Telemundo, Trident Raise the Game for Social TV and Branded Entertainment

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Jack Myers, CEO of Jack Myers Media Business Report, opened the Social TV Summit in New York on Thursday by noting that there has been, and will be, more technological evolution taking place in the next decade than all the new technology that has emerged since the Industrial Revolution.

“The artistry of how to use it is the next phase as we shift from an embrace of hardware to response and use,” he said. “It’s no longer about change, but stability. Companies and brands are stability agents — taking chaos and translating it into stability rather than just information, and the method for this is panning through technology.”

The opening panel took a look at an industry-first, the social novella, as crafted by Mondelez’s Trident brand, Telemundo NBC and Starcom MediaVest, a collaboration that resulted in the web series, Secreteando. Composed of ten interactive online episodes, including v-blogs segments, extended scenes, broadcast promos and a one-hour on-demand version of the series, it iterates storytelling to digital and social through use of the second screen.[more]

Moderator Peter Blacker, EVP Digital & Emerging Business at NBCU Telemundo, declared we are at “the present unstoppable moment of digital natives and multicultural as demystifying social TV partnerships.”

Blacker described Secreteando as 24 meets a steamy love story, a 5/nights a week, 6-month immersive experience about an office power struggle. Teased in the morning show, followed on YouTube, Twitter, @Secreteando, and Facebook, with additional segment reveals, the ‘secret sauce,’ was featured talent already loved by their audience.

Enter Trident as sponsor of the first social ‘casting call,’ asking fans to submit photos on Instagram and Pinterest, for roles, (or perhaps their photo showing up framed on a wall in an episode), and the final social stop was Google+, where fans could ‘hang-out’ and discover a live ending real-time.

According to Marla Skiko, EVP Digital Innovation, Starcom Mediavest Group, “Hispanics are the most over-indexed, double-digit users of social technology in the U.S. and that savvy required something cool. The challenge was to create a human experience that makes people care and be involved, and then figure out what that looks like. The Hispanic market is hungry for more compelling content as there’s not enough of it out there.”

Borja Perez, SVP Telemundo, Social and Studios, said, “Build it where the audience is and they will come, not build it and they will come. The novella is indigenous to the Hispanic culture, migrating from print, to television and now social, with real-time novellas being co-produced by the audience.”

Alex Picciano, Senior Brand Manager, Trident, Mondelez International, said the biggest obstacle in the collaboration was “the ‘No’ mentality had to be overcome. The increasingly savvy consumer must be met with authenticity and an English/Spanish cohesiveness.” The video blog from Trident was a key tool – but one that had to be used with ‘subtlety.’ Traditional methods were used, such as surveys and social research in addition to 2nd screen components to make it organic in particular to Millennials.

Skiko said “creating cool stuff is a better title than digital, and the key question is how does the overall picture help the brand? Brands need to get value from their marketing dollars, but it requires new metrics to make them feel comfortable, and a new dialogue with no precedent, as new benchmarks are being created. ‘X’ number of page views is no longer a measure of success. If gum delivers heartthrobs to loyal fans, give me more gum!”

As for where those marketing dollars come from, Skiko added, “In the digital social space, it’s not a traditional TV buy. Digital ad budgets are growing. TV is not going away, but being redefined in terms of ad dollars.”

Blacker concluded that the key question is “how to engender loyalty, and the answer is personal connection with talent. The concept is the vehicle, but the talent is the key.” He also mentioned the technical and legal challenges as new rights and rules issues are created by second screen social, such as using fan photos in novellas. “We are sharing our learning’s with the rest of the NBC networks and vive versa.”

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