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Hispanic Television Commercial Production in the USA – Say “Hola” to Globalization

February 9, 2009

In recent years, Hispanic advertising has been one of the fastest growing industries in the country. This meant also the growth of advertising production services, including production companies responsible to hire casting directors, who those calls on talent agencies for casting audition. However, you may ask yourself the following question: If the Hispanic Market is booming, where are the jobs? The answer is simple… say “hola” to globalization.

In order to understand this situation, you need to see the big picture and how the process works. The reality is that most of the national Hispanic advertising agencies often need to work harder than general market agencies in order to acquire new clients and to approve new creative campaigns. Since budgets are still considerably lower than general market campaigns, the Hispanic advertising agencies needs to get really creative with their work, and with their production budgets in order to stretch every single dollar as much as possible so they can deliver a national-level campaign that sells and delivers results to their clients.

With that in mind, major Hispanic advertising agencies are always looking for world-class directors/production companies to deliver similar or even higher standards than a general market TV-spot. Clearly the objective is to get the best director/production company that can produce the best television commercial on time and on budget. To achieve that objective, Hispanic advertising agencies look both locally or nationally, and internationally. That’s why very common most of the Hispanic television shoots are produced in Mexico, Argentina, Costa Rica and Brazil. Why? Because the main benefits of shooting in Latin America are common knowledge in the Advertising industry:

• Higher cost-efficiency

• Easy to elevate production value due to a less-regulated industry

• Large variety of exotic/uncommon locations at close proximity

• Experienced and friendly crews eager to go the extra mile

• Longer shoot days with significantly less overtime charges

• Large pool of multi-ethnic talent

• Non-Union Talent buyouts at very low rates

• Extremely low cost but very high end post-production and special effects

• Convenient travel with hundreds of direct flights to Latin America.

In 2006, the number of American spots shooting in Latin America ballooned to 26% of all non-US shoots.

Even though many TV commercials are produced overseas, there are still several Hispanic television commercials produced in the USA due to client/advertiser’s decision, location and union talent requirements. However, if the client does not want to leave the country and requires the same high-standards provided internationally, no problem. Production companies can save them money right here in Texas by choosing a variety of non-descript urban locations, beaches, industrial settings, suburbia, countryside, and many more. Clients are still impressed with how easy it is to spend more time shooting and less time dealing with unions or even close major downtown areas compare to New York, Los Angeles or Miami. Not to mention that production in Texas got sweeter thanks to the new production incentives from The Texas Film Commission to production companies, resulting in more aggressive marketing plans for production companies to shoot big budget commercials in Texas.

But the fact of the matter is that competition has become tougher raising the bar for higher standards because we are not competing locally, we are now competing globally. Therefore, if you want to stay in the Hispanic advertising game, production companies must continue to provide new alternatives of top-notch directors, casting directors and talent agencies with a large pool of multi-ethnic talent, with a fresh look, fully trained and highly professional actors. Not only you need to speak the language fluently, you also need to be talented. The reality is that producers and agency creative directors are willing to spend travel expenses to fly better talent alternatives from Los Angeles or Miami. Remember; if it’s on budget consider it a done deal.

Many people blame Hispanic advertising agencies of not bringing TV shoots to their local cities because of the lack of their creativity in their projects. However, it is important to mention that it is not the advertising agency or the production company that selects the final director/production company for the TV shoot; it is the client/advertiser who makes the final decision based on numerous considerations that will satisfy their interest. Competition has been consistently raising the bar for everyone. If you don’t raise yours and adapt to the new market dynamics, you will get behind. So, do you say hola, or adios?

14 Comments leave one →
  1. February 9, 2009 7:25 pm

    Interesting point of view Paco. This is the type of discussion we need to have among ourselves. Just like you said it, do you say: “Hola” or “Adios”? Most of us will agree with “Hola” 🙂

    The market has definitely become global and you have to navigate with whatever possible to stay in business. I think that as long as we continue to do outstanding work, such as the one you do, and we stay competitive, things will fall into place. But on top of that, we should continue to put the word out there! Thanks for your post and keep putting more!

