Upfront 2012: Reflecting the Bilingual/Bicultural Latino at Tr3s

by Mark Jafar, Viacom

Singer/songwriter Juanes performing onstage during Tr3s Upfront Presentation at The Highline Ballroom on May 16, 2012 in New York City. .(Photo by Leon/PictureGroup)

“We need to do better.”

Not something you hear very often from a television network, much less amidst the cacophony of self-congratulation that is Upfront Week.

But those were the very words uttered by Wilmer Valderrama last week, as he took the stage to host the Tr3s Upfront presentation to advertisers at New York’s Highline Ballroom.

Valderrama was speaking not of only Tr3s, but of the entire media industry.  With the Latino population in the United States surging past 50 million in the 2010 Census, the bilingual/bicultural Latino experience has become pervasive in America.  But even as advertisers and politicians court this expanding audience, the media is still catching up.  Tr3s is working harder than anyone to change that.

“We need to create content that appeals to our fused values, not the one’s back home – but the ones shared among Latinos in NY, LA, Miami, Chicago, Dallas and even places like Raleigh, Nashville and Atlanta,” he said.

Jose Tillan, General Manager of Tr3s, affirmed that mission, and the network’s desire to lead the charge in reflecting the lives and aspirations of bilingual/bicultural Latinos.

“We are the network for bilingual/biculturals because we target them directly,” said Tillan.  “They have dominated the teen demo, and now they dominate the 18-34 segment, growing at a yearly rate of 12% since 2010. They are an original audience… and we reach them through our original content.”

Tr3s showcased a full slate of original programming at the event, headlined by The Ricardo Laguna Project, the Valderrama-produced program that chronicles the highs and lows of the titular BMX star.  Laguna appeared on stage with his mother and father – his familial foils in the show – to thank adoring ad buyers for their early support of the program.

Tr3s unveiled eight new originals in all, notable for their top-tier Latino talent behind or in front of the camera, including Mario Lopez, Oscar De La Hoya, Mexican songstress Dulce Maria, and the aforementioned Laguna and Valderama.

The network also affirmed its connection to music by announcing a new Unplugged with duo Wisin y Yandel, and gave a preview of its upcoming Unplugged with Colombian sensation Juanes, who closed out the presentation with an acoustic performance.  Tillan confidently predicted some Grammy love for Juanes later in the year.

Check out the slideshow below for photos from the Tr3s Upfront.

Wilmer Valderrama
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Jose Tillan
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The after party
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(from left) Wilmer Valderrama, Ricardo Laguna, Jua…

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  1. That is great! Diversity is America.

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