Behind Telemundo's 'gangbuster' bi-cultural World Cup ad

The broadcaster won exclusive Spanish-language 2018 Fifa World Cup U.S. rights.

Telemundo Deportes is celebrating the "gangbuster" launch of its "unprecedented" bi-cultural campaign after winning the rights to broadcast Spanish-language World Cup 2018.

The Hispanic programming division of NBCUniversal believes it has made history by becoming the first brand of its kind to create a Spanish-language soccer ad for both Spanish and English speaking audiences.

As part of the effort to reach bilinguals, the campaign is running in NBCUniversal’s "Symphony" cross-company marketing initiative on broadcast and cable networks including NBC, USA, SYFY and NBCSN.

"This campaign is performing gangbuster alongside its general market brethren," said Bill Bergofin, senior vice president of brand and content at Telemundo Deportes. He explained that while it’s too early to share figures, "indications in terms of engagement are really high. The media’s performing well above industry benchmarks on all measures that we’re looking at for determining success."

Telemundo Deportes worked with agency Republica, which handled both the creative and media plan. The duo spawned an initiative with two core paths. The first is "Futbol=" -- an ad to be consumed by audiences of both languages that issues broad appeal by using transcendent words, like "drama" and "amigo."  

"Como Nunca Antes" (Like Never Before) is the second weapon in Telemundo’s World Cup armory. This spot is for the die-hard soccer fans who live and breathe the sport. It’s executed by leveraging the Latino passion for soccer.

Andres Cantor, famous for his "goooooool!" celebration will serve as the official mouthpiece for the broadcaster’s coverage, which will play out on air and online. Telemundo will upload more than 1,000 hours of exclusive content across digital platforms, aided by a partnership with Google for YouTube.

This work marks the beginning of a new era for Telemundo, which has secured Fifa World Cup tournament rights until 2026.

"It’s a completely transformative event and property," said Bergofin. "Football is Latino’s religion, and by default Telemundo is their Cathedral. We’re super excited about where this is going to take us and how it will grow our business to new heights.

Jorge Plasencia, CEO and co-founder of Republica, praised the ad reaction as "off the charts" in terms of engagement.

He said: "The bi-cultural campaign is truly unprecedented -- we don’t feel that any brand we know of has ever done this before, where we’re using Spanish words that anybody can understand. We feel that we’ve truly got all corners covered here."

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