E! Gets New Look in Time for Oscars


E! Entertainment Television was set to unveil a new on-air look on March 10. To accompany its bolder personality, the programmer also introduced a new tagline, "Enjoy the Show!"

"March is our big month," E! Networks senior vice president of marketing and brand director Gavin Harvey said last week. "We get lots of viewership during awards season."

The new look was set to debut late on the afternoon of March 10, just prior to the onset of E!'s coverage of the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Introducing the new brand packaging "two weeks before the Academy Awards gives people a chance to get used to our new look," Harvey said.

The new look and tagline were the result of one year of "soul searching," in the form of qualitative and quantitative research by the network's marketing team and by outside agencies.

Viewers told the network, " 'We like you when you're bold,'" Harvey noted.

To help create such an on-air personality, E! started with the color palette. It mixed the bright red of the red carpet, the black of black-tie events and silver and gold accents borrowed from awards and trophies.

On-air spots will also incorporate creative use of light to remind viewers of spotlights and flashing cameras.

"The use of light is becoming a signature grammar for us," Harvey said.

The move to more sophisticated colors represents a shift in the network's positioning, from an attention-grabber in its growing days, to one that reflects the personality of a brand leader, said Harvey.

The new color palette will carry over to the E! Web site.

E! plans to back its new on-air and online look with a promotional campaign, which will include outdoor advertising and print ads in consumer publications on fashion and entertainment — designed to reinforce the network's position as a celebrity insider.

"We'll get the A-list [celebrities] to do the talking for us," Harvey said.

Celebrities quoted on billboards and in TV spots will include actress Drew Barrymore, actor Ben Affleck and Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler.

The search for a new tag line was not a casual endeavor.

"We went through a comprehensive exploration of hundreds of taglines," Harvey said. "We wanted to come up with a tagline that speaks to what we stand for."

The network's goal: To marry the tagline with the emotions people feel for the entertainment category, she said.

"Do you recall the passion associated with fans screaming about The Beatles?" Harvey asked. People still have that."