May 25, 2011
By Christopher Heine
Univision has launched a Spanish-language daily deals pilot in Houston called Ufertas.com, which playfully combines the media brand name and "ofertas." The word translates to "offers" in English.
The platform debuted on Monday and has since pitched 50 percent discount voucher offers for brands like the Major League Soccer club Houston Dynamo and retailer Party Boy.
Los Angeles-based Univision declined comment for this story. But it appears to be the first major media brand to launch a Groupon-like initiative dedicated to U.S. consumers who prefer Spanish over English.
Latino-focused sites like Groupacho are emerging players while phrasing their offers in English.
Tippr is providing the white label solution behind the Univision initiative. Martin Tobias, CEO of the
Seattle-based daily deals marketer, told ClickZ his company typically signs revenue-sharing deals with its white label partners.
"We are thrilled," he said. "Someone like Groupon is not going to be successful in the Spanish market without a major media partner. We have the biggest one."
Gustavo Razzetti is chief strategy and engagement officer at Los Angeles-based Grupo Gallegos and a ClickZ Latino marketing columnist. Razzetti questioned Univision's daily deals play when looking at it though the broader lens of the media brand's overall assets.
"I think basically Univision has a strong credibility among low acculturated Latinos and has the power and muscle to reach the Hispanic audience," he said. "I think it doesn't add much value to Univision's overall business portfolio. Univision is about developing and distributing content. I don't see the connection with this. Also, it puts them in a tough situation. They are selling consulting to help brands expand in the Hispanic consumer segment, and then they are going to start offering deals. It's tough to convince advertisers that you can help build value, and at the same time you are offering a channel to offer products at a discounted price."
However a late winter research report by BIA/Kelsey suggests that there may be a huge growth opportunity for deals platforms, perhaps including those focused on Latinos. The Chantilly, VA-based company found that consumers will annually spend $4 billion on Groupon, LivingSocial, KGB Deals, and other daily deal sites by 2015.
That represents a dramatic growth trajectory for the marketing niche. In 2010, BIA/Kelsey found daily deals services captured $873 million. If correct, its projections indicate a 35 percent compound annual growth rate during the next four years.