Adam Chandler, The Sundance Kid
Not so long ago, being successful in our once "wild west-style" interactive media business seemed to require that one be Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid... all in one!
Butch had all the ideas and Sundance all the skill and action. We respected Butch, but we loved Sundance. Why? Because they went the distance, even in the tightest situations.
For example, say it was 2003 and you were on a new media sales call from h*ll. Like it felt that you, Butch and Sundance were cornered on the side of A Rocky Mountain cliff, out-gunned, out-numbered and out of time! You had two options. To give up and find a job in TV or do what you could to fight another day. If you were Butch or Sundance you put it all on the line and jumped in:
Butch: I'll jump first!
Sundance: I can't swim!
Butch: What are you, crazy? The fall will probably kill you!
Now imagine if you're Adam Chandler. Adam took a leap of faith and he made it to the other side!
Adam jumped from Yahoo!... to Yahoo! Telemundo. Some questioned why he would have done that. After all, he was doing quite well managing Yahoo's key relationships with Intel, Cingular, Panasonic, Qwest and Samsung among others.
Adam knew though that the trick to jumping is to know where to land! So when Yahoo! management came to Adam one day and asked if he would help them establish a new division forming between Yahoo and Telemundo, he said yes! He was appointed to the new position of Director of National U.S. Hispanic Sales for Yahoo! Telemundo, the dedicated site reaching the US Hispanic market.
Madison Avenue is still as rapid and as challenging as swimming upstream in the Snake River. The ability to land business requires one to know what type of problems and solutions a marketer is going to jump at. At Yahoo! Telemundo, Adam manages a steady stream of traditional, interactive and integrated bi-lingual solutions.
With two years under his belt at Yahoo! Telemundo, Tim McHale had an idea to saddle up and ride out to see what Adam's doing. Here's their "cliff talk" which Tim said was as exhilarating as jumping into the river with Butch and Sundance. It certainly didn't hurt that he was with Chandler. Adam knows his way around the multi-cultural marketing canyons. He brought the life jackets!
To get a sense of what it was like, check out the original Butch/Sundance Movie Trailer and enjoy the thrill yourself (after the pre-roll)!
Tim: How's it going?
Adam: It's going very well!
Tim: You've been at Yahoo/Telemundo (http://telemundo.yahoo.com) now for almost two years now. What's it been like?
Adam: It's been incredible! A great opportunity. The digital U.S. Hispanic market is growing at an astounding rate; it reminds me of the general market three, four years ago.
Tim: What are you trying to do to address the portion of the advertising agency is still trying to figure out their web strategy? To help the sales force teams?
Adam: Research has been a big help. This year Yahoo! Telemundo unveiled a study entitled "Conexion Cultural/Connected Culture," which highlights the fact the U.S. Hispanics online consuming and adopting media and technology at a higher rate than the general population. The key is to arm clients with the facts and with the right solution for them. You just have to continue to communicate with the various constituencies that control budgets for Hispanic marketing, which could be a corporate client, a general market agency, or a U.S. Hispanic multicultural agency. It's a process of education and communication.
Adam: Technically, yes, you would reach English-dominant or bilingual Hispanics if you purchase general market media. But how would you know who are you really reaching? The huge advantage of the Internet is a measurement and accountability that you can't find with other mediums. Our information is conclusive. We can deliver the right ad at the right time to the right person.
Tim: So you can service specifically to those people that are either bilingual or English speaking versus the people who are not reading English.
Adam: We can reach all U.S. Hispanics in their language preference. Clients can, with 100 percent certainty, know that consumers have read, searched or clicked on the content that they put out there, whether it's in English or Spanish.
Tim: So that means that if they don't want to develop new creative, they can run the stuff they're running now on Yahoo! and others on Yahoo! Telemundo.
