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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.


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.