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Product placement twist for telenovela

Advertisement for Univision telenovela "Eva Luna"

TEXT OF STORY

KAI RYSSDAL: Fox, CBS, NBC and the rest of them have been watching younger viewers disappear for years now. If they want to know where they've gone, they may well try taking a look at Univision. The Spanish language network has been making big gains in 18 to 34-year old viewers with that particular brand of steamy soap opera know as the telenovela. Univision has also attracted a growing share of advertisers.

But as Jennifer Collins reports, a telenovela that debuts on Monday takes it to a whole new level.


JENNIFER COLLINS: A beautiful young woman inherits an ad agency, has a steamy romance with another executive, only to find out he may have murdered her father.

SCENE FROM "EVA LUNA"

That's the main storyline in the new show "Eva Luna." General Motors also has a piece of the plot. Eva's agency is hired to create a commercial for the Buick Regal. The ad is then shown during actual breaks in the show. Branding consultant Adam Hanft says this level of product placement is new to Spanish-language TV.

ADAM HANFT: What GM is trying to do is make these brands very much a part of the texture, fabric, and culture of the Hispanic community.

Hispanics are expected to spend $40 billion on cars and parts this year. Blaire Borthayre of Hispanic Marketing Resources says advertisers will be watching.

BLAIRE BORTHAYRE: If it works, you are going to see a race to every telenovela trying to get a brand placement going on.

For now, marketers are just revving their engines.

I'm Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.

About the author

Jennifer Collins is a reporter for the Marketplace portfolio of programs. She is based in Los Angeles, where she covers media, retail, the entertainment industry and the West Coast.

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