by Carolina Beltrán, Digital Media Super­vi­sor

Over the weekend, I was watch­ing the Confed­er­a­tions Cup final on Univisión, the largest Spanish-language tele­vi­sion network in the United States. As a matter of fact, Univisión domi­nates the Hispanic media land­scape, coming in fourth place with adults in the 18- to 49-year old demo­graphic during Febru­ary 2013 tele­vi­sion sweeps; NBC finished fifth (source: The New York Times).

I could have watched the Brazil vs. Spain final in English on ESPN, but the commen­ta­tors are way more passion­ate on Univisión. I’m also an out-of-prac­tice native speaker, so watch­ing the game in Spanish on Univisión helps me. Wins all around.

So imagine my surprise when I hear a full :30 adver­tis­ing spot in all English. This wasn’t a Spanish commer­cial sprin­kled with English. We’re talking all English. Say what? How does this happen? It can’t be a mistake – you don’t get a :30 spot during one of the biggest soccer games of the year on the largest Spanish language network in the United States by acci­dent.

Annoyed, I tweeted Univisión the follow­ing:

To be fair, I wasn’t really annoyed with Univisión. I was sad for the adver­tiser. They spent all that money to get it so wrong. One of my Twitter follow­ers tweeted me “prob­a­bly no budget to do 2 versions.” Perhaps, but still not a good reason.

If you want to spend a million dollars on a network, trust me, the network will take it, but don’t you want your adver­tis­ing to be effec­tive?

I applaud adver­tis­ers that want to break into foreign markets through any medium, whether TV, radio, print or online, but you have to do it the right way, other­wise, it’s money wasted. When our clients ask us to develop ad copy in Spanish, the first ques­tion we ask is “do you have a Spanish version of your site?”. If yes, we move forward. If not, we don’t move forward and I explain that if your intended target reads copy in their native language and clicks over to a website in a differ­ent language, they’re outta there. You don’t get any inter­ac­tion or sale from that click and what’s worse, you get an annoyed visitor with a not-so-posi­tive opinion of your brand. It’s the same with the TV. It might actu­ally be worse – you’ve come to their turf to adver­tise in your language. Yikes.

If you’re looking to break into a foreign language market online, let’s talk. Online is the perfect place to start; we’re commit­ted to helping you effec­tively target your audi­ence and effi­ciently use your ad dollars.