Adriana Cisneros Stresses Importance of Interactivity in Programming


MIAMI: During her One-on-One session at NATPE with World Screen’s Anna Carugati, Adriana Cisneros, the vice chairman and director of strategy for the Cisneros Group of Companies, emphasized that the primary shift that has occurred in media is that the viewer now wants a “personalized experience.”  

Cisneros began her session by discussing the importance of social TV, with viewers wanting a customized, interactive experience alongside their programming. “The implication of that change in behavior is great,” she said. “It means that you can no longer just produce a show and put it on the air, you have to create a whole world for that show so that its interactive presence is interesting. It goes beyond asking people to comment on a show on Facebook; it’s more about what material you can make attractive and sexy that is complementary to what they’re seeing on screen.”

She told the crowd that it’s not just about integrating social media, but also creating content that’s very specifically designed for interactivity. Cisneros credited the creativity coming out of the company’s office in Venezuela as being key to this strategy.

“Venezuela is a country that is very interactive. We rank third in the world for penetration for Twitter and eighth for Facebook. We test out all of our social interactive strategies in Venezuela through the programming that we’re producing there.” She added, “In Latin America we seem to be ahead of the curve for pushing for interactivity in content and that’s a nice advantage to have.”

Cisneros cited as an example the success of Black Widow (La Viuda Joven), which has been a hit beyond the TV screen, with its presence on the web and through social media. “The interactive strategy was there to drive the content itself,” she noted.

“We don’t just have this strategy in Venezuela; the moment that we sell this program…we sell them the whole package. We sell them the strategy of how to create this interactive world so that the ratings in those countries can be as successful as they were in Venezuela.”

When Carugati inquired about the power of the U.S. Hispanic market, Cisneros responded with the figure of it being “55 million strong. We at Cisneros really believe that we understand what this market is really about. It’s not about the race that we are, it’s not about the color of our skin, it’s not even about the language that we speak; it’s about the culture that we’ve created for ourselves here. That’s what we cater to.”

Further to this, Cisneros affirmed the continued partnership to supply programming to Univision: “Our content does very well on their screen,” she pointed out. “We were the first ones that were able to give them the ability to use product integration to tap into the U.S. Hispanic population, which is a very successful idea and we’re going to continue doing that closely with them.”

As a potential evolution from this, Cisneros said the company is “considering very seriously starting to do content in English that will appeal to the general population but also have a hook into the U.S. Hispanic population.”

Another new business venture that is being looked into is the creation of digital studios, said Cisneros, “so that we can start creating content that from the get-go its only intention is to be available online…. We’re going to do that in Spanish to address the Latin American audience, but possibly in English as well. It’s not the new frontier, it’s the present, and we have to be a part of that.”