Adam: Yes, if they wanted to reach English-dominant Hispanics, they don't need to change their creative. But if they want to reach Spanish-dominant or bilingual audiences, there's a greater depth of Spanish content that's developed for that particular market. Therefore if they were looking to reach the bilingual or Spanish-dominant audience, they would run Spanish creative. Also, more than language, sometimes it's a matter of being relevant to the audience that you are addressing.
Adam: There's an increasing presence of bilingual programming. Sometimes, when we launch new sites we do it in English and Spanish. For example, when we launched the Latin Grammy site there was an option for a user to click a tab and to see the content in English. So, they could go back and forth within that site in both languages.
Tim: What percent are you getting Spanish creative versus English creative?
Adam: It's primarily Spanish creative. From what I have seen, so far, most marketers today are going after the U.S. Hispanic online audience in a Spanish-language environment.
Tim: That makes sense.
Adam: In fact, we are seeing that U.S. Hispanics are looking for better content available in Spanish. Although "Conexion Cultural/Connected Culture" study respondents consume Spanish language media, Spanish dominant respondents stated that they consume two-thirds of their online content in English due to the lack of Spanish language options.
Tim: I would imagine that both of your sales and creative is coming out of some of the Hispanic-based agencies.
Adam: It's actually coming out of general market agencies and clients directly, and there is no more business coming out of U.S. Hispanic agencies than general market agencies or clients. It's actually very interesting. They are coming out of all different buckets.
Tim: So what percent of the Fortune 1000 represent sales for Yahoo! Telemundo?
Adam: You will find that the top Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies are part of our U.S. Hispanic network. And if you look at our client list, it's not much different than the blue chip list of Yahoo! or even our friends at NBC who own Telemundo. If you look at top 40 marketers in the U.S. who spend to reach U.S. Hispanics, you're going to find General Motors, Verizon Wireless and Procter & Gamble, all at the top of that list.
Tim: Are you seeing any brands running on Yahoo! Telemundo that are not in television, per se, that are in more linear media like print and magazines?
Adam: Most of the brands that we work with also run ads on television, online and print. In some cases I've seen brands expand online, looking to have more engagement and interactivity. The key differentiator is that the online environment provides the advertiser with a deeper level engagement.
Tim: Have you seen any brands make launch a brand in Yahoo! Telemundo as the primary digital forum?
Adam: We're launching many new brands and are seeing many new advertisers come on board for the first time. The beauty of Yahoo! Telemundo is that consumers can migrate between both media. Advertisers can follow their customers in between mediums. They can grab their attention while watching a novella on TV and can interact with them further online or vice versa.
Tim: Give me an example.
Adam: Just recently, we launched "Gana Mi Casa" (My House Wins), a six-week made for broadband home improvement series on www.yahootelemundo.com/ganamicasa. This online series, the first ever produced for Yahoo! Telemundo, was sponsored by GMC, a division of General Motors Corp., and featured the Sierra pickup throughout the vignettes.
Tim: That's great!
Adam: It is! The program capitalizes on the unique strengths of the Yahoo! and Telemundo relationship. "Gana Mi Casa" delivers a multi-platform experience to GMC that seamlessly integrates broadcast television and online content with the GMC brand resulting in an innovative programming package made exclusively for the U.S. Hispanic market.
Tim: I would imagine the beverage category is huge for you.
Adam: For almost three years we have worked with Pepsi. They have a show on TV called Pepsi Musica and we host it for them online. It's a great relationship – where they provide their original content, all centered on Latino artists, and Yahoo! Telemundo provides the technology platform.
Tim: Very cool. How about ahead?
Adam: I think the big categories in this marketplace are autos, wireless and consumer packaged goods. They're already here in a big way.
Tim: Really? Tell me about some of the deals. Much has been made about integrated marketing and making combo buys. Can you give me a percentage?
Adam: We're doing much more integrated programs that leverage the strength of broadcast and online. It is obviously where the future is going and that is what people are asking for and that is what consumers are attracted to. We have that unique capability and marketers are starting to take advantage of that.
Tim: Can I run a Hispanic TV commercial on you?
Adam: Sure, as long as they have digital rights. We do that right now for advertisers.
