The CW: Free To Be... Another Network Looking For Green
"Relatable" is the word Rick Haskins, executive vice president of marketing of The CW, used when talking about the network's expected young viewer audience and its "Free to Be..." marketing campaign. But The New York Times doesn't think those descriptors carry much weight in these times: "Someday, there will be an article about television in which no executive uses the word 'relatable,' industry jargon for something with which viewers are supposed to identify or connect. Alas, this is not that article."
Well, it's only television. We find New York Times reporters--like MediaPost reporters--are free to be... cheeky.
Yes, Haskins' task is indeed a tough one--trying to make programming sense out of two networks' somewhat disparate programming--WWE' s"Friday Night Smackdown," "Gilmore Girls," "Everybody Hates Chris," "One Tree Hill," and "America's Next Top Model."
The "Free to Be..." campaign phrase is tagged different ending words such as "Fearless," "Funny," Witty," "Girlie" depending on the show. The color in print and video ads-- seemingly fairway green, mint julip green--is always in the background.
Haskins told the Times: "This audience doesn't want to be advertised to, and doesn't want to be told what to do. 'Free to be' says, 'You can be anything you want to be and you're welcome at the CW.' "
Sounds good. But if its viewers really don't want to be advertised to, then perhaps CW should have tried another approach, perhaps saving the $50 million it is spending in the marketing campaign.
How about less advertising with a cool, subversive message? Make it simpler, in small white letters on a black screen: "We have a new network, The CW. We have good shows. It starts in September. You're free to be... understated."