Univision Unveils New Logo, First Tagline (Exclusive)

Univision Logo New - P 2012

Univision Logo New - P 2012

The 50-year-old company modernizes its iconic tulip logo with new tagline: "The Hispanic Heartbeat of America."

Univision Communications today unveiled an updated logo and tagline -- The Hispanic Heartbeat of America -- that executives are banking will signal growth and unity as the top-rated Spanish-language broadcaster faces an expanding suite of networks aimed at the nation's 52 million Hispanics.

The new three-dimensional logo is a refresh of the iconic four-color tulip, first created in 1989 by famed designer Tom Geismar (who created a catalogue of iconic logos including those for National Geographic, PBS, Mobil and Xerox). The logo and tagline -- a first for Univision -- projects a modern face while not alienating the core viewership that has made Univision the top-rated Spanish-language broadcaster with a 59 percent share of that audience.

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Citing Univision's high-brand equity score (a 72, according to Burke R&D), Ruth Gaviria, Univision’s senior vp of marketing, stressed "an evolution" rather than a wholesale facelift.

"One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen is when brand management teams throw the baby out with the bathwater," said Gaviria, who launched multiple Spanish-language brands for magazine publisher Meredith before joining Univision two years ago. "They believe that they have to start over or they have to create something brand new. Your relationship with the audience is so important. You do not ever want to risk that."

Gaviria worked closely with CEO Randy Falco and brand consultancy Wolff Olins on the concept and design.

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It was important to “bond and magnify” the purple, red, blue and green quadrants of the tulip, adds Gaviria. “That symbolizes something really important externally and internally. Internally, it symbolizes that we are one Univision. Externally what it symbolizes is there was no longer a separate Hispanic consumer, the Hispanic consumer is part of the mainstream.”

The brand refresh is one aspect of a company-wide expansion that began last year when Falco, who spent more than two decades at NBC, was named CEO. 

Last spring Univision Communications launched three new cable networks including sports channel Univision Deportes. On Monday, Univision flicked the switch on UVideos, a web destination for streaming content with a deep social and sharing experience. The goal of course, is to connect with younger Latino consumers – who are early adopters who over-index on mobile technology. The content on UVideos -- including telenovelas, sports and news -- is available with English subtitles. And the UVideos app for mobile and iPad will be available beginning Oct. 29. Meanwhile, next summer Univision will launch a 24-hour, English-language cable news network in partnership with ABC News. The channel, Univision’s first English-language network, is designed to appeal to acculturated Hispanics that make up a growing segment of the U.S. population.

"We're evolving from a company that was a niche service to a general-media company," said Falco. "And we’re growing at a very, very fast rate."

That growth has also come with considerable staff additions; including a restructuring of the sales department which is now headed by former NFL executive Keith Turner while Steve Mandala (a nine-year veteran of rival Telemundo, which is owned by NBCUniversal) joined Univision earlier this month as client development executive reporting to Turner.

The new tag line – the Hispanic Heartbeat of America – is designed to evoke Univision’s market-leading position, notes Kevin Conroy, president of Univision Interactive Media, who also oversees marketing. “It defines the role the company has played over the last 50 years. There has been a lot of innovation and vision right from the outset. We all take that seriously. It’s up to us to continue to further that. We wanted to find a way to signal to our audience that we’re changing too.”

SInce the 2003-04 television season, Univision has been firmly established as the No. 5 broadcast network behind the so-called big four (Fox, CBS, ABC and NBC) and has been known to beat those networks among younger viewers. But new rivals are launching - News Corp.'s MundoFox is among the latest - while others are on the horizon - filmmaker Robert Rodriguez is backing an English-langauge channel aimed at acculturated Latinos and set to premiere on Comcast on 2014. Meanwhile established players are aggressively courting the growing Hispanic audience. Telemundo unveiled its own brand refresh earlier this month including a redesign of its T logo and the new tagline: The Power of T. (In Spanish, the letter T is pronounced "te," which means "you."

Email: Marisa.Guthrie@thr.com; Twitter: @MarisaGuthrie