In This Telenovela, Even Smooches Have Sponsors

'Pecados Ajenos' Is Loaded With Marketing Partners; Toyota Backs Best Kiss Replays

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NEW YORK -- Marketers are using a coming telenovela to try several advertiser-friendly formats new to Spanish-language TV, from a sole-sponsored first episode to sponsored replays of the novela's best kisses.

In ads during 'Pecados Ajenos,' Toyota emphasizes people enjoying themselves. The automaker is also sponsoring replays of the best scenes.

NBC Universal-owned Telemundo's "Pecados Ajenos" ("The Sins of Others") will roll out next month with a commercial-free episode sponsored by Kraft Foods' DiGiorno pizza, with opening and closing billboard ads for DiGiorno. The marketer will also be involved in segments the day of the premiere promoting the novela on two other Telemundo shows.

In an even more interesting integration of marketer and novela, Toyota Motor Corp. and its Hispanic agency Conill, Los Angeles, spotted a good fit with the company's "Good Life Connoisseur" campaign for the fall relaunch of the Highlander.

Backing the best scene
"The insight is that we Hispanics think our food is better, our coffee is better and our women are better-looking," said Carlos Martinez, Conill's general manager. "We brag about what we have, and think we enjoy life to the fullest. The big idea is to look for things people would like to enjoy more of. When watching a novela, you'd probably like to see the best scene -- the kiss or the wedding or the guy gets the girl -- one more time."

In that spirit, Toyota will extend the novela's best scene with a 30-second replay at the end of the episode, courtesy of Highlander, followed by a 30-second spot for the car. The extensions, scheduled for seven episodes this fall, may also run on Yahoo

The Highlander campaign includes other elements, like an ad in People en EspaƱol magazine surrounded by four pages of editorial about people in creative professions; a chef and a designer are featured, among others.

"It's always about Highlander surrounding people who know how to enjoy life," said Pablo Buffagni, Conill's VP-creative director.

Easier to incorporate brands
Telemundo shoots its own telenovelas in Miami, rather than importing them from Latin America, so it's easy to incorporate branded content and other product placement. The early episodes generally have less marketer presence, as characters are introduced and plot lines developed.

"Pecados Ajenos" is an urban melodrama about Natalia and Adrian, who recognize with a single glimpse that they are soul mates but are encumbered by his crazy, jealous wife and Natalia's drunken husband and evil mother-in-law. At least they have cool cellphones, jewelry and cars, thanks to various product-placement deals. And Adrian's son Alfredo works at Best Buy, so there will be scenes shot on location, with visible signage, at a Best Buy store.

Other characters will be seen cleaning tables and windows with SC Johnson brands Pledge and Windex.

Another marketer, Walgreens, is still deciding whether to feature its photo department.

Music reality show
Coming up, Ms. Bella said Telemundo is looking for marketers and developing concepts for a summer 2008 music reality show called "Idolos de Juventud" ("Youth Idols") that was touted at the Hispanic upfront earlier this year as featuring product placement but no TV commercials at all.

"Your products can be placed into the hands of characters, just like real life," Steve Mandala, senior VP-sales and marketing and distribution, Telemundo and NBC Universal, said at Telemundo's upfront presentation. "A 40-episode novela with a music-reality show, watched by the whole family and with no commercial breaks. That's a dream come true."
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