Mexico: The Birthplace of Entertainment Education in the Modern Age
This week, PMC staff from across the world came to Mexico City to host a workshop on our methodology and theory of change. We are incredibly honored to be in Mexico with writers, producers, activists, actors, and academics because entertainment education as we know it today was created here by Miguel Sabido.
Miguel Sabido, an entertainment education icon, joined our workshop to share his work on telenovels, how he developed television to create behavioral change and insight on how we can best do that in today’s ever-changing media market.
While gathered in a real studio location at Estudios Gabriel Garcia Marquez, part of Argos Media, you could feel the excitement and passion beaming from every writer, producer, and activist in the room. The tall ceilings and studio lights inspired all as presentations and workshops dove into audience research, partnerships, story arches, character development, and talent acquisition.
In addition to storylines and methodology, one key piece of Population Media Center’s successful transformative stories is partnerships. Partnerships are critical to what we do in every country and in every project.
Our newest partnership with our hosts for this week, Argos Media, is one we are particularly excited about. Argos Media is a production company in Latin America, an area we have worked in and hope to expand further.
In 2012, PMC partnered with MTV Latin America and Argos Media to create Ultimo Ano. Focused on a group of teenagers in their last year of high school, the television show blends teen drama, young love, friendship, adolescent sexual relationships, and heartbreak. Ultimo Ano ended up broadcasting across several Latin American countries thanks to a key partnership with Argos Media.
We work on big, complicated issues at PMC that take years of work and collaboration to make a difference on. To succeed, we create long-running projects with organizations and local stakeholders, building upon success and strong relationships year after year.
Speaking of long-term success, PMC’s first international office was in Mexico City – making this week’s workshop with Argos Media that much more meaningful. Beyond PMC’s work in Mexico, the entertainment education industry here has a rich history of success thanks to highly entertaining telenovelas, mainly produced by Miguel Sabido. It’s also worth mentioning that most of PMC’s methodologies were inspired by and co-created with Sabido.
Another hit telenovela produced by PMC in Mexico, using methodology similar to Sabido’s original work, is Vencer el Miedo. By collaborating with local partners like Orienta Sex and Televisa, Vencer el Miedo proved that commercially successful projects could also impact reproductive health behaviors. A few examples include:
• 62.4% of parent viewers talked to their adolescent children about sex, compared with 43.9% of non-viewers
• 27.9% of adolescent viewers searched for information on contraception, compared to 19.2% of non-viewers
• Viewers were 1.7 times more likely than non-viewers to have talked to their adolescent child about sex.
By bringing together industry professionals across Mexico, our workshop is truly a commitment and love letter to our global partners – who we cannot do this work without. Together, we make the stories that remake our work, and every action counts.