I got an email from?Jinal Shah requesting that I take a look at her clients new branding effort. Her client is A & E Network and they’ve just made some big branding?changes. Jinal is a long time reader of my kick ass, in your face branding blog so she must know what she’s in for right? Truth, Justice and the American Way, Baby!
Jinal was kind enough to send me a press release although some inside info would have really sweetened the deal here. So here goes my initial thoughts on A & E’s new brand identity.
Taken from the press release:
The centerpiece of the new brand is the tagline ?Real Life. Drama.?
Although I think well done taglines are extremely important (read past posts on that here) I would never center a branding?campaign around a tagline. Taglines are meant to support and leverage?the overall brand identity. In this case the identity is intense?Reality TV and Drama. I think the tagline is okay but I would have liked to see something less vanilla.
How about getting some guts and adding words like “Gritty”, “Tough” or “Intense” in there? Something more evocative is what I’m trying to say. I’d grade the tagline a B-.
More from the press release:
?The tagline, the new logo and look emphasize A&E?s unique brand which promises our viewers honest, emotionally intense television that engages them and isn?t afraid to show life as it really is,? said Guy Slattery, Senior Vice President of Marketing, A&E.
?So let’s look at the logo
So let’s get real. The new logo is bold and in your face. Strong. Muscular. I really like the entire feel. The tagline works very well with the logo and supports the “intense” TV positioning. I’m guessing they’re going for a male demographic here. I’d grade the logo an A-. If the tagline was a little more evocative it could have been a sweet package.
Next up, website:
Here’s what the press release says:
The branding creative successfully emulates the raw, visceral, and unswerving nature of A&E?s programming by infusing cutting-edge European design aesthetics.?
The website is clean and easy to navigate. You can see it here. The color schemes are muted, dull and boring. The use of grey in the logo and throughout the site is dreary. It’s really the complete opposite of the nicely designed logo. I wanted bold, and strong. Confident engaging colors to compliment the logo color. I’d grade the web design in two ways:
1. Easy to navigate and clean B+
2. Overall look and feel as it relates to the identity, A- if you’re looking for gloomy otherwise it’s a C-.
Hopefully Jinal will remain a loyal reader but everyone knows I keep it very real here. I’d grade the entire package a B so it’s not all bad for sure. I really do like the James Bondish looking logo. Damn Europeans and their Bond!
If you got some guts like Jinal?and want a tough, geniune look at your brand write me. Make sure to butter me up a bit, that always helps.
More on A & E:
Since the announcement of the new brand positioning, A&E has posted record-breaking audience numbers across all key demographics.? June 2008 was the 23rd consecutive month that A&E has landed in the top 10 with adults 25-54 in prime among all ad-supported cable networks. The month also ranked as the best June in the network’s history among adults 18-49 and 25-54 impressions.? June’s success helped contribute to the best quarterly deliveries in the network’s history among adults 18-49 and 25-54 in the second quarter of 2008.? A&E currently has the most original programming of any top five cable network and will increase original programming by 37% by the third quarter of 2008.? ?
Additionally, AETV.com, which has enjoyed 310% growth in video traffic in the past year, has been overhauled to take on the same new look and feel as the linear network.