    • valeria Bassetti permalink
      November 9, 2012 5:13 pm


      I am opening up a service production company in Spain.
      I would like to know how interesting the spanish market can be for USA and SOUTH AMERICAN production companies.
      Also I am aware of the fact that Brazil has a protectionist policy regarding shooting abroad.
      I am planning to start a road trip and I would like some advice about where to start with and which country I should give up on.

  2. John Spitaletta permalink
    March 30, 2009 3:59 pm

    Dear Paco:

    Do you have a list (or a place I can find) of freelance quality hispanic commercial tv directors , casting agents, line producers, etc. We produce “main stream” USA material but are looking to venture into the hispanic market and need indivuduals not contracted to any production firms. Thanks much.

    • July 3, 2009 7:01 pm

      Hola John:

      We have a High production house an shoot TV Commercials and Movies in film (35mm-16mm), video (HD, Red) & also have an in house animation company of 2D – 3D animation; we also do Photography, and provide production services, equipment rental, locations and talent.

      If you have a project you want to shoot in Costa Rica please fell free to contact us. We are opening a small office in Mexico.


      Jose ignacio Paris

    • Erika Cazeneuve permalink
      January 22, 2010 10:08 pm

      Dear John,

      I just came across your request from last year. Did you ever got any leads or a list with the casting , directors and information you were looking for? . I am doing research how to get into the hispanic TV commercial market. I am a recent graduate of NYU, Tish School of the Arts,bilingual and looking to expand my opportunites, since the market is growing, it beleive it will be a good path to take.

      I would appreciate any information you might have available.


    • Alvaro Aponte Centeno permalink
      June 25, 2014 11:56 pm

      Please communicate with Alvaro Aponte Centeno. I am a hispanic director. On 2012 I was finalist al Cannes in shortfilm competition for Palma de Oro and have experience in cinematography and publicity. You can see information about me at google. Just write my name.

  3. stephanie bell permalink
    August 13, 2009 5:37 pm

    What agency in L.A. has the most demand for spanish speaking and bilingual talent? What agency in L.A. is known as the most important for Latin talent and has clients for the spanish speaking markets?

  4. March 29, 2010 5:34 pm

    I am a journalist living and working in Madrid, Spain and would like very much to do a feature on the history of LATIN AMERICAN AND SPANISH SOAP OPERAS for the oldest English language entertainment magazine in Madrid ( 1958 – present ) and I AM IN NEED OF FINDING OUT WHO THE AGENTS AND / OR PUBLIC RELATIONS MANAGERS FOR THE LEADING ACTORS & ACTRESSES I would like to interview for the feature.

    A few of them are plus others however I do not have list at home:


    • March 29, 2010 6:08 pm

      Paco Vargas will be the right person for this so I will let him reply this post. Another good local source could be Pastorini Bosby at

      Jose Monterrosa
      Imagina Communications

    • Paco Vargas permalink
      March 29, 2010 7:35 pm


      Since you are in Spain, let me write to you in Spanish…

      La mayoría de las telenovelas se filman en la ciudad de México, ya sea a través de Televisa o TV Azteca. También hay otras novelas que se filman en Colombia, Venezuela, y la Argentina.

      En el caso de México te recomiendo que contactes a Televisa, ya que la mayoría de los actores tienen un contrato exclusivo de representación con la empresa.

      Sin embargo, también puedes investigar y visitar las páginas oficiales de los actores:

      Danna García:

      Arturo Peniche y Angelica Rivera, están en Televisa

      Christian Meier, checa en Telemundo (Miami, USA)

      Segundo Cernadas, checa en Telefe en Argentina.

      Buena suerte!

  5. November 7, 2010 3:23 pm


    I am from Mumbai, India working as a lineproducer with different productio company in Mumbai. I would like to know how can i connect or get reference of the director for tv commercial shoot in India.

    Baba Sandhu

  6. Roberto permalink
    November 14, 2011 11:49 pm

    Dear Paco

    I want to advertise in hispanic channels in the US, can you help me to find the most popular that reaches salvador, mexican, dominicans and other hetnic people.

    • Francisco Vargas permalink
      November 15, 2011 12:15 am

      I am not an expert on Media placement. However, I’ll recommend you to contact Univision, NBCUni and Batanga networks.

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