Solving the paradoxes of media brands with Lee Hunt

MUMBAI: Taglines can be very strong only if used effectively, said Lee Hunt president and founder Lee Hunt, while speaking at the PromaxBDA conference.

Citing the example of Nike’s Just do it, Hunt said though this tagline belonged to a different age, it was done intelligently and, hence, the relevance stays across generations.
Although Discovery channel’s ‘Explore your world‘ was promoted very aggressively by the channel, it didn’t really have a very powerful recall proposition. The reason for this was that the tagline talked about a very broad thing. "Taglines should be more specific,” Hunt said.

The brand is the perception that exists in people’s mind; it is a set of expectations that the consumer has with the product and a shortcut to understand why the product is better than its competitors.

A successful brand needs to do three things - define the asset, differentiate from competition and establish relevance to the consumer.

Hunt went on to talk about the crux of branding, which he referred to as the "Four Paradoxes of Media Brands".
The media brands need to expand, contract and stay the same - all at the same time.

Citing the example of USA Network, Hunt said the challenge for them was finding a single idea that could cover the channel’s diverse programming (syndicated dramas, Wimbledon, WWE wrestling, original comedies) while still staying away from the competitors; they zeroed in on characters for this. With the tagline, “characters welcome”, the channel brought the brand under one umbrella and laid the foundation of connecting their characters with the viewers.

"Be different things to different people, on different platforms, yet stand for one thing," Hunt said.

Again citing the example of USA Network, he showed a spot that had people from various backgrounds, including sports, talking about one topic drama. "Be Fresh, Evolve yet be Consistent and Reliable," he explained.

TNT is an example of how the channel used the idea “drama” and evolved not only the look and feel of their on-air promotions but also the use of their tagline.

When they launched their “we know drama” focus 10 years ago, the social landscape was different. The audience expected little more than interesting stories from channels. Now with a more “me”-centric, interactive society, the audience needed to be engaged.

The audience are no more just consumers, but users of TV, sensing the change, TNT changed their tagline subtly from merely “we know drama” (which is focused on the channel not the viewer) to a series of lines like, “we know drama inspires”, “we know drama captivates” etc. with the implication of “you” at the end.

And the paradoxes continue in our futures…

As consumers get more choices, there are more ways to sync those into one device or portal; mobile vs 3D – the screens are getting smaller in our hands, yet bigger in our living rooms; narrowcasting versus broadcasting – niche marketers have the reach of global audiences and iTunes in a world of YouTube – professional rights managed and restricted entertainment against free and viral.

Hunt concluded with the three steps a brand needed to take: New brand promise, which evolves into Established brand promise and finally morphs into Sustained brand p

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