treatment; and the list goes on. Overall, the company has 17 brands listed on their U.S. website and, interestingly, many of them come with incredibly heavy support on Univision TV.
What makes Genomma Lab’s business model intriguing and probably very successful are a few things:
1. Strategic partnerships
Their products are distributed through Televisa products USA, which is 51% owned by Televisa and 49% by Genomma Lab. Although they are separate companies, what makes this strategic partnership particularly powerful is Televisa’s stake in Univision, which is about 36%. Not to mention that Genomma Lab is one of the largest Televisa customers in Mexico. This strategic alliance likely provides Genomma Lab access to highly preferential pricing on Univision. According to the 2015 Hispanic Fact Pack from Ad Age, Genomma Lab “spent” $351MM in Spanish media (probably 100% of it on Univision)… only second to P&G!
2. Product and communication strategy
Their product and communication strategy has Hispanics at heart. From the product naming to the product benefits and the effective creative. These products are designed for a Pan-Hispanic audience and in some cases they just seem more relevant and very particular to Latinos health and beauty needs.
3. Astute shopper marketing
Very astute shopper marketing through Genomma kiosks in drug stores like Walgreens and significant retailer tagging in their robust Univision schedule, coupled with the above, means Hispanic shoppers know where to find this product. And retailers love the traffic-driving messaging.
So there you have it, the winner of Copa America was not La Roja. A clever distribution strategy, strategic partnerships that provide serious cost advantages, product development, positioning and communication made the clear winner Genomma Lab así as el Fútbol.