The impact of Vencer el Miedo of Population Media Center



South Burlington, VT, December 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Each night, 3.5 million viewers in Mexico switched their TVs to Televisa’s Channel 2 to watch Vencer el Miedo (“Overcome Fear”). The award-winning 47-episode show followed the stories of four women of different ages as they navigated life, love, and tough choices.

The journeys of these women resonated with the public, winning four awards at the 38th annual TVyNovelas, including the awards for Best Leading Actor and Best Co-Starring Actress. And by the end of the series, viewers found themselves engaging in more conversations with family members and counselors about important issues like safe sex. OrientaSEX, a hotline operated by professional advisers, launched in partnership with the show. The hotline received an average of 2,868 calls per week.

Conversations and contraception

Vencer el Miedo educated teens about contraceptive methods and healthy sexual behaviors, the show’s main demographic. Much more adolescent viewers (28%) searched for information on contraception compared to non-viewers (19%). In addition, young adult viewers were 1.79 times more likely than non-viewers to have used dual contraception to prevent unintended pregnancies.

In addition to the teens affected by the show, Vencer el Miedo also encouraged watching parents to talk to their children about sex – with 62% of adult viewers telling their teenage children about sex versus 44% of non-viewers – and on contraception. Adults who watched Vencer el Miedo were 1.52 times more likely than non-viewers to discuss condoms and other contraceptive methods with their teens while the show aired.

How was Vencer el Miedo born?

PMC has worked with Grupo Televisa, the largest mass media company in Latin America and the Spanish speaking world.
Before the Grupo Televisa team entered the newsroom, PMC conducted several rounds of research to understand who to target and how to draw attention to reproductive health issues among younger populations in Mexico.

A situation analysis on specific issues, such as demographic trends, pregnancy rates and access to family planning services in Mexico, was considered – including the staggering statistic that 1 in 5 pregnant women in Mexico between 2009 and 2014 was 19 or younger. In addition, 44% of abortions in Mexico during the same period were performed on women aged 15 to 19.

Once the focus group analysis and research was completed, PMC worked with Televisa to determine the target audience. Vencer el Miedo has become a show designed to promote healthier attitudes and behaviors around adolescent reproductive health, with the aim of reducing unplanned pregnancies and increasing contraceptive use among at-risk adolescents in Mexico. . These target audiences consistently had the highest number and frequency of unintended pregnancies in Mexico. With the formation of PMC, the creative team at Televisa created a production that connected with viewers and inspired emotional investment in storylines – without compromising the value of entertainment.

Lights. Camera. Accion!

Vencer el Miedo first aired on January 20, 2020. The 47-episode show aired at 6.30pm, five nights a week, Monday through Friday. Vencer el Miedo quickly landed the most viewers of all shows in its time slot and was among the top three most watched programs by viewers aged 13 to 21.

As part of the Vencer el Miedo impact ecosystem, partnerships have been created beyond dissemination. The show’s social media accounts have reached over 42 million users across various platforms, including 31.6 million videos viewed on Facebook. Televisa developed a social awareness campaign, Gánale a las Ganas (“Overcome Desire”), aimed at tackling teenage pregnancy who had main characters from the series and other influencers promoting Vencer’s messages el Miedo. The United Nations Population Fund, a frequent contributor to PMC, has launched a digital base for the campaign.

OrientaSEX, a hotline run by professional advisers from MEXFAM (the Planned Parenthood subsidiary in Mexico), was also crucial. Funded by the Televisa Foundation and Ruta 69 DKT, the hotline number was displayed on screen after each episode, encouraging viewers to call with any questions about sexual health. The hotline’s success is undeniable – calls to OrientaSEX exceeded the target by almost 500%, averaging 2,868 calls per week. A survey of callers determined that the majority of callers found it via Vencer el Miedo.

And the winner is… Vencer el Miedo

Vencer el Miedo has consistently established – with ratings, audiences and awards – that social impact entertainment can be a business success. Arcelia Ramírez, who played Inés Durán and won the Best First Actress award, dedicated her victory to women breaking the silence on abusive relationships. “This project has helped women overcome fear,” Ramírez said. The success of Vencer el Miedo led to broadcast beyond Mexico, reaching audiences in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, the Dominican Republic and on Univision in the United States. Additionally, the full show is available on YouTube.

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