Food Network bastes its brand for 20th anni year
Logo refresh, image campaign to emphasize growing range of shows
By Cynthia Littleton
Coming off a banner perf in 2012, Food Network on Sunday will unveil its first on-air branding changes since 1997 as the Scripps Network Interactive cabler prepares to celebrate its 20th anniversary this year.
The redesign that will appear on-air starting at 7 a.m. ET brings only modest changes to the cabler's familiar plate-shaped logo. But the new graphic elements and image campaign that will roll out throughout 2013 are designed to reinforce to viewers how much Food Network has expanded the boundaries of foodie TV far beyond how-to cooking shows.
"We are upping the ante on new series development and exploration of the food world," said Susie Fogelson, senior veep of marketing and brand strategy for Food Network and its sibling Cooking Channel. "We're not going to do a show where you'd say 'Why is that on Food Network' But we want to keep exploring the food world in unexpected ways. The idea is to push envelope on what is food programming -- making it unexpected yet relevant."
Food Network logged its most watched year ever in 2012 with an average of 1.1 million viewers in primetime, including 583,000 in its target adults 25-54 demo. The cabler's aud has been buoyed by strong results from a mix of specials and limited run series as well as regular staples like "Chopped," "Restaurant Impossible" and "Iron Chef America."
Of course, Food Network's biggest brand assets are the many celeb chefs it has helped groom. No cabler does a better job of keeping its stars front and center by cycling its stars through numerous skeins year-round, from docu series to competition shows as either contestants or judges. It also has a well-trafficked website and monthly magazine.
Among the rising Food Network stars getting a big push in the first quarter will be Anne Burrell. She is set to topline her own competish series, "Chef Wanted," and will be featured as a coach competing against Bobby Flay in "Worst Cooks in America."
Food Network marks its 20th anniversary in November. As its programming slate expanded during the past few years, Scripps Network Interactive launched the Cooking Channel spinoff in 2010 to feature more of the traditional cooking-centric programming.