Major North American marketers will set records of sorts when the Olympics open in Beijing on Aug. 8, debuting a slew of Hispanic-targeted ads during Telemundo’s broadcast of the Summer Games.
Target, Farmers’ Insurance, U.S. Navy and AT&T are among the various marketers lining up — many for the first time — to secure ad placements that will showcase new creative in Spanish during the high-profile Olympics telecast. AT&T also is the sole telecommunications sponsor of the NBC and Telemundo broadcasts of the games as part of a wide-scale media buy with parent NBCU.
Telemundo’s coverage of the 2008 games begins Aug. 6 and runs through Aug. 24.
Details on the 2008 ad spend for Telemundo’s Olympics broadcast weren’t disclosed, though the network described the Beijing games as its “best ad-supported” telecast since making history in 2004 as the first U.S. Hispanic network to televise the games in Spanish. Ad spending in Spanish network TV for the 2004 games in Athens totaled $20.57 million, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.
For marketers, being out in front of a major televised sports event such as the Olympics is a strategic move designed to appeal to the cultural and emotional connections Hispanic consumers will experience as the games play out, including a sense of pride, nationalism and competitive spirit, said marketing pros interviewed for this story.
Some marketers will use the wide platform that the Olympics offers to showcase inspirational stories about Hispanic athletes and high-profile Latinos while others will use celebrities and scenic locales to convey messaging aimed at a bicultural and an increasing affluent viewing audience.
“The Olympics is a world stage and an opportunity in media — and there are only a few — when you are potentially going to get the whole family in front of the TV in a multigenerational opportunity” said Greg Cunningham, director, multicultural marketing, Target Stores, a first-time sponsor of the games in Spanish.
“When you can reach people in those really special moments, and understand the bond that Hispanics family have, and understand that ‘if you speak to me in a relevant way during this time, it will make me perceive you and your brand very differently,'” Cunningham added.
Target’s media buy via Telemundo will give the retailer a global marketing vehicle for reaching Latino consumers with inspiring and culturally relevant messaging featuring Hispanic athletes and celebrities. The retailer also will have a significant advertising presence in the general market coverage of the Olympics, Cunningham said.
Others, including the Mexico Tourist Board, are buying airtime during the quadrennial sports extravaganza because the sizeable Hispanic viewing audience anticipated for the nearly 400 hours of sports programming is an opportunity to cast a wide net and reach Latino Olympics’ enthusiasts with bilingual and English messaging.
“The Olympics gives us a platform that is so unique and quite opportunistic as a media strategy because we know that a high percentage of consumers traveling to Mexico later this year will begin to plan their destinations several months in advance,” said Manuel E. Machado, CEO, Machado/Garcia-Serra, Miami, which developed the creative spots in English for the Olympics and is the tourist board’s media agency for North America. “That’s why tooting our own horn during the Olympics is most appropriate.”
For Telemundo, the Olympics’ broadcast in Spanish provides an opportunity to provide a significant audience with 51 percent of Hispanic households, or 5.4 million homes, tuning in for the network’s 2004 coverage of the games from Athens, per the Nielsen Home Television Index (NHTI).
“It’s so exciting to see advertisers recognize the opportunity that this global sporting event provides and who want to make a cultural and emotional connection with Hispanics in Spanish,” said Jacqueline Hernandez, COO, Telemundo. “It’s taking something very global and making it very individual for the consumer.”