Marketers create shows in Argentina

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[Buenos Aires]After several years of recession, Argentina's broadcasters are welcoming a move by major advertisers including General Motors Corp., Coca-Cola Co. and Unilever to create their own programming. General Motors worked with a local production company and Interpublic's McCann-Erickson to create "It's Not What It Seems," a series airing this month about an architect trying to keep the secret of his brother and mother's shady past from his conventional wife when the pair come to visit fresh out of prison. The real star is the new five-door Chevrolet Mervia, driven by different characters who take sharp corners and load and unload the car.

Coke worked with the producer of sitcom "Sleeping with my Boss" to write its Quatro soft drink into the screenplay. Set in an ad agency, the plot includes developing a launch campaign for a red grapefruit version of Quatro. In another show, the protagonists must find a missing truck of Sprite. To target teenagers, "Sprite Sees You," created in-house by Coke, is airing four times a week on cable music channel Much Music."The idea is to not bore people," said Leandro Raposo, general creative director at WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson Argentina. "Any format that doesn't appear to be a copycat will catch people's attention." Mr. Raposo worked with Unilever to write scripts for five short TV films to promote Sedal Pro-Color; each one tells the story of a woman who dyed her hair red with Sedal.