A Spate of Rebranding for Spanish-Language TV
By Tanzina Vega
It’s a race to be the best of the second best. On Monday, Univision, the dominant Spanish-language network in the United States, will announce a new name and look for its second-largest network, TeleFutura. The move is a direct shot at Telemundo, a rival for second place among domestic Spanish-speaking viewers.
The new name for the network will be UniMás. The network will offer new content and a consumer marketing campaign aimed at a younger, male Latino demographic. The rebranding of TeleFutura is also the latest effort from Univision to connect all of its properties under the Univision brand. The moves will be announced at an industry event in New York City on Monday, and the revamped network will make its debut on Jan. 7.
“We have been focused on making TeleFutura the undisputed No. 2 Spanish-language network in the U.S. behind Univision,” César Conde, the president of Univision Networks, said in an interview. “This new brand positioning is going to really identify and connect UniMás with the main mother ship brand of Univision.”
The rebranding of TeleFutura is just one of many Spanish-language television changes this year.
Many of the efforts may appear to be geared toward consumers, but they are also an attempt by the networks to attract dollars from advertisers wanting to cater to the growing Hispanic marketplace.
“Media companies are being forced to change because audience behavior is changing pretty radically,” said Karl Heiselman, the chief executive at Wolff Olins, the advertising agency that worked with Univision on a redesigh of its tulip logo, unveiled in October. “The Hispanic market is not the old stereotype of the past at all. It’s incredibly young and tech savvy.”
The Univision parent company presented a refreshed three-dimensional version of the green, blue, red and purple tulip logo, along with a new tag line “The Hispanic Heartbeat of America.”
“There was a huge opportunity for Univision to tell a more relevant contemporary story, not only to their audience but to a new audience and to their advertisers,” said Jordan Crane, a creative director at Wolff Olins. “When it was first done, the world was more flat. Now we have so many different platforms that this identity has to live on.”
In November, Univision announced a new logo for its Galavisión unit to celebrate that network’s 33rd anniversary. The new logo included a line underneath clearly identifying Galavisión as “A Univision Network” and connecting it further to the parent company. The new logo was designed by PMcD Design and featured an orange “G” and the tagline in gray.
At Advertising Week this fall, Telemundo announced a major rebranding effort of its own, including a new fire-red “T” logo that replaced its 11-year old blue “T” logo. The network, owned by NBCUniversal, will start the campaign this month with marketing initiatives including commercials featuring network personalities. The ads will run on networks like A&E, Bravo, CNBC, Lifetime and MTV. The network’s morning show, “Un Nuevo Dia,” will be live from Times Square on Dec. 10.
“It is the year of the brands in the Hispanic space,” said Jacqueline Hernández, the chief operating officer for Telemundo. “When you’re doing a brand refresh, your goal is to keep, maintain and attract.”
The new campaign, created by the DixonBaxi Creative Agency, features bold hues of yellow, purple, blue and red and centers on the Spanish word “te,” the informal pronoun for “you,” with phrases like “Te sorprende” and “Te informa” (It surprises you. It informs you).
But despite all of UniVision’s branding efforts, content is still king. And while Univision attracts a significant portion of domestic Spanish-language television viewers, TeleFutura will have some catching up to do if it expects to compete with Telemundo. According to data from Nielsen, from Sept. 24 through Nov. 25, Univision averaged 3.7 million viewers in prime time, Telemundo had 1.2 million viewers and TeleFutura had 710,000.
Univision hopes to counter that momentum by striking content partnerships that hit close to Telemundo’s turf, including a multiyear agreement with the Colombian production company Caracol Televisión, which at the end of this year will cease to offer Telemundo first right of refusal on content.
Univision will also benefit from a new agreement with RTI Colombia, which distributes content through the Univision partner Televisa. Telemundo owns a 40 percent share in RTI, but new shows including “Quien Eres Tú” (Who are you?), from RTI, and “Made in Cartagena,” from Caracol, will make their debut on UniMás. A third dramatic series, a boxing-themed show called “Cloroformo” from Televisa, is also part of the new production slate.
While the network is setting its sights on edgier, alternative content, many of the shows will still feature the essential ingredient in many Spanish-language series: romance.