Art Mirrors Life at Telemundo
Attention Census Bureau employees: Get your Tivos ready, because if you speak Spanish, you may soon find a character on television whom you can relate to. As The New York Times reports, the joys and pains of working for the Census Bureau will be chronicled from the perspective of a character on the Spanish-language telenovela “Mas Sabe el Diablo” who works for the 2010 Census. Here’s the full story:
Upfronts: Telemundo Talks Up Branded EntertainmentBy Stuart Elliott
Executives of Telemundo, specializing in Spanish-language programming, gave an upbeat presentation on Monday morning to kick off the 2009-10 upfront week.
Although “this is a challenging time for everybody,” acknowledged Don Browne, president at Telemundo, part of the NBC Universal unit of General Electric, “it’s a good time to be in the Hispanic media business, because it’s growing, and it’s growing fast.”
The Telemundo presentation was focused on the advantage that its flagship Telemundo broadcast network has over its larger rival, the Univision network owned by Univision Communications. Telemundo carries programs that are produced for Telemundo, while Univision carries programs produced overseas, by the Mexican TV giant Televisa.
“We offer the best value proposition,” said Michael Rodriguez, senior vice president for sales at Telemundo, because advertisers can arrange for their products and brands to be integrated into Telemundo programs as they are produced. He gave examples like the Chevrolet Malibu sold by General Motors and the Pantene line of hair-care products sold by Procter & Gamble.
A major integration coming up on a Telemundo show is not a paid placement for an advertiser. Beginning next Monday on the telenovela “Mas Sabe el Diablo,” loosely translated as “The Devil Knows More,” “we are going to write in a Census theme and character,” Mr. Browne said. “The character will actually work for the Census Bureau.”
The federal government will get the freebie plugs for the 2010 Census because “it’s part of our Constitution,” Mr. Browne said, “and it should be done correctly.”
“It’s also good for business,” he added, referring to the fact that the results of the 2000 Census, which showed significant growth for the Hispanic population, fueled significant growth in advertising sales for the Spanish-language TV networks.
The presentation was an informal one, because Telemundo discontinued its big upfront week shows after May 2007.
Among the new series described to reporters for the 2009-10 season was “El Clon,” or “The Clone,” which was appropriate because other shows came across as clones of popular English-language content. Among them are “Perro Amor,” which evoked the movie “Cruel Intentions,” and “Ninos Ricos, Pobres Padres,” which evoked the CW TV series “Gossip Girl.”