It’s Time to Ramp Up Spanish-​Language TV Advertising

BY Courtney Huckabay
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Nielsen estimates that about 83% of U.S. adults in Hispanic TV households (persons 18+) speak some level of Spanish in the home, with 27% speaking only Spanish and 57% speaking both languages in the home. So it goes without saying that today’s go-​to-​market strategies would be well-​served by including Spanish language advertising if they aim to reach and engage a considerable portion of the U.S. Hispanic population.

The good news is that driving strong ROI from Spanish-​language advertising is obtainable, and our research points to some key tips that can help advertisers achieve strong outcomes more consistently.

While brands might think Spanish language and general market campaigns perform vastly differently, our marketing mix studies show that 54% of Spanish language TV campaigns perform in line with or ahead of English language campaigns. But while many Spanish-​language ads perform in line with market averages, there’s plenty of room for improvement.

The latest AudienceSCAN study reported 7.8% of Americans watch Spanish language TV regularly.

3 key levers to driving higher ROI on Spanish language TV:


The study found that brands that Hispanics purchase more frequently were able to generate a higher ROI across Spanish language TV. On average, most of the higher ROI efforts were for brands that generate $60 million or more in annual revenue among Hispanic consumers were able to generate higher ROI than the general market benchmarks. But a brand doesn’t need to have millions in revenue to be impactful. But rather than focus on short-​term ROI, brands and categories that aren’t well known should set up the foundation for long-​term potential. And as consumption and sales improve, so should your ROI.

TV advertising can have real impact on the Spanish Language TV Watching audience. 50.5% of this audience thinks TV provides the most up-​to-​date information important to them.


Campaigns need strong creative to deliver strong ROI. But it’s more than a correlation. Data from Nielsen TV Brand Effect confirms that stronger creative leads to higher ROI. So how can you achieve higher memorability and likeability? A recent study identified five key factors that drive high creative resonance scores (as measured by Nielsen Brand Effect) among Spanish-​language campaigns:

  • Use Original Spanish Content: Ads developed in Spanish that are culturally tailored to the U.S. Hispanic market outperform ads that are simply translated into Spanish.
  • Spanish Dialogue Matters: Ads with on-​screen dialogue in Spanish help enhance cultural relevance.
  • Incorporate a narrative storyline: Engage with a story, particularly one that highlights family bonds.
  • Use humor: Leverage the universal human desire for a good laugh, but make sure the humor is culturally relevant.
  • Make it relatable: Feature relatable characters in familiar, real-​world settings.

Advertisers can get creative with infomercials too. According to AudienceSCAN data, 21.2% of Spanish Language Television Watchers purchased a product advertised in an infomercial during the past 6 months.


According to Nielsen Ad Indel data, brands that generated strong annual ROI performed strongly across the board: they had an average of 30% more total rating points per week on Spanish language TV among Hispanic households; they were advertised seven more weeks of the year (23 vs. 16); and had greater variability across weeks in their level of TV advertising support.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.