Like many legacy publishers, Colombia’s El Espectador wanted to reach newer, younger audiences, Fidel Cano Correa, the news media company’s director, explained during Sunday morning’s pre-conference Brainsnack presentations at the INMA World Congress in Washington, D.C.

La Pulla helped rejuvenate the El Espectador brand and disrupted the Colombia news scene.
La Pulla helped rejuvenate the El Espectador brand and disrupted the Colombia news scene.

When the company brought on a new editor for the opinion section, Correa asked him to consider how to get younger people to read editorials. Not long after, his editor handed him a proposal and a script written by four reporters.

“In a couple days, we put the first episode in our home page,” he said. This was the creation of La Pulla, a YouTube sensation that broke traffic records with the first video. The second episode followed in its steps, hitting nearly 10 million views.

In addition to sheer volume of La Pulla’s audience, the series’ reach meant El Espectador was reaching new audiences. “People who had never read our editorials started to get them this way,” Correa said.

Beyond content, La Pulla made an impact across the country. To respond to a La Pulla video, the government even created a similar video with a character similar to the show’s host, Correa said. “Not only did it bring new young audiences that would never have felt any connection to our brand, it also rejuvenated the brand and showed us a disruptor in Colombia.”

Internally, La Pulla transformed the new media company’s newsroom, Correa said. Staff now saw that a successful project could be easily created in the newsroom: “New projects started to emerge. Some of them quite successfully.”