Reaching the Hispanic audience (the largest minority in the United States) with content that speaks to their specific cultural needs should be part of the mission of every entertainment brand. But the responsibility to this audience shouldn’t immobilize at mere entertainment. The content should empower the audience and make an impact on the biggest issues they face. We should communicate that by taking action on the causes that matter to them, they can make a difference in the world.
One issue that should be addressed is health and wellness. After African-Americans, Latinos have the second-highest prevalence of adult obesity – and among children, obesity rates are climbing alarmingly fast. Given that obesity can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and a wide range of other health complications, influencers should be dedicated to addressing health and wellness because it directly affects the audience and its future.
This fall, bilingual/bicultural net, Tr3s will broadcast a three-part health and wellness series in which Latino athletes’ partner with Latino youth who need guidance on improving their health. Each episode will address the challenges this audience faces, such as lack of information on nutrition, limited access to fitness centers or other recreational areas to exercise, and poor lifestyle choices that may be harming to their health. The show’s goal is to illustrate to viewers how they can change the course of their lives by adopting better health practices now to prevent them from developing health issues in the future.
A second key issue this year will be voter registration and participation. As the 2012 presidential election nears, we should be committed to informing Hispanics about how they can engage in the political process. Today, a third of all eligible Latino voters are ages 18 to 34. Every month, 50,000 American Latinos turn 18 – but in spite of their rising power to influence our country’s future, only a fraction vote. We need to show this community that their voices — and their votes — count and need to be heard.
Storytelling is a powerful tool to touch people on an emotional level and incite them to act. One ongoing initiative at Tr3s is Agentes de Cambio (adc.tr3s.com), a series of capsules that tell the stories of celebrities and young Hispanics who are fostering change within their communities. Next week on May 28 ADC will introduce the efforts of Colombian singer Juanes, who founded Fundación Mi Sangre, a non-profit organization that educates and transforms Colombia’s youth into change-makers who promote peace throughout the country.
At the 2012 Tr3s Upfront, the network introduced the new suspense thriller novela Ultimo Año, which also aims to inform viewers on social matters via the power of storytelling. This unique novela, in partnership with the Population Media Center, an organization that strives to improve the health and well-being of people around the world through entertainment-education strategies will develop characters that evolve into role models for positive behavioral change. The intention for this series is to grip viewers with a compelling story while at the same time educating them on how to live healthier lifestyles.