Tim: Right, digital rights. That's always been an issue for some advertisers. How have you been able to help companies in that area?
Adam: We have the ability, between our music videos or our novellas or any of our broadband video streams, to run 15 or 30 second videos, or television spots, online. We've been doing that for years on Yahoo! and are continuing to do that on Yahoo! Telemundo. Streaming is the next area of growth.
Adam: We are. We can run video spots before some of our video content in a pre-roll fashion, but we can also accept spots within creative. So we can run television spots within creative anywhere on the site. But we also do it pre-roll between actual video content.
Tim: So if you're doing streaming of a novella, you can sort of insert a commercial.
Adam: We can insert commercials before running the content.
Tim: Are you able to help at all localize the language, cultural things, etc.? Do you consult on that with advertisers to tell them what would work best or not?
Adam: We can certainly give guidance to what we think works, but we really leave all creative and those capabilities to that marketer. We're fully aware of the nuances within the U.S. Hispanic population. So we offer a wide variety of services and offerings that appeal and engage to all the segments of the U.S. Hispanic community. For example, U.S. Hispanics of Mexican descent may be more attracted to our Mexican League, which is programming that came up in January. Where U.S. Hispanics of Caribbean descent may have been more popular to our Musica Fresca tour that took place during Hispanic Heritage Month. So we try to cater to the different segments of U.S. Hispanics, whether it's in a sports environment, an entertainment environment, or so forth.
Tim: All right. Can you regionalize? Can I buy Florida versus Texas versus California?
Adam: We have the ability to geo-target, but we see mostly national campaigns. We have also found that entertainment and music is a big common thread among U.S. Hispanics. So a lot of marketers want to engage with that type of content. For example, Yahoo! Telemundo had a complete section this year around the Oscars. And within that we had a complete section on Hispanic nominees, which went very deep into their backgrounds, with photos, bios, online polls, etc.
Tim: How do you work together with Telemundo?
Adam: Communication is key. We talk to our counterparts at Telemundo everyday to make sure that we coordinate efforts.
Tim: Do you have an integrated sales platform with Yahoo! as well?
Adam: Yes, in most cases, Yahoo! will bring me in as a U.S. Hispanic expert to work with them on creating a complete marketing solution.
Tim: So can you call the client?
Adam: Yes, we work together. The goal is to drive the business forward.
Tim: Sure. Tell me, if I was the brand manager, and I wanted to talk to Yahoo!, and suddenly I got a call from Yahoo! Telemundo and I hadn't been thinking Hispanic, are you allowed to do that? When I didn't ask for Hispanic?
Adam: It depends on the objectives of the campaign. For example, let's say, they're looking to reach the youth market in the U.S. You'd be remised to ignore the Hispanic youth market which actually accounts for more than 34 percent of the total U.S. Hispanic population and more than 18 percent of the total U.S. youth population. In fact, it is estimated that by 2020, Hispanic youth will make up 23 percent of all U.S. youth. So if you're working on a youth plan, it would be very smart to include a U.S. Hispanic targeting solution.
Tim: Is the Yahoo! person the primary contact and passing that information on?
Adam: Yes. It's not really complicated. The goal is to service the client, reaching consumers wherever they go, whether they are Hispanic or whether they are a sports enthusiast.
Tim: How does your demographic split?
Adam: It's really across the board. Since we do business with clients in most categories and, as you know, each category's got their own demographics.
Tim: Tell me about some of the case studies. Tell me the three that you thought were the best in terms of Yahoo! Telemundo.
Adam: I'll start with an example from the autos market. Last summer, we launched the consumer-generated film festival. It was bought exclusively by Toyota for their Yaris launch. And they actually wanted to reach a creative audience. So we targeted Hispanic filmmakers, and we gave them the opportunity to submit their two to ten-minute movies on a recently relaunched movie channel.
