A $1 Million Increase in Spanish TV Advertising Spending Predicts an Average Increase of 0.15% Points in Latinx Turnout at the Precinct Level
Increased Spending on Spanish-language Ads Drove Turnout Increases in Key Markets: Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, San Diego between 6.2% and 14.0%

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Increased Spanish-language advertising in a media market predicts significantly increased Latinx turnout, according to a new analysis conducted by leading voter data firm TargetSmart on behalf of the Telemundo Station Group, part of the NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations division of NBCUniversal. The TargetSmart/Telemundo Station Group study, which sought to evaluate the effect of Spanish-language political TV advertising on turnout among Latinx voters from 2012 to 2018, also found that immigration-related Spanish-language TV advertising spending predicts substantially higher Latinx turnout at the precinct level.

The full analysis can be found here.

“In today’s increasingly diffuse media ecosystem, it is critical for campaigns to meet voters where they are with tailored advertising that is culturally competent and emotionally impactful,” said Ben Lazarus, TargetSmart’s Director of Research and Analytics. “This new analysis underscores that in-language TV advertising is an important and influential medium for reaching Latino and Latina voters, and driving real behavior change in the form of increased political engagement.”

TargetSmart conducted an analysis of Kantar Media/CMAG data and found that in nine of the ten markets experiencing the largest relative growth in Spanish-language TV ad spending from 2016 to 2018, Latinx turnout increased at least 3.9 percent, compared to their synthetic comparison cases. These effects were particularly pronounced in markets located in the Southwest and California, where all seven markets analyzed with increased Spanish advertising (Austin, Dallas, Albuquerque, El Paso, Laredo Fresno, and Los Angeles) showed increased Latinx turnout, ranging from 3.9 percent to 14.5 percent.  In addition, increased spending on Spanish-language ads drove turnout increases in key markets including Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Dallas, Houston between 6.2% and 14.0%.

“Our study confirms what we’ve known to be true for many years: Spanish-language TV ads that reach Latino voters early and consistently can help campaigns win on election day. Campaigns who fail to factor in Spanish-language advertising into their outreach and spending plans will forego connecting with a record number of Latinos who will be eligible to vote in the 2020 elections,” added Frank Comerford, Chief Revenue Office for NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations.

In substantive terms, the analysis found that a $1 million increase in Spanish TV advertising spending in a given media market predicts a mean increase of 0.15 percentage points in Latinx turnout at the precinct level. The study used an innovative methodology of market-level synthetic controls to analyze turnout increases across several media markets.

“Synthetic controls are used to generate a composite comparison case for each media market and are analogous to a medical trial where patients are randomized into treatment and control conditions,” said TargetSmart research analyst Yu-Ming Liou. “They are employed when we have to rely on data we observe in the world — where we can’t, for example, randomly assign media markets to get dramatically increased Spanish-language political advertising.”

The study and accompanying analysis comes as national, state, and local campaigns look to maximize voter turnout and engagement in the 2020 elections among a record 32 million Latinos that are projected to be eligible to vote in next year’s election.  For the first time, Latinx voters will be the largest voting minority group, and have already proven that their electoral clout continues to rise: in the 2018 midterm elections, Latinx voters were 6.6 percent of the national vote share, nearly rivaling their vote share of 7 percent in the 2016 presidential elections. Moreover, Latinx turnout nearly doubled from the 2014 midterm elections (25 percent) to the 2018 midterm elections (44.2 percent).



About TargetSmart

TARGETSMART is the leading provider of political data that enables campaigns and organizations to successfully communicate with large audiences through personalized outreach. Their politically-focused approach combines consumer data, analytics, data integration and consulting solutions for microtargeted, multichannel marketing strategies.

About Telemundo Station Group

Telemundo Station Group, part of the NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations division of NBCUniversal, is comprised of 30 local television stations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Producing and broadcasting more than 15,000 hours of unique and relevant local content each year, including award-winning news, public affairs, and entertainment programming, Telemundo Station Group serves Spanish-speaking viewers in the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, New York, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago, San Antonio, San Francisco Bay Area, Phoenix, Harlingen, Sacramento, Orlando, Fresno, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., San Diego, Tampa, Denver, El Paso, Boston, Las Vegas, Tucson, Hartford, Salt Lake City, Fort Myers-Naples, Springfield, Richmond and Puerto Rico. In addition, Telemundo Station Group operates TeleXitos, a national multicast network that offers viewers popular action and adventure television series and feature films in Spanish. The group also provides support to 50 Telemundo affiliates across the country and manages dedicated local websites and applications, as well as a robust digital out-of-home operation.