Two-year-old SoapNet plans to scrub up its image with a new on-air look, set to launch June 9.
The bold new logo and interstitials are more closely aligned with the channel's audience than those developed prior to SoapNet's launch, said general manager Deborah Blackwell.
"We wanted to be more contemporary in our look," Blackwell said, especially after research determined that SoapNet's viewers were much younger than the typical daytime drama crowd.
The new design showcases sophisticated graphics and colors in an effort to attract a more upscale crowd of working women — and men — who use SoapNet to time-shift the dramas they may have started watching in their teens. The network is now carried in about 23.8 million homes.
The greatest challenge in creating the new look was to remain respectful of the most passionate soap fans, but to also be inclusive of more occasional and even lapsed viewers, vice president of marketing Sherri York said.
"We wanted a look that was female-friendly but that didn't exclude males," Blackwell said.
According to research, about 15 to 20 percent of SoapNet's viewership is male.
The reds and oranges in the new color palette speak of drama and passion and warmth, Blackwell said. Consumer research told her soap opera fans seek more than just romance from their daily serials, she added. They also expect to find suspense, scheming, treachery, intrigue and, well, lust from the genre.
The new logo won hands-down among focus group participants who were asked which design they would most like to wear on a T-shirt, Blackwell said.
The new look succeeds the soft pastels and hearts of the previous SoapNet logo, which has been replaced by a cleaner look that emphasizes "Soap." The "O" is used as a portal to the world of glamorous stars and drama, according to Blackwell.
For new on-air spots hyping the channel, SoapNet enlisted the help of 30 daytime stars, such as diva Susan Lucci, who will use their own words to tell the SoapNet story, York said.
Future marketing campaigns likely to hit later in the year will also emanate from focus group research results.
"The main thing we learned is how much the viewer really responds to the dramatic twists and turns," York said. "They really want to see what happens next."
Work on the new look commenced last June.
"It was my No. 1 priority," Blackwell said. Because the new initiative crosses marketing and programming lines, she added, it's hard to pinpoint an exact dollar figure. But the network spent more than $1 million on the new look, she noted.
New York-based ad agency PMCD Design helped to develop the logo and on-air creative.
The new logo and graphic redesign will also carry over to the network's Web site (www.soapnet.com).
Blackwell said the channel would continue to refine its on-air look over time.
"You never want it to be static," she said.