Adam: Yes. What was interesting is that it was people sending in their movie clips. The winner, which we allowed the users to choose, had the opportunity to win a trip to Sundance as well as have their winning clip be on the home page of Yahoo! Telemundo and on broadcast. We felt that was a pretty innovative program. This year we also launched the GMC broadband series that I previously mentioned, which we feel will bring a whole new level of engagement for consumer and advertiser.
Adam: Also, Motorola has been very innovative. They have sponsored the Latin Grammys and The Year in Music. What they wanted was product insertion so that people could see how cool their new phones were. To do this, we wrapped the video player in their handset. So that if you went online to watch a video, you would see it on their "virtual phone."
Tim: What's going on in that you're really excited about?
Adam: Integrated programs where the two mediums - online and broadcast - work together. That is the key.
Tim: Anything new in sports?
Adam: We are now featuring a special site on Copa America, which is a huge Latin American soccer tournament. The site features general tournament news, play-by-play reports, photos, videos, real-time statistics, game calendars and live results, as well as dedicated pages for each of the 12 teams and profiles that highlight news and statistics for each of the more than 300 players.
Tim: Is that it?
Adam: We also cover all of U.S. sports, like Major League Baseball and NBA.
Tim: What about in entertainment?
Adam: This year we have also had special sites for the Latin Billboards and Miss Universe. Both shows aired on Telemundo and this year we featured enhanced digital content to complement those broadcasts.
Adam: We also launched Yahoo! Telemundo Salud, which is our health channel and enhanced our personal finance site with content from GE Money and The Wall Street Journal Hispanic. Much of our programming and sales packages and opportunities fall within entertainment, music, news, sports, special events and then TV. So there's a programming calendar for things like novellas and some of the other broadcast content that we host online.
Tim: And, clearly, a lot of this happened because of the joint venture, where you both can leverage your assets.
Adam: Right. And we're doing more and more promotion of these assets both online and on broadcast, driving new and fresh users to the site every day.
Tim: Career-wise, what's been your most exhilarating experience, what's been the coolest thing and, of course, maybe even the most frightening thing that you've seen?
Adam: Starting in digital eight years ago, if you told me I'd be responsible for sales targeting the U.S. Hispanic market, I would not have believed you. You never know where you're going to wind up, but the amazing thing is that this is a great new market to be in. It's exciting to be part of the growth of this market and to help clients take advantage of this audience in the digital world. Seeing clients jump in for the first time and having great success is always fun and rewarding.
Tim: I can relate!
Adam: It's been great to work on a joint venture with a strong broadcast partner like NBC Telemundo. We have so many assets to leverage and it's great to be able to draw from these to create the right solution for our clients.
Tim: Let's change gears. You were once a teacher at the New School University here in Greenwich Village, right? Our Culture Editor Kurt Brokaw teaches there.
Adam: Wow, I can't believe you remembered that. Yes, I did. It was in 2001. I taught a course on interactive marketing. A lot of things have happened since then!
Tim: That's for sure. I bet one thing would be different would be the level of knowledge among the students. The universe of students is actually on the cutting edge. Back then, what was it like?
Adam: It was an interesting time. The class it probably consisted of 15 to 20 students. As a result of that five-month course three people got into the business. I expect today the classes would be larger and the movement faster.
Tim: I know you're busy. Last question. What's been the most challenging experience you've had to date?
Adam: My Spanish lessons!
Tim: Very funny! Is there any advice for the next generation?
Adam: Obviously, the advertising and marketing business is an exciting industry. There's a world of opportunity that awaits you. Just learn from great leaders and adopt great mentors. I've been fortunate in my career to have served under those types of people.
Tim: What else?
Adam: The other business tip is to step out of your comfort zone. The U.S. Hispanic market was a new market for me personally and I completely stepped out of my comfort zone and I'm loving every minute of it.
Tim: I agree.
Adam: I would tell anybody interested in the digital Hispanic market: Adelante, which as you know means "just keep moving forward"!
Tim: Thanks, Adam. This was great!
Adam: It was my pleasure, Tim!