Over the last half-decade or so, health and wellness marketers have produced an abundance of video aimed at broad segments of consumers. However, an overwhelming majority of the content was created first and foremost for English-language speakers. While some of it has been subtitled or dubbed for Spanish-language audiences, those repurposed versions of the videos largely come across as exactly what they are: an afterthought lacking cultural nuance.
In the wake of last month’s announcement of a partnership between Univision and health-video specialist HealthiNation, that’s about to change. The two organizations are already at work on Spanish-language, culturally attuned video content designed to address conditions that hit Hispanic communities disproportionately hard, including diabetes, asthma, migraines and heart disease.
Forged earlier this year, the relationship feels like a natural fit. While HealthiNation has been working with multicultural teams at pharma companies for some time, CEO Michael O’Donnell admitted that “we were sort of rookies” at multicultural content. Univision, for its part, is keen to share its wealth of insight about Hispanic health for use in high-quality, quick-hit video.
“We take great pride in having our finger on the pulse of the needs and disabilities of our audience,” said Univision EVP, local media sales Jorge Daboub, adding that the need for more and better information is especially pronounced amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “Our community is very vulnerable in terms of infection and hospital rates and mortality. … The pandemic has exposed the reality of health inequities.”
Asked whether Spanish-speaking consumers are underserved by health and wellness marketers in the digital space, Daboub responded, “There’s a very significant void.” O’Donnell agreed, adding “some marketers feel you can use English-language creative and TV ads to reach the Hispanic audience because much of that audience is bilingual. But when you create in their native language, it has a greater impact.”
To that end, Univision and HealthiNation aspire to present a wealth of what Daboub characterized as “health content relevant from a linguistic and cultural point of view.” By way of example, he pointed to a Latina woman in her 50s who has diabetes.
“If you talk to her about getting up and going to the gym, it won’t work. But if you start talking about dancing and salsa music, she gets it,” he explained. “For that particular audience, the messaging has to be more on the specific physical activity: ‘Here’s an activity you can do.’”
Other content might include tips, possibly from food bloggers or other media personalities, around menus, recipes and healthier ingredients – the health benefits of substituting olive oil for lard, to use one example. “We’re going to make sure the content is reflective of the nuance when it comes to Hispanic and non-Hispanic,” Daboub continued. “That nuance resonates cognitively. It connects with them emotionally that much more.”
Expect the HealthiNation/Univision relationship to ramp up quickly. HealthiNation has produced a wealth of health and wellness videos for pharma organizations – “literally hundreds of videos per year,” O’Donnell noted – and has upped its engagement with Spanish-speaking doctors and patients.
“We’ll do it in a consumer-friendly way,” he added. “It’s a perfect complement to what Univision is producing and distributing.”