Food Network has positioned its programming as both surprising and entertaining through an on-air graphics and promotion effort that launched last week.
A second phase, Food's off-channel paid advertising campaign, will break in April, via its just-appointed ad agency, Margeottes Fertitta & Partners.
The initial value of the promotional salvo will approach $1 million, industry sources estimated, while the paid ad campaign is budgeted at more than $5 million. Food executives declined to comment on those figures last week.
The series of promos stresses that Food viewers "can always be surprised by the variety of things we do with food," said vice president of marketing Adam Rockmore.
It's a further play on Food's four-year-old effort to take its primetime fare out of the kitchen and reposition itself as a lifestyle network.
The redesigned on-air effort consists of a reworked logo and more colorful, food-inspired IDs and graphics from Troika Design Group. One ID shows an ear of corn getting husked as "stripper" music plays; another shows a chicken about to be cooked with the accompanying voiceover, "You're gonna fry for this!"
The image spots, coproduced by the channel and Hungry Man Productions, aspire to be surprising and to call attention to the originality of Food's programming. Theme copy reads, "Made Fresh Daily."
One promotional spot opens with people feeding pigeons from a park bench. It then segues to a man seated on a bench, tossing pieces of shrimp to people in a similar fashion.
Food's logo then appears inside a shrimp cocktail bowl as a narrator intones, "Food lovers are made fresh daily."
Other promo spots are more directly tied in with Food's programming. One, which plays off ABC's Wide World of Sports, describes its fare as "spanning the globe, the thrill of the grill and the agony of the pastry."
The "pop culture made fresh daily" spot is keyed to the trivia and pop culture information featured in the series Unwrapped. It opens by stating that the average American eats 64 pounds of sugar per year. It then features quick cuts from commercials, including the California Raisins; M&Ms; Tony the Tiger touting Kellogg's Frosted Flakes; a vintage black-and-white ad featuring the Campbell's Soup Kids; and Mary Lou Retton for Wheaties.
The spot closes with the line, "It's just darn entertaining."