Studio Turns Pirate to Promote Movie

LOS ANGELES Universal Pictures has resorted to hijacking a bilingual network in order to reach young Spanish-English audiences. Or at least it will seem that way this Friday.

To promote Illegal Tender to the 18 to 34-year-old bilingual demo, The Arenas Group has arranged for an 18-hour “takeover” of KBEH-TV’s airwaves on the day of the movie’s release.

KBEH, which broadcasts the mixed Spanish and English channel MTV Tr3s, has arranged with Arenas to simulate a local illegal “pirate” broadcast takeover of the airwaves. The entire inventory of local spots, from 8 a.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday, has been given over to the “guest” broadcasters. Some commercial breaks will simulate pirate signals with a snowed-out screen, and program content will be corrupted with news-style crawls at the bottom.

Programs will be strategically interrupted for trailers, interviews, live remotes and studio interaction with on-air personalities from local KBEH programs. GlobalHue’s Irvine, Calif., office contributed a Dodge Charger (a prominent vehicle in the movie) covered in an Illegal Tender-themed ad wrap that will find its way into live remotes.

According to KBEH general sales manager Julio Aponte, the Arenas Group put the project out to bid, and KBEH won over mostly radio station and local Spanish-language TV contenders. The creative ideas were worked out between Arena’s evp of marketing and media Debra Nason and media director Leyla Fletcher as well as KBEH station management. The Los Angeles-based Arenas Group declined comment.

“We are all looking at innovative integrated marketing, fun new ideas for entertaining and reaching this underserved demographic,” said Aponte, who claimed to sweet-talk the station’s regular advertisers into going along with the takeover by promising bonus airings of their spots before and after the stunt.