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EDO Team September 12, 2023 3 min read

Back-to-School Brands Thrive with Spanish-language TV Ads

As retailers battle it out to equip returning schoolchildren with fresh backpacks, calculators, pencils, and folders this Back-to-School season, it’s important for TV advertisers to make sure they’re reaching all of the parents and children who are shopping for new gear.

If you’re not advertising in Spanish, you’re missing out on a huge, highly engaged portion of the Back-to-School audience. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2021 American Community Survey, about 15% of K-12 students speak Spanish at home. And according to a recent EDO analysis, these Spanish-language viewers are more likely to engage with Back-to-School advertising than their English-language counterparts.

Using our extensive TV airings database and best-in-class data modeling, we analyzed the effectiveness of every Back-to-School ad that aired this year from July through the middle of August. What we found was that Spanish-language ads made up 10% of all Back-to-School ads — and that viewers were 29% more likely to engage with the advertising brands online than they were with English-language Back-to-School advertisers.

And that’s just a little of what we learned about this year’s Back-to-School season for Spanish-language advertisers. Let’s dive into which retail brands are thriving, which ads performed best, and how Walmart fared in its return to Back-to-School advertising.

Walmart scores big with Spanish-language Back-to-School ads

Walmart was one of the big winners of this year’s season of Spanish-language Back-to-School advertising. 

The retail giant invested meaningfully in reaching Spanish-speaking audiences. Walmart spent 14% of its Back-to-School TV ad budget on Spanish-language ads — a bigger share than JCPenney (10% of Back-to-School TV ad spend), Target (10%), Macy’s (6%), or Kohl’s (5%). 

Walmart was rewarded for its investment with Spanish-language ads that were 41% more engaging than its English-language Back-to-School ads. Walmart’s top-performing Spanish-language ad was a 15-second spot that featured two moms texting about school supplies. It was 65% more likely to drive engagement than the average Walmart ad during this period.

Major retailers’ Spanish-language ads outperform those in English

What does Walmart have in common with JCPenney, Target, Macy’s, and Kohl’s? It’s not just that these brands are some of the country’s biggest retailers. Every single one drove greater engagement with its Spanish-language Back-to-School ads than the Back-to-School ads it ran in English this year.

Walmart led the way with Spanish-language Back-to-School ads that were 41% more effective than its English-language Back-to-School commercials, but its rivals also posted impressive numbers. JCPenney’s Spanish-language TV ads were 37% more likely to engage viewers than its English-language commercials this Back-to-School season. The retailer was followed by Macy’s (whose Spanish-language Back-to-School ads were 21% more effective than those in English), Kohl’s (11% more effective) and Target (7%).

Target’s strategy was to produce each of its four Back-to-School ads in both Spanish and English. Its top performer in Spanish was a colorful, 15-second spot highlighting its inventory of school supplies — an ad that generated twice as much engagement as the average Target ad during this period.

In English or Spanish, EDO has you covered

Regardless of what language you’re using to reach consumers this fall, EDO has the real-time outcomes data you need to drive real, quantifiable TV advertising engagement.

Ready for this year’s  NFL season? Check out our latest NFL TV Outcomes Report to learn how retail brands and Spanish-language advertisers are maximizing their performance with NFL TV advertising. Or schedule a meeting to learn more about how EDO can help you get more out of your linear and streaming TV advertising.