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This story first appeared in the May 11 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Lifetime, the 28-year-old female-targeted network, is set to launch a top-to-bottom rebrand designed to integrate the network’s new programming direction with the sensibilities of today’s multitasking woman.
On May 2, the net is unveiling a new stylized “L” logo as well as revamped on-air and online graphics sporting the tagline: “Your Life. Your Time.” The tagline will appear in the new logo and via television and digital 30- and 60-second spots. It also will be integrated across the network’s programs, including America’s Most Wanted (dubbed “Payback Time”), Project Runway (“Out of Time”), Dance Moms (“Curtain Time”) and the new Jennifer Love Hewitt drama The Client List (“A Good Time”).
Nancy Dubuc, who added Lifetime Networks to her portfolio in May 2010 after the suite of channels became part of A&E Television Networks, says the rebrand was a year in the making. “You only have one shot to do this,” she says. “It’s not like you can go out and put a stake in the ground and claim a brand position and redo your on-air look every two years.”
Lifetime experienced year-over-year ratings declines in 2011, but there are signs of recovery, with the recently wrapped second season of Dance Moms climbing 85 percent compared with season one and the April premiere of Client List giving the network its best series bow since 2009’s Drop Dead Diva.
The rebrand is the next step in Lifetime’s bid to shed its image as the home of maudlin made-for-TV movies, a plan that includes new projects from Queen Latifah (the upcoming reboot of Steel Magnolias) and Bristol Palin (whose reality show bows in June) as well as big names working behind the camera, including Demi Moore (executive producer of The Conversation With Amanda de Cadenet), Courteney Cox (starring in and directing Tall Hot Blonde) and Renee Zellweger (executive producer of Cinnamon Girl). Network research found that a majority of women polled cited demands on their time as among the top stressors in their daily lives.
The tagline immediately spoke to the Lifetime marketing team, especially the women.
“I like to call it the hair-on-fire moment,” says Dubuc, a 43-year-old married mom who is raising two young children while running several cable networks. “The reaction among the women was really quite profound. It spoke to everyone. But it meant something different to every woman at the table, which to me was the perfect answer. Now, many of the men looked at their watches. We all said, ‘You’re missing the point, boys!’ “
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