Author Archives: Marielena Santana

Audiences Growing with Live TV: Blame #FOMO

Sochi Olympics 2014

Now that we’ve watched a puppy befriend a Clydesdale in a Budweiser spot and 80’s icons come together for RadioShack’s ad during the Super Bowl, audiences are engaged with TV’s current big event – the Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

The Olympics are a huge investment for both advertisers and its broadcaster NBCUniversal. For the Sochi Games, NBCUniversal shelled out a reported $775 million for U.S. media rights and is spending an estimated $100 million more to produce the event.

In 2010, when the Winter Games were held in Vancouver, news outlets reported that NBCUniversal lost $223 million from the broadcast. Why? Despite a favorable time zone for U.S. viewers, the Vancouver Games took place during a dip in ad spending caused by the recession.

Times have certainly changed in four years. Ad spending is up – NBCUniversal is reported to be making $900 million this time around. Media habits have also changed. Audience levels for live events, including awards shows and sports, have grown exponentially given that viewers experience FOMO – the “fear of missing out” and being left out of the conversation that unfolds on social media.

TV viewing is no longer just about contributing to the next day’s water cooler conversation. Twitter and Facebook trending topics, Buzzfeed memes and blogging serve as real-time barometers of pop culture and current events, encouraging potential viewers to tune in and engage as the action happens.

Social media enables networks to “amplify” sporting events and awards shows into true multiplatform experiences. As such, broadcasters are innovating and implementing social TV initiatives – whether it’s encouraging the use of certain hashtags, showcasing viewers’ tweets on screen or running contests through social media platforms.

The Sochi Games are no different – NBCUniversal is capitalizing on the power of these platforms. The company recently announced partnerships with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+ and other such sites, allowing fans to view exclusive video content and engage with Olympics commentators and athletes.  

Brands have also been keen to connect with the millions of engaged fans on social media.  For the brands not officially sponsoring live sporting events or awards shows, social media offers the opportunity to sneak into the conversation – like JCPenney did tweeting the Super Bowl with its Team USA mittens. It’s too early to tell what brand is winning the social conversation during the Olympics, but the athletes themselves have been doing a great job stirring conversations around #SochiProblems.

There’s no doubt that live events offer broadcasters and brands alike an opportunity to engage with an avid audience. The dual forces of television and social media are pushing us into experiencing live events on second and third screens to redefine “TV.”

Yes, times have certainly changed – we do watch whatever we want, whenever we want. However, when it comes to awards shows and live sporting events like the Olympics – #FOMO is at its most rampant.    

Say “No Mas!” To Segmenting Your PR Strategy

Most marketers are paying attention to multicultural audiences and, in particular, U.S. Hispanics. No wonder: with 131 Hispanic babies born every hour into a population that represents $1.2 trillion in purchasing power, Hispanics are an important consumer group for companies to reach.

Companies are being urged to incorporate a “total market approach” meaning they should consider a cross-cultural approach to marketing – one that taps into universal truths, rather than specific ethnic groups. In theory, if this approach is deployed correctly, it allows organizations to influence and reach all consumers – not just one segment of the population. However, what many do not realize is that even if your company employs a total market approach, your strategy can fall apart once it’s turned over to PR.

If you are utilizing a total market approach, your PR strategies must be aligned. Here are tips to ensure you’re covering all bases:

  • Understand the audience: The majority of Hispanics, specifically millennial Hispanics, consider themselves “ambicultural” – meaning they feel 100% Latino and 100% American and are easily able to switch from one culture to another. This cultural duality creates an appetite for all things Hispanic. Total market PR campaigns and communications should be culturally relevant and reflective of this Latino-American life. A reminder to stay devoid of stereotypes and sensitivities by doing research beforehand.
  • Get your PR teams talking: If you represent a large organization or brand, you most likely have two PR agencies or teams – one exclusively handling your multicultural outreach that works within its own silo. If you are managing multiple PR agencies, make sure teams are coordinated and utilize a cross-cultural strategy. Total market PR campaigns that share a common cultural thread – a Hispanic spokesperson or a nod to a Hispanic passion point (e.g., multi-generational families, Latin-inspired music or food) can prove to be more effective with all audiences – not just Hispanics.
  • Reach your audience where it consumes content: The media industry now includes more than 100 networks dedicated to Hispanic programming – with hundreds upon hundreds of print, radio and online media outlets targeted to this audience. Don’t exclude media outlets that may only target Spanish-speaking Hispanics or similarly, English-speaking consumers, in general. A lot of Hispanics consume content in both languages so it’s likely to have more of an impact if you get your message in both.

It’s also important to know that Hispanics watch 62 percent more digital video than non-Hispanics – about six hours of video per month on their mobile phones according to Nielsen. And according to eMarketer, 72 percent of Hispanic Internet users will use social networking in 2014 vs. 68 percent of the total population. For these ultra-engaged Hispanics, digital and social media offer an immediate way to start a fruitful dialogue.

Successful PR lasts beyond a campaign or project. Similarly, total market PR initiatives should be consistent and continuous with audiences. Look beyond short-term ROI and consider engaging Hispanics with long-term communications. Known for their considerable loyalty to brands, this will prove worthwhile in the end.

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