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World Cup promo shows Mexican TV figures 'on the way to South Africa'

May 28, 2010 |  1:31 pm

Above, a publicity clip for Mexico's major network coverage of the World Cup in South Africa. The promo by Televisa Sports, a division of Mexico's Televisa media conglomerate, shows well-known actors and newscasters from the network "on the way to South Africa."

They are humming and dancing along to the oldies classic "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," by the Tokens, while snapping photos of animals as if on a safari. Then, while the group is crossing a river, a crocodile nabs sportscaster Enrique Burak, known to generate on-air debate due to a habit of commenting on sports out of his expertise.

The dialogue delivers the punch line:

"What now?"

"Well, he didn't know that much about soccer anyway, right?"

"Ahh, good point."

Guillermo Roman, marketing director for Televisa Sports, said in an interview with La Plaza that the purpose of such promos (here's another) is to draw in viewers who are not regular sports fans to the network's upcoming coverage of Mexico's team at the World Cup. The strategy, Roman explained, is to showcase familiar faces from Televisa in a setting that, according to his marketing surveys, evokes Africa for typical viewers, which would include "that sunset, that wildlife, that look, let's say, of an African safari."

"We're conscious that there is much more complexity" in South Africa, Roman said. "Yes, there is cliché, but this is more about getting a smile from people, creating goodwill, so that after that, they see the depth of our work."

Viewers have responded positively to the promo, Roman said. One woman said in a survey, the marketing director reported, that she identified with Burak because "I don't know anything about soccer either, so let's go to the World Cup!"

"People have made the promos theirs," Roman said. "We're capable of laughing at ourselves."

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City

Video: Televisa Sports, via YouTube.