State Farm Sponsors Univision Web Novela

Unvision's Vidas CruzadasUnivision has signed State Farm as a multipart sponsor of its coming online novela, a link that includes integration of brand messages in the short-form content.

"Crossed Lives" ("Vidas Cruzadas") is a series of 15 three- to-five-minute episodes; the show was developed, in part, as a forum for brand weaves. Univision is expected to announce a launch date soon.

Among the characters is a State Farm agent, who supports one of the leads. State Farm will also run banner ads overlaid on the videos, as well as sponsor-related content on the Univision site, such as character bios and polls that enable viewers to vote for plot outcomes.

Today, 54% of Hispanics are online -- a growth rate of 13% since 2004, compared to 8% growth among all consumers, per Scarborough Research. Hispanics are more likely than average to download content, and their online purchases are increasing at a rate on par with the average Internet user. Hispanics accounted for 20.3 million online visitors in February 2009, according to comScore -- 11% of the U.S. online market.



That's good news for State Farm, which has been advertising directly to Hispanics since 1997, says Ed Gold, advertising director at State Farm.

"Crossed Lives" is a second webnovela for Univision, following a 2007 series backed by Unilever. Endemol USA, which is behind reality series such as "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," is a producer on the project, along with Amistad Productions.

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