Hallmark Channel Debuts New Tag, New Look
The catchphrase, which will serve as an anchor for a new on-air look and promo campaign coming next month, could be construed as phase two in Schleiff's moves to spruce up the channel. The first was a revamped Web site. At Court TV, the network he led until last year, Schleiff overhauled prime time from legal news and analysis to a focus on entertainment programs in the scripted and reality genres. He also launched often edgy, un-Hallmark-like marketing campaigns. (See "Hallmark Channel CEO Wants Higher Subscriber Fees" in today's MediaDailyNews.)
Hallmark is billing its new tagline and brand ID as an effort to solidify its reputation as a source for family-friendly entertainment with an invitation to settle in for touching, moving programming.
The on-air effort ranges from new music to graphics to hues. And, in a move similar to the W hotel chain--which uses its namesake letter to stand for innumerable benefits, such as warm and welcoming--Hallmark is making the letter H a keystone. The company wants it to represent "happy," humorous," and "home," among other incarnations.
The channel is further embracing its Hallmark Cards affiliation, known for its Hallmark Moments branding. It's describing its new 10- to 30-second on-air spots and interstitials as offering "Hallmark Channel moments." The spots clearly are looking to tug at viewers' heartstrings, in the vein of a moving holiday card, with a child walking in the rain, friends gathering and a dog frolicking in a pile of leaves.
"I have long believed a network derives its brand and personality, in part, from its interstitial programming and the other original aspects that the viewer sees between shows," said Schleiff. He took over last fall from Court TV after Turner bought that network. "This campaign perfectly reflects the best ... of the Hallmark brand."
While the channel says it finished in the top-10 among cable networks in prime time in the fourth quarter for women in the 25-to-54 demo--helped by the debut of Oscar-winning documentary "March of the Penguins"--its season-to-date ratings are flat, at a .3 versus a year ago.
In addition to a change at the top, the network has undergone some alterations in its marketing ranks. Earlier this month, it promoted Laura Masse to executive vice president, marketing, overseeing the channel and sibling Hallmark Movie Channel. Her role covers liaising with the Hallmark Cards operation and searching for co-branding opportunities.
Last April, before previous CEO David Evans resigned, Executive Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer Chris Moseley resigned her post.