July 7th, 2008
Telemundo Teams With GMC for Made-for-Web Soccer Reality Series
By Laurel Wentz
It’s a long shot.
That’s a loose translation of the title for a Spanish-language reality series Telemundo Communications Group is creating for broadband—and General Motors’ GMC Sierra truck. The series features soccer players who failed to make the cut at Miami FC but will get a second chance to impress the team’s coach and viewers next month on “Gol de Media Cancha.” The most telegenic contenders will be cast to compete for a contract with the team; the player the team’s coach and online voters like best will win.
“The concept is an interactive soccer experience that ties together grass roots, web, mobile and TV,” said Peter Blacker, senior VP-digital media at Telemundo, owned by NBC Universal. “It was a bit daunting.”
Especially because to fill in the missing grass-roots piece after brainstorming the media elements, Telemundo had to find a sports team “willing to let us meddle with their lineup,” he said.
“The whole made-for-broadband [concept] is an exciting way to look at multiplatform,” said Telemundo Chief Operating Officer Jacqueline Hernandez. “I love to see consumers in the middle of media and marketing initiatives. It becomes an event.”
‘Tears and sweat’
The core of “Long Shot” will be 12 broadband episodes on Yahoo Telemundo, ranging from two to 10 minutes in length, of tryouts, training, storytelling and skill tests. On TV, “Long Shot” will be integrated into two Telemundo sports shows with weekly updates and interviews with the coach and contestants. One-minute units consisting of 30 seconds of web content and a 30-second GMC spot also will air on TV, along with 30-second teasers for the show. A custom site on Yahoo Telemundo will be GMC-branded, and the show will be promoted on mobile phones. GMC’s Hispanic agency is Lapiz, Chicago.
“GMC will be woven into the whole experience, along with brand values important to GMC,” Mr. Blacker said. Those include empowerment, never giving up and the drive for excellence.
“We worked with Telemundo to ensure we’d see players go through things with a lot of stamina and tears and sweat,” said Ayana Waddell, GMC’s national brand assistant advertising manager.
Last year, GMC sponsored an online home-improvement show on Yahoo Telemundo, but Ms. Waddell said it was hard to maintain audience interest with that type of programming. The elements of “Long Shot”—the sports challenge and getting to know the players and their stories—will forge more of a connection to lure visitors back, she said.
Telemundo’s Ms. Hernandez noted that whenever Telemundo does cross-platform integration such as this GMC Sierra effort, scores go up for brand awareness and likability for the related ad campaign.
Other car marketers are eagerly signing up to develop online marketing to Hispanics. Elsewhere on Yahoo Telemundo, Ford Motor Co.’s Ford Flex crossover vehicle is sponsoring a lifestyle site starting this month called “El Crossover.” The site focuses on Latinos who are influential in American culture.
Starting today, Ford Flex is backing “Amores de Luna,” a TV and online ad campaign in the form of a 22-episode mini-telenovela about a woman who dreams of becoming a writer and falls in love with a handsome author. The online twist: Viewers get to vote on the ending.