HBO Latin America Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary

by Carmina Balaguer  |  11.22.2016

The number 25 takes center stage as HBO Latin America celebrates its quarter-of-a-century presence and positioning in the region with an emphasis on the unique stories the network tells.

Known for being the first network to bring a premium channel into Latin America via satellite—offering original content and movies 24/7 without commercial breaks—HBO Latin America currently airs in more than 30 Latin American and Caribbean countries.

Since its creation, the network has produced 300-plus hours of more than 20 original series and documentaries, such as Mandrake, Prófugos (Fugitives), Sr. Ávila (Mr. Ávila), Capadocia (Cappadocia), El Negocio (The Business), Antes de que nos Olviden (Before We Are Forgotten), Psi (Psy) and El Hipnotizador (The Hypnotist). In addition, HBO was the first network in the region to offer subscribers technological innovations such as multiplex channels, high definition, on demand and HBO GO, the network’s premium digital content platform.

October marked 25 years of operation in the region, a date Gustavo Grossman, corporate vice president, HBO Networks Latin America, describes as “a milestone, an achievement, because these 25 years—and many more to come—confirm that, since the very beginning, we have been at the front of the industry’s evolution in Latin America, being the first to introduce new technologies, and high-value and quality TV productions in the region, as well as offering the best content.”

That’s why the campaign created to honor this occasion revolves around two pillars: the role played by the group in the development of entertainment in Latin America and its track record of telling unique stories.

The campaign was designed to appeal to diverse audiences, “to consumers, through our programming and social networks; to the media, through our brand’s success stories and original productions; to industry leaders, by taking part in special events and strengthening our commitment to the industry’s growth; and to our employees, by engaging them in this celebration and launching our new internal communication portal,” says Grossman.

The number 25 is at the center of the campaign, which “stands out as a milestone, an achievement in itself,” Grossman continues.

Even though no special tagline was created, there is a special anniversary logo in which the 25 appears framed above HBO’s logo. A frame encloses the number at the top and bottom, leaving some breathing space via the open sides.

The network produced several promotional videos around its track record in the Latin American TV industry, including the one below, in which the network is presented as playing a key role in the history of Latin American television. The spot also reviews some of the most outstanding events in the channel’s life, such as the advent of the digital era and the incorporation of high-definition content.

According to the promo above, “nobody tells stories like HBO, setting trends, taking risks with increasingly appealing, impactful and original content. We remain at the forefront, building the future.” Thanks to all this, according to the spot, “the world of television belongs to HBO.”

Other pieces focus on the construction of the logo’s number 25, which appears both as a moving image as well as superimposed on top of some of the most famous images from HBO’s portfolio, only recognizable to the viewer’s eyes as the camera pulls away from it.

Finally, other videos—launched on television and on social networks—feature personalities of original productions, such as Divorce’s Sarah Jessica Parker, Sr. Avila’s Tony Dalton and The Night Of’s John Turturro , among others, as they share a celebration with HBO and the audience.

All of these stars congratulate HBO on hitting this milestone, humorously noting that the network is already old enough to leave home or go to Vegas. But what they ask seriously is that HBO never fully grows up, that it remains who it is.

HBO’s latest round of original series—Westworld, Divorce and Insecure, as well as the second season of Magnifica 70—debuted in tandem with the anniversary campaign. All of these series’ premieres were available to viewers for free on HBO GO throughout the month of October.

The network also hosted marathons themed to the anniversary, including “The 25 Best HBO Series Pilots,” “The 25 Most Iconic HBO Episodes” and “The 25 Best Episodes of Latin American Series.” All of these were fully screened on linear channels and partly screened on the digital platform.

Another strategy was producing editorial content that commemorated the anniversary, with different themes, such as: “The 25 Most-Viewed Series on HBO GO”, “The 25 Characters you Can’t Miss” and “The 25 Fan-Favorite Shows,” with the last list based on responses from HBO digital subscribers.

HBO also wanted to use the occasion to honor the staff of HBO Latin America, says Grossman. With this in mind, the network released HBO One, a new internal portal that connects all the offices of HBO Latin America, “bringing all the countries that make us up closer together, announcing the most relevant news and presenting the creative materials we generate at HBO.”

Finally, coinciding with the anniversary, HBO opened an expanded facility at its operations and satellite broadcast center in Sunrise, Florida, with an event attended by special guests including Rodrigo Santoro (Westworld), Chumel Torres (Chumel con Chumel Torres) and Simon Sutton, president of HBO international and content distribution, among others.

“[The opening] expands our technological capabilities to provide viewers with more of the best in the future,” says Grossman. While the network wanted to celebrate its 25 years of achievements, it also wanted to use the opportunity “to celebrate the future of our brand in the region, where we see opportunities to continue producing high-quality content and making HBO stand out.”

RELATED: HBO Latinoamérica Celebra Su 25 Aniversario

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