TransMedia in Hispanic Television – Univision and Buick

Posted on May 1, 2011

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It’s an Ad Within an Ad Within a TV Show for Univision Novela

AdAge Reports:  “In Bid to Sell Buicks With Intrigue and Plot, Network and GM Roll Out Character-Driven Spot.”

The article reports:  “As head of Hispanic ad agency Publicidad Arismendi, Eva Rodriguez won General Motors’ Buick account and created the car brand’s first Spanish-language commercial, which ran on Univision last week. But Eva isn’t real. She’s the heroine of Univision’s 8 p.m. telenovela “Eva Luna,” and part of her role is to take the product integration common in novelas to a new level.

In typical novela fashion, Eva starts out as a humble but beautiful apple-picker in Southern California and finds success and riches after falling in love with a man — Arismendi’s creative director, Daniel Villanueva — and being mentored by the agency’s founder, Julio Arismendi as she nurses him through a long illness. Eva rises to the top of the agency through a combination of hard work, her love of advertising, and the tutelage of Julio, who also leaves her a majority stake in the Los Angeles-based Hispanic ad agency after he fakes his own death when his evil wife Marcela poisons him.

Was this Buick spot, ‘Noses,’ created by Publicidad Arismendi?  For General Motors, the relationship with Univision and the “Eva Luna” novela goes way beyond traditional product integration, although there is plenty of that as different characters zip around in Chevy Cruzes and Traverses. In addition, Buick sponsors, among other things, the online replays of “Eva Luna” episodes on Univision’s novela site.

Not only is the novela set in an ad agency, the plot includes the fictional Publicidad Arismendi’s quest for the Buick account, Eva’s successful pitch for the business, and the shooting of the real commercial, essentially relaunching Buick in the U.S. Hispanic market with the brand’s first Spanish-language spot.

“We knew Buick didn’t have any commercial creative so integrating the car into the storyline wasn’t going to be enough,” said Lia Silkworth, senior VP-media director at Tapestry, part of Starcom MediaVest Group.

General Motors’ media deal with Univision built in the cost of producing the commercial, and the filming of the spot was done at the same time as the scene of Eva directing the commercial. During the two-day shoot at an upscale Miami shopping mall, the “Eva Luna” cast and crew spent about an hour filming Eva, dressed in a white trenchcoat and very high heels, hopping behind cameras, scrutinizing storyboards and giving directions.”

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