December 02, 2000

The year 2000 has been a year of highs and lows in the Internet industry. The market high was followed by a steep decline that began in March and continues into the year 2001. Many dot.coms cut personnel, began cost saving strategies, and others closed. Much has been written about the collapse of some Hispanic and Latin American web sites, however, little has been written on how the instability of Latin web sites have affected online advertising.

Most of the online advertising, targeting US Hispanics, for the year 2000 was done through major portals or through advertising networks. Portals were a popular destination for advertisers because some portals had traffic from various Latin American countries or had special sections that attracted US Hispanics. The problem with doing advertising through portals was that they try to be everything for everybody, and many failed to attract a specific audience. Thus, targeting online advertising to specific Hispanic sub-groups tended to be a problem.

Another option advertisers had in reaching Hispanics online was by working with an advertising network. Advertising Networks work by being the intermediary between online advertisers and web sites seeking to sell their available ad inventory. Working with an advertising network brings the benefit of choosing from various web sites across different countries, topics, and demographic profiles. Working with ad networks saves clients the time to research various web sites. Also, advertising networks offer the benefit of having one point of contact. This is of course better than having to deal with various proposals from various points of contact when doing online campaigns across various web sites. Almost all advertising networks offer banner serving technology that help track online campaigns. Although most of the time after the buy, customer service and campaign monitoring reports left much to be desired.

One of the biggest drawbacks in working with advertising networks is that ad networks offer various sites that are unknown. Many clients feel uncomfortable doing online campaigns in which little is known about a web site. Ad networks try to convince clients that these small unknown web sites have the right demographics for the client. However, when pressed, ad networks know only demographics, but little about the psychographics of the web sites they represent.

Another drawback from ad networks was that advertisers are being offered run of network campaigns. In this model banners are thrown across a network of sites. The web sites with the low click through rates are omitted from the campaign in order to get the highest click through. This model of course has little imagination and relegates online advertisers to back pages of web sites known as remnant inventory.

It is clear that clients trying to reach Hispanics online have been given sub-par service. Now, many of these online web sites and ad networks have closed their doors because their business models have failed. What is needed in today's online market is an interactive way to reach Hispanics online. Streaming video and streaming audio lets advertisers capture the attention of Hispanic web servers while providing online advertising with synergy from radio and television advertising. Sponsorships on front pages or on specific theme channels within a web site is an excellent way to brand a product.

Superstitials are an excellent way to get a high click through rate while giving information about a product. When viewing a superstitial, content in a web site is not disturbed because superstitials download in between page view changes. Superstitials are a far better method to advertise instead of the annoying pop-up banners that disturb web page content.

Beyond the banner advertising is the best way to reach your US Hispanic and Latin American online target audience. Today, advertisers have many choices from text links and key word buys, to interactive games, e-commerce mini-sites, and wireless.

Rudy Kish
Vice-President of Sales and Operations
ad pepper media Americas

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