General Mills Expands Hispanic Platform With Univision

Karla Martinez for General Mills/Univision General Mills is expanding its content-based outreach to Hispanics with a new, yearlong partnership with the Univision Network, the nation's largest Spanish-language television network.


  The deal calls for Karla Martinez, co-host of Univision's "Wake-Up America" morning show, to star in a series of 30-second vignettes that will air nationwide over the next 12 months. Like General Mills's custom, single-sponsor magazine for Hispanic women, Que Rica Vida ("What a Good Life"), the Martinez vignettes will offer cooking- and nutrition-related tips for 14 participating General Mills brands.

The free, quarterly all-Spanish-language women's lifestyle magazine (circulation approximately 350,000) and its Web site( are the cornerstones of General Mills's two-and-a-half-year-old, multi-brand Hispanic marketing initiative of the same name. The publication is available for home delivery and in stores and community venues in Hispanic communities. Starting next year, a condensed version will also be distributed to more than 600,000 households as an FSI in newspapers around the country.



The site has added brand microsites in recent months, and will now also feature podcasts and blogs written by the magazine's regular contributors.

Using publications and other content to carry brand messages has been very successful with Hispanics, notes David Burgos, VP, multicultural practice for Millward Brown, mentioning efforts by Nestlé in Latin America. He adds that acculturated U.S. Hispanics are demonstrating a growing tendency to "return to their roots" through cultural traditions and preparing authentic recipes, which also makes the Que Rica approach spot on.

José Villa, president of Sensis, a New York-based multicultural interactive marketing agency, agrees that using relevant content as a "soft" approach to introducing brands and increasing loyalty is very effective for the target audience. Noting that Hispanic marketing budgets are usually limited--and that creating a separate platform for each brand would be very costly--he also praises General Mills for making the most of resources by creating an effective multi-brand platform.

Villa adds that the features being added to the Que Rica site, while useful, fall short of social media as he defines these, which involve "completely immersing" the brand in conversation with consumers. "They're still talking to Latina women, rather than really engaging them in conversation," he says. "Completely opening up to consumer-generated content is arguably a bit scary. But that could be their next step."

Villa also says that while Univision is an ideal media anchor partner, he hopes that General Mills will also work with other media to ensure reach to acculturated Hispanic women.

According to Nielsen, Univision is the fifth-most-watched television network in the country, and attracts more Hispanics during each broadcast hour than any other network (English- or Spanish-language).

However, according to data supplied by Millward Brown, 43% of Hispanics age 16 and older watch English-language television all or most of the time, 32% watch English- and Spanish-language TV about equally, and 25% watch Spanish-language TV all or most of the time.

Nearly two-thirds (60%) of unacculturated Hispanics watch Spanish-language TV all or most of the time.

Among bicultural Hispanics, 55% watch Spanish and English programming about equally, 40% watch English programming all/most of the time, and just 5% watch Spanish content most of the time. Among acculturated Hispanics, 95% watch English-language TV most/all of the time, and 5% watch English and Spanish about equally.

Editor's note: Look for ourEngage:Hispanics newsletter midday on Thursdays.

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