Raze TV, a premium platform targeting young Latinos, combines digital influencers with mobile and social content to position itself as part of mainstream global culture.
“We are representatives of the vanguard; the cool, the young and the real Latino, who is influencing and winning Oscars and who isn’t behind the culture, but ahead of it,” says Rafael Sandor, chief creative officer at Raze. With offices in Los Angeles, Miami and Buenos Aires, the platform is part of the O&O channels section of Raze—a production company that creates Latin American TV series and films. The division was born from the union of several partners: Latin World Entertainment, the leading Hispanic talent management company founded by Luis Balaguer and renowned actress Sofía Vergara; Emiliano Calemzuk, former president of Fox Television Studios; American talent agency UTA; and entertainment law firm Ziffren Brittenham LLP.
“Raze is the perfect combination of talent management, high-quality content production and channel creation and management,” says Sandor.
The platform’s niche content speaks to “plenty of intertwined identities” within Latino cultures and fills the resulting void, he said.
“We want to be the destination for high-end content for young Latinos, where they really consume it,” he says.
Launched in late June, Raze is designed to be consumed mainly on mobile and social networks, and began with content from a handful of key Latin American influencers.
These influencers include Colombians Sebastián Villalobos, Luisa Fernanda W, Juana Martínez, Mario Ruiz, Juan Pablo Jaramillo, Paula Galindo (aka Pautips), Miranda Ibañez, Juan Manuel Barrientos (aka Juanma el Cielo) and Mexican Bullysteria, among others.
“Our initial and natural focus is to follow this footprint and grow from there,” says Sandor. “We will help these Latin American influencers grow in the United States, by temporarily relocating them to Los Angeles, and then we’ll introduce American influencers,” he continues.
A Youthful Attitude
The platform offers topics shaped by the influencers’ worlds.
“We asked each of them what they would do if they [could create content with] more production value, more structure and greater creative resources than they already have,” says Sandor.
The website is composed of videos designed to adapt to different social platforms: more visual dynamics for Instagram, instant topics for Twitter and longer videos for YouTube.
While an a/b test was initially run to assess the best navigation to bring traffic to the website, Sandor says this is not the priority.
“We want people to watch our content, to get hooked, to enjoy it, to view the Raze brand, and to get its tone, voice and personality,” he explains.
The programming spans news, humor, lifestyle, fiction and sports.
For example, in Raze Camp four of the most important influencers—Sebastián Villalobos, Mario Ruiz, Juan Pablo Jaramillo and Luisa Fernanda—participate in a military boot camp.
Look is a fashion and beauty series by Miranda Ibañez, Katy Esquivel and Paula Galindo.
And Juana Martínez provides content for foodies in Dolce&Juana.
The “Razers” also introduce themselves in first person in short-format capsules.
“Our common thread is a youthful attitude and viewpoint, as well as high-quality production,” says Sandor. “Raze TV’s content represents today’s young Latino culture and values.”
Design Inspired by Social Media
The name and logo were designed in-house by talent agency UTA, with Mu Design handling the rest of the packaging and design work.
Moira Abramzon, art director at Raze, and director and owner of Mu Design, says getting the navigation and tone of the site right was very challenging.
“The aim was to create an identity that included all these talents, while showing their separate identities,” she says.
To do that, she considered social media’s balance of individualism and group-think, and that dualism inspired the platform’s typeface.
“This was the selection criteria for the typography, which combines two fonts, a serif and a sans-serif, to generate different tones of communication,” she says.
That same concept was used to create a wide color palette that’s used in reduced combinations.
“The idea was to have many graphic variables to create different moods based on communication needs,” she says. “With these combinations, we generate a younger or more classic style, according to the type of talent or content we are talking about. “Some combinations result in something totally pop, fresh and bright, and other combinations are more contained and less saturated.”
The mobile-first platform also led to other challenges, like working on a vertical format and creating images to drive communication. “With this in mind, all combinations are based on simplicity, with pretty minimalist layouts,” says Abramzon.
Sandor also made a key request in the brief: the platform had to look like an international brand.
“We wanted to avoid at all costs the Latin American clichés used countless times in the past,” he says. “Latinos do not only talk about Latino issues; we have our points of view but participate in and lead, in many aspects, the global culture. This is the positioning that we wanted for the name and tone.”
While Raze TV’s inception is based on relationships with top Latin American digital influencers, journalistic content is already emerging through Raze News.
The launch of the section included an online marketing strategy, as well as a promotional video shot in Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Miami and Los Angeles.
“The spot reveals the mystique behind the release, and engages the public we think is going to be most interested in the influencers’ content,” Sandor says. “However, that is not the center of communication. It’s a B2B element, whereas our main B2C strategy focuses on content and establishing the language and tone of our brand.”
Raze TV plans to produce an English version of itself in the first half of 2018 focused on the U.S. Hispanic population.