StarMedia Network Unveils Big Branding Push, New Site

StarMedia Network, an Internet portal for Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking audiences, Tuesday took the wraps off the latest version of its site, kicking off the launch with a multi-million dollar international marketing effort.

The advertisements, which feature a tagline that translates as “StarMedia — Your Internet Community,” will appear on TV, in print, in radio, outdoor, and online. Various elements will run in nine different countries — the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Brazil, and Argentina.

The specific numbers on spending weren’t disclosed, although the company characterized the campaign as a “multi-million dollar” effort.

In each country, the creative will be a little bit different, because the agency — Heymann, Bengoa, Berbari of Argentina — chose to use celebrities with local appeal in different markets. In the U.S., Puerto Rico, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, and Chile, the ads will feature Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Carlos Ponce. In Brazil, soap-opera heartthrob Thiago Lacera will appear in the ads, and Andres Kusnetzoff, a comedian and celebrity interviewer, will grace the Argentinian ads.

One of the television ads shows a couple chatting on StarMedia (STRM) CHAT. The woman, Maria, has sent the man, Martin, a picture of herself, and asks him to send his. After searching through pictures of himself, Martin gets desperate and sends a picture of celebrity Carlos Ponce. She’s thrilled and wants to meet him. Then she asks him to bring a friend for a double date. How will Martin extricate himself from this situation? In the last scene, Maria and her friend open the door to her house, and find both Martin and Carlos standing there.

Television ads will run on regional networks and on Telemundo. The print ads will appear in publications like People en Español. In major metropolitan areas, the ads will air on Spanish-language radio. In New York City, subways and buses will be plastered with ads in May and June. Billboard space is being bought in U.S. cities with large Hispanic populations — New York City, Houston, Dallas, and Miami.

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