With all the talk about courting the increasingly affluent U.S. hispanic consumers, I’m actually surprised that this hasn’t happened sooner. Apparently Kmart is the first major brand to sponsor an original web series on YouTube aimed directly at Spanish-speaking American consumers. The new series, Madres Y Comadres, bowed on a custom branded YouTube page this week with 8 episodes, all in Spanish, centered around two Hispanic mothers swapping stories of raising kids these days.
The setup is light, as if the producers were in on the joke that the series mocks the sappy telenovelas churned out on Univision and Telemundo. Writer-director Alberto Ferreras, known for his docu-series Habla on HBO, created the series for Kmart.
Sadly I studied 10 years of French in my schooling, and the rapid-fire Spanish delivery here has me at a loss. Thankfully, I was hooked up with some subtitled screeners of the series, though it doesn’t seem to be an option on their YouTube channel. I did however learn that ‘Madre’ means mother, and ‘Comadre’ translates to a mother’s close female friend that she confides in. The first episode is fairly straightforward and edges into the overly branded territory with vignettes of the ladies’ teenagers trying on several different “back-to-school” looks.
The campaign on YouTube’s end was headed up by Mark Lopez, Google’s head of U.S. Hispanic who came over from Terra USA last year. “Google is excited about being the supporting platform for the first brand-produced U.S. Hispanic series distributed through YouTube,” said Lopez. “The content is highly relevant linguistically and culturally, and caters to U.S. Latina needs and interests. We’re finding that most brands that engage the U.S. Hispanic market on a sustained basis are able to achieve brand development and sales growth by successfully establishing a deeper link with their consumer audience.”
Producing the series was Meredith Corporation via their Meredith Video Studios, which inked agreements with five leading broadband distributors—YouTube/Google, Sprint TV, Grab Networks, 5min, and News Inc. Aside from the telenovela-inspired series, the channel also features 12 “real mom segments” with interviews from actual Latina moms raising children in the U.S.