Commentary

TR3S.com Heats Up the Grill With New Latino Series...and a Giant Hamster

If those July 4 hot dogs yesterday just didn't seem to have enough of that true pork flavor, or seemed a little on the trim and low-fat side, then you must have missed the first episode of "Grillin' with Rico" last weekend at TR3S.com, the site from bilingual bicultural Viacom brand Tr3S: MTV, Musica y Mas. The newly launched cooking show hosted by chef Rico Chips featured a special recipe of wrapping those dogs in bacon, just to add that extra bit of flavor and saturated fat.

Look here; "Grillin' with Rico" is not your usual cooking show, homes. Chips is the wheelchair-bound survivor of a five-gunshot assault. He carries street cred like the tattoos he sports. The new 9-part series has him flirting with the grocery store clerks and tossing veggies and meat onto his grill with the quick-cut editing of an action-adventure flick.

"Grillin' with Rico" is part of expanded multimedia programming at Tr3s.com. The site is aiming for the underserved Latino market. The company says that its research shows that its target audience is looking for bilingual/bicultural fare that reaches across the platforms. Latino audiences index very high for digital content usage, especially on devices. So the Tr3s.com site is developing engaging and edgy characters that port well on multiple screens. Like most MTV-powered properties, Tr3s has a rich mobile site that kicks in automatically when you browse to the brand on a smartphone, but curiously the Rico series is not easily accessible.

Later this summer the brand is launching an even more curious Web video series in "El Spooky Show." The series involves a giant Mexican hamster in a reality series style show. Spooky's life with roommate and owner Jogu will form the core of a 12-episode epic that will run only online during August. Spooky was last seen in a series of spoof ads in 2010 around the Soccer World Cup. Apparently he goes psychotic and takes to his owner with a chainsaw over being ignored during the games. Agency La Comunidad's experiential division La Comu Summer created the characters, and it will be directing the series.

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