Writers, producers and sales executives at Telemundo's mun2 cable youth channel are crafting their 2011 original programming using a new weapon: an exhaustive demographic study developed in partnership with Starcom Mediavest Group of Chicago, identifying the various psychographic segments of U.S. Hispanics.
Known as The Latino Identity Study, the document looks at 12 unique segments, each with their own attitudes and psycographics that define -- and drive -- consumer behavior.
Based on these findings, mun2 is already working on a series of dramas and other programs that it says will genuinely reflect these segments.
"We are looking at the study to provide us with trends," Jacqueline Hernandez, COO of Telemundo, told Hispanic TV Update. "And based on those trends we are creating a new format for mun2. It's a drama in a novela style. We like to call it a dramela."
The new format is scheduled to premiere in the second quarter.
The first dramela to be produced under this format is RPM, a one-hour weekly series featuring characters that are speak directly to the audience sensibilities.
The main character, Alejandro, is a 25-year-old hurbano, or young urban Hispanic, who is completely engaged in both worlds; he speaks Spanish with his family and English and Spanglish with his friends. He is also returning to the U.S. after serving in Iraq.
"Hispanics have cultural dexterity; they move comfortably in two worlds, and we want our series to reflect this," Hernandez said. Language becomes almost irrelevant; it's no longer about English or Spanish, but about cultural relevance.
RPM also features Nataly, an 18-year-old MIA (Modern Independent Achiever woman) who walks around with an iPod in hand and constantly is connected to the Internet.
Another important change, at least as far as Hispanic television is concerned, has to do with the "color" of the series' characters. While most TV shows still favor white skinned, blue-eyed Latinos, mun2 dramelas will showcase a more diverse group, showing Latinos actually come in all colors.
"In the study, almost half [Latinos surveyed] said they saw themselves as brown, black or mestizo," Hernandez said. "And we want to use this in our programming."
While mun2's first dramela is still being written, two advertisers have already come on board. Chevy and Burger King will be not only advertising, but will be integrated and woven into the story. Other category brands are still in the works.
RPM (a working title) will be shot in Miami and it is the first co-production between mun2 and Telemundo Studios. The first season will run 13 episodes and its expected to debut some time in the second quarter.