News

Oxygen Models a New Look

4/26/2008 2:00 AM Eastern

Nearly five months after acquiring the women’s network, NBC Universal is putting its stamp on Oxygen, rebranding the women’s service with a new logo — a big, bright-yellow “O” — and a new tagline.

Oxygen officials unveiled the logo and “Live Out Loud” tagline last week at a press upfront breakfast, a gathering that NBCU president Jeff Zucker attended.

Oxygen also described its 2008 programming plans, which include: original programming Tuesday night around the year, “Seamless Tuesdays”; The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency’s return, in August, for a fourth season; and a reality show in development called Dance Your Ass Off.

The women’s network — emphasizing its role as an entertainment destination for younger females, “Generation O” — will roll out its new look across all its platforms, linear and digital, in June.

The change will be promoted to ad agencies starting in May with a national multiplatform marketing campaign that will include outdoor media, ads on subways and phone kiosks, and print in advertising trade magazine, Oxygen general manager Jason Klarman said.

The logo is a large yellow “O,” slightly askew, with the “Oxygen” across its center.

The goal was “kind of moving the idea of a women’s network out of the idea of the pink pastel ghetto and moving it into a vibrant sense of rich color,” Klarman told reporters.

Oxygen officials touted the network’s ratings gains in the first quarter. In primetime, Oxygen averaged a 0.4 household rating, a 33% gain from the prior year, according to a Disney-ABC Television Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research data. But officials said they were looking to better define what Oxygen stands for as a network.

“We had to redefine the brand,” said Lauren Zalaznick, president of Oxygen Media and Bravo Media. “Externally, we had to find a new way to claim a piece of the women-focused cable landscape.”

Klarman noted that even though viewers might be fans of a show like The Bad Girls Club, “They didn’t have a connection between the shows and the brand.”

Overall, he said, Oxygen “really needed to move beyond the idea of hit shows and really embrace the idea of creating a hit brand.”

Research found that Oxygen’s audience, tagged “Generation O,” are “trenders,” “spenders” and “recommenders,” on the cutting edge of fashion, rabid shoppers and purchasing-decision influencers, Klarman said.

Oxygen’s new senior vice president of original programming and development, Amy Introcaso-Davis, said the network will offer a new show or episode every Tuesday night at 10 p.m. for the rest of the year starting June 17, when Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood returns.

That reality series, featuring Tori Spelling and husband Dean McDermott, has moved from their country inn to Hollywood for its third season. The program has also been expanded to an hour.

Hip-hop star Coolio will be the center of a reality show that airs later this year, Coolio’s Rules, about him raising his kids as a single father.

Introcaso-Davis said Oxygen has three shows in development, including Dance Your Ass Off, which seems to be a combination of The Biggest Loser and Dancing with the Stars.

“Each episode culminates in a weigh in and a dance off,” Introcaso-Davis said.

As part of its multiplatform strategy, “Oxygen Everywhere,” the network will relaunch its Web site in June and will debut a broadband channel, O2.oxygen.com, where users will be able to watch exclusive video such as show outtakes and Webisodes. Oxygen will also be offering its first wireless application protocol (WAP) site, at wap.oxygen.com, where users can access Oxygen content on their mobile phones.

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