August 21, 2012

Cable Networks Rebrand to Stay Ahead of the Game

TV is a tough business, and the competition for both viewers and advertisers is cut throat. After all, they’re the two factors in keeping a station afloat. So with the ever-growing popularity of DVR, online programming, social media and an impressively long list of channels, the cable landscape is changing. And with that so too have the networks’ branding challenges.

Cable used to be defined by clear-cut niche programming and stations that replayed old movies, and syndicated sitcoms, but to keep up with each other the lines have blurred, and original (not to mention more diverse) content is starting to pop-up on cable networks at every click; which is exactly why networks are feeling the need to rebrand and reposition their brands more than ever before.

There is a growing list of channels overhauling their identities, but let’s take a deeper dive into these three examples below and see what they did to help set their networks apart from the competition.

In May 2012 TV Land the original station for those of us who love old sitcoms introduced an updated logo and new tagline “laugh more,” both of which were developed to broaden the TV Land brand and the programming it offered.

The logo speaks to the modernization of channel, and showcase that TV Land is about combining acquisitions and creating original sitcoms – all intended to make you, that’s right, laugh more.

E! Entertainment, one of the original purveyors of pop culture gossip (and everyone’s guilty pleasure) announced at their April 2012 upfront presentation that they would be introducing an updated logo and tagline. The new logo and tagline are intended to speak to the fact that E! has always been the epicenter of pop culture, and that the network’s next chapter is all about never letting anyone go a minute without their pop culture.

E! is also looking to rebrand itself on air by introducing scripted series and adding to its already existing reality and documentary series.

Of the three examples, Comedy Central’s rebrand is certainly the most drastic and has the best story to tell. Their old logo, the globe with buildings coming out of it, was hard to adjust into the digital age. One blogger wrote that the old Comedy Central logo was “like showing up in a Hawaiian shirt at a Fortune 500 company.” The old logo no longer fit the identity of the channel nor did it reach their younger audience.

The new logo, a “C” tucked inside an upside “C” bears a striking resemblance to the copyright symbol, which some have said shows the new Comedy Central logo subtly suggests that they’ve got a lock on laughs. Clever and funny, don’t you think? While at first glance this logo may not seem to capture what Comedy Central stands for, I bet now you might think differently.

One Comment

  1. Jorge Felix   August 22, 2012 12:32 am / Reply

    I think tv networks in general need to start thinking of ways on how to optimiE their brand if they want to compete in the new era of television. You see more and more networks using social media totally to “start the conversation” by using hashtags and live updates. They need to start looking on how to capitalize online video streams with services like hulu and blend both social and online video to keep their brands relevant.

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