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Moving Product Placement to the Next Level: Telemundo’s Deal with the U.S. Census Bureau For Character Placement in a Series

Sep 23, 2009  •  Post A Comment

The character of Perla Beltrán on a Telemundo series—a young New Yorker whose thieving husband has been murdered—has become a key player in the US. Census Bureau’s effort to earn trust from Latinos, reports the New York Times.

Beltran is a character on Telemundo’s “Más Sabe el Diablo” telenovela, and her way out of her troubles could be a job as a Census Bureau recruiter. She’s part of a yearlong effort by the Bureau that goes beyond public service announcements and ads, designed to convince Hispanics that they don’t have to fear being counted in the census.

The article quotes Patricia Gaitan, a communications consenus to the U.S. Census Bureau, who watched an episode of the show’s taping last week, as saying, “It’s the perfect vehicle for product placement.” Then Ms. Gaitan told the Times that the use of the character as a vehicle to get across the Census Bureau’s message  “people placement.”

Don Browne, Telemundo’s president, said the network is maintaining “total creative independence” around the project. 

The Times also writes: "The campaign is not merely about civic participation. Next year’s count is likely to mean more advertising revenue for Telemundo, a unit of NBC Universal, and other Spanish-language networks over time. Nielsen Ratings sample of television households is directly tied to the census results."

‘It’s very good for our business,’ Mr. Browne said in an interview [with the Times], given that the census numbers should help substantiate audience growth."

–Elizabeth Jensen and Chuck Ross

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