Spanish-ad agency's edge: Mexican heritage
arizona daily star

Tucson, Arizona | Published:

By Analilia Esparza

Working in the television business, Alberto Araujo and Dulce Mascareño saw firsthand the need for quality advertising to the Hispanic market.
A year after starting a small consulting firm, the couple now have their own full-service commercial-production business called 30 Segundos (translation: 30 Seconds), and they compete with other local advertising agencies.
Araujo, 33, and Mascareño, 28, aren't just business partners. They're also married.
Mascareño studied communication sciences in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, her hometown, and Araujo studied media art at the University of Arizona.
Mascareño worked for 18 months at Telemundo and for three years as a Mexican Consulate spokeswoman. She now directs and produces the program "Conexión 12" on Tucson city cable's Channel 12.
Araujo, who originally is from Nogales, Sonora, worked for more than 15 years for Univision, eventually becoming director of production and operations at its Tucson affiliate.
The idea of the agency sprang from the couple's belief that the Hispanic market was underserved by the advertising industry.
"For years, there hasn't been the attention and the professionalism that was deserved, so we saw the need and the opportunity to be able to start a business that would offer everything in one place," Araujo said.
As the couple worked at launching the ad agency, Araujo was still working for the Univision station. At the time, the station was for sale, and budget cuts hit Araujo's department.
"When the cuts arrived, so did the opportunity to grow more in 30 Segundos, because what in the beginning was advertising consulting became a real commercial production house," he said.
Araujo left Univision and dedicated himself full time to 30 Segundos, reinforcing his business not only through his work hours but with new equipment.
"We invested a large budget of $200,000 in television production equipment," he said.
The Araujo-Mascareño family acquired high-definition digital equipment, giving the firm an edge over competitors.
The quality of the company's equipment and Araujo's extensive experience in commercial production persuaded Ramón Macazini to hire 30 Segundos to produce commercials for his Arizona Radiator and Muffler Service, 1721 S. Fourth Ave.
"He's got good equipment, and he also has some very good ideas," Macazini said of Araujo. "It's a better product for us, and we will definitely keep using him for our commercials."
With more than 15 years' experience in production and ongoing technical training, Araujo now applies what he has learned to the family business.
In one year, 30 Segundos already has 12 clients — among them three agencies for which they produce commercials in Spanish.
"The advantage that we have over other production houses that make ads for the Hispanic market is that we are Mexican natives, and that's the market that predominates in Arizona, referring to Hispanics," Mascareño said.
"It's very important for the client that the product's message comes out correctly and not with a bad translation, which sometimes some agencies make."
That's the advantage 30 Segundos has over some other ad agencies, Mascareño said, and it's the reason for the agency's success. She said she and her husband have made many sacrifices in getting their business going, but the effort will pay off. Although the agency still hasn't turned a profit, it's holding on to its clients, she added.
Although there are other production companies doing quality Spanish-language work in the Tucson market, the size of the Hispanic demographic is on the rise and will continue to increase, said Michael Bolchalk, president of Bolchalk Marketing, 326 S. Wilmot Road.
"They're at the right place at the right time, because the Spanish-language market is obviously growing," Bolchalk said. "But I don't know if you can be that narrow to make a living in Tucson. I think you have to be diverse in your services."
To succeed, agencies such as 30 Segundos ultimately must persuade businesses to spend extra money on well-produced advertising instead of settling for the cheapest work available, Bolchalk said.
"That's always a challenge — to make companies realize that quality production has a better shelf life," he said.
● A Spanish-language version of this story appeared in La Estrella de Tucsón. ● Star reporter Thomas Stauffer contributed to this report. ● Contact reporter Analilia Esparza at 573-4597 or at