Using the lingo to reach Hispanics

Sep 23, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Charlotte, N.C., has a burgeoning Hispanic population, and WCCB-TV, the Bahakel Communications-owned Fox affiliate, recognized the need to reach this rapidly growing community.
“The station was the first in the market to offer a live Spanish-language translation of the local news through Second Audio Program,” said General Manager John “Hutch” Hutchinson. “SAP reception has been available in televisions and VCRs for more than 10 years. By simply selecting SAP, viewers can watch the video from English-language programs while listening to the audio in Spanish.”
The station began offering the service in fall 2001. Since there is no daily Spanish-language newspaper in the area, offering the SAP has helped Fox Charlotte provide a unique sponsorship opportunity to advertisers seeking to reach the Hispanic population.
“Advertiser packages include a 30-second commercial in the news, a 5-second audio/video billboard [in Spanish] in the news, logo inclusion on the station’s Web site and logo inclusion on station promos explaining how to access SAP to viewers,” Mr. Hutchinson said. “A variety of advertisers have been involved, including fast-food restaurants and banks as well as new-to-television advertisers such as a Hispanic grocery chain and a tortilla manufacturer.”
At WSOC-TV, the Cox Broadcasting-owned ABC affiliate, the telecommunications sector has given the station a revenue boost. “Right now we are doing something with Alltel called `The Hottest Ticket in Town,”’ said General Manager Lee Armstrong. “It offers folks a chance to win tickets to all sorts of events if they try out the phone and service.”
Consumers are invited to visit participating Alltel agent locations and find out whether they have won tickets to a concert or other event for which tickets have been sold out or are basically unattainable.
The Alltel campaign runs on both TV and the Internet. “Television is a great way to bring people to the Internet and the Internet can bring a depth of information,” Ms. Armstrong said. “We certainly find that folks are relying on our Web site for local news, weather and traffic conditions.”
Karen Hern, Alltel’s regional communications manager, said the company is dealing with WSOC on this campaign “not only because of our excellent working relationship with them but because they offer such a diverse, multifaceted approach to reaching consumers through several electronic media outlets. The campaign has been very successful.”
“We’ve been slow the first half of the year,” said Stuart Powell, general manager for Belo-owned NBC affiliate WCNC-TV, who suggested a delayed primary election had an adverse effect on the Charlotte market because nonpolitical advertisers “didn’t know what periods to avoid.”
“We are expecting fourth quarter to be much better,” he said. “We are certainly seeing signs of rebound now. Automotive has still been strong. The grocery business has been very strong in this market. The furniture business is very strong and telecom has been steady.”
Charlotte TV revenues are expected to be up 5 percent to $173.5 million by the end of 2002 from $165.2 million in 2001, according to BIA Financial Network.