Lisette Osorio, VP of international sales at Caracol Televisión, talks to TV Drama about what it has meant to work in the midst of new challenges as a result of the global pandemic as well as revealing some of the company’s plans for this year.
Caracol Televisión has not missed a beat in its content production and development endeavors that aim to appeal to audiences in Colombia and around the world. One of the company’s highlights for this year is the second season of The Queen of Flow (La Reina del Flow), which promises even more suspense and drama set in the world of music.
TV DRAMA: How has Caracol Televisión been able to help serve broadcasters looking to fill gaps in their schedule from the coronavirus lockdowns?
OSORIO: In 2020, Caracol Televisión rethought its marketing strategy by looking to activate effective virtual channels that would invigorate the sales experience. Together with the rollout of new product on television and online video platforms, as well as significant distribution efforts, we were able to garner positive results despite the industry being negatively impacted by the pandemic. Our sales team made additional efforts in designing tailor-made offers for each client, including flexible and effective negotiations geared toward the digital ecosystem. This allowed our clients a closer relationship with the brand while finding effective solutions during a difficult time. We also created diverse genre content bundles because we were aware that programmers were looking for feel-good stories that offered an escape from the global reality.
We also saw the need to bring our customers closer to each product through digital initiatives. We were able to implement many effective processes: we redesigned our webpage, developed a more appealing and user-friendly experience for our clients, launched a Queen of Flow clothing line available on Amazon, bolstered our tactics [to make content go viral] on social media by offering fun and interactive tools like the Instagram filter for Pedro the Great (Pedro el Escamoso) and increased our live sessions with talent, just to name few.
TV DRAMA: What are some of the company’s highlights for this year?
OSORIO: We’re proud to kick off the year by revealing the long-awaited second season of The Queen of Flow. [The series] offers the international market an exciting story with a high dose of adrenaline, romance and music, following the path that led the first season to worldwide success. In this new season, the powerful couple reprises their roles that conquered global audiences: Carolina Ramírez (Yeimy Montoya) and Carlos Torres (Charly Flow).
For the new season, Yeimy will face new dangers that threaten her and her family’s life. The appearance of an enemy who knows her very well now stalks her. Her world and that of the people she loves will be shaken, and from within the shadows, Charly Flow works to become a free man.
We’d also like to announce our partnership with SOMOS Productions for the development of the premium series Juegos Interrumpidos, an exciting thriller filled with drama and action. The story focuses on human trafficking, specifically the kidnapping of young children put up for illegal adoption. It will soon be available for the international market. We’ve also closed a deal with Mediapro for the development of Las Cheers, a story set in the world of cheerleading, a sport that is garnering a bigger following around the world. This is a powerful young adult drama where ambition, envy and jealousy take center stage.
TV DRAMA: What type of content are buyers currently looking for? What can Caracol Televisión offer in that regard?
OSORIO: The demand for entertainment currently requires a 360-degree approach; multiplatform content with fast and flexible negotiations. Caracol has managed to be at the forefront in this regard with a multi-format offering that perfectly adapts to the new programming dynamics in every territory.
We offer traditional formats for series and novelas like Ana’s Revenge (La Venganza de Analía)and The Queen and the Conqueror (La Reina de Indias y el Conquistador), and we’ve expanded our web portfolio with exclusive series for digital platforms, including The Girl (La Nena) or Out of Fashion (Pasada de Moda). In theatrical, we’ve presented Memories of My Father (El Olvido que Seremos), a film that has been selected to represent Colombia at the Academy Awards this year, and Monos, a movie that was recognized by the jury at the Sundance Film Festival.
We also know that programmers are looking for content that sparks conversations that go beyond their exhibition windows, content that becomes viral and turns into a cultural and social phenomenon. For this reason, we offer our clients non-traditional content such as The Witness (El Testigo), a documentary nominated for an International Emmy, and The Path of the Anaconda (El Sendero de la Anaconda), a documentary that explores the negative impact that man has had on tropical rainforests. These types of productions have become important moments for the industry.
TV DRAMA: What do you see as the lasting impact of COVID-19 on the industry?
OSORIO: The pandemic showed that our industry has the ability to respond to any adversity, as it is resourceful and finds new ways to produce. During this time, there was a change in the dynamics of development, a simplification in negotiations and an effort toward being as efficient as possible. The ecosystem has changed. It is now virtual. This has forced executives to familiarize themselves with this new language. In regard to returning to the physical world, companies have evaluated and put in place an entire system of biosecurity in order to enter production. This involves new budget models that will continue in future productions and training models for talent behind and in front of the camera.
We understand that it’s a challenging time for the industry but we’ve seen a collective effort and commitment for finding solutions in order to continue entertaining audiences around the world.
TV DRAMA: What will you be focusing on in the next 12 to 18 months?
OSORIO: We’re currently focused on continuing our production processes and [improving] biosecurity measures to optimize our work. This will allow us to offer The Queen of Flow 2, the second season of the International Emmy winner, that will include new elements both in the musical aspect and for its endearing characters. We’ll also be showcasing The Challenge—The Box(Desafío—The Box), which represents an evolution of our format The Challenge (Desafío). It will offer viewers new competition scenarios for the first time.
Our offering will have an intense year ahead with the rollout of series like The Road to Love (Los Briceño), The Queen and the Conqueror and The King of Hearts (El Hijo del Cacique). Caracol Televisión continues to activate its operations by developing new screenplays and formats that we’ll be announcing very soon.