Fox Intl. Channels will roll out a massive rebranding campaign for 126 of its Fox-branded outlets tied to the return of “The Walking Dead” on Feb. 8.
The goal is to unify the look and feel of all the entertainment channels, emphasizing the association with Fox’s Hollywood roots and the fact that the channels are major players in showcasing top-tier U.S. series — hence the tagline “The best first.” Fox channels in the FIC group have carried “Walking Dead” on a near day-and-date basis with AMC since the show’s debut, driving much of the global success of the zombie drama.
The Fox channels in question reach some 244 million households in 126 countries and 33 languages. FIC is looking to harness the group’s unmatched global reach to give it an advantage with content and distribution deals. As part of the rebranding, FIC is consolidating the Facebook pages of the Fox-branded outlets into a central hub with about 17 million fans at the outset.
Because the various channels all launched at different times — starting more than 20 years ago in Latin American and Japan — the branding and on-air graphics have varied widely from market to market. Turning Fox into a clearly identifiable global entertainment brand is a priority for parent company 21st Century Fox, which is increasingly looking to international markets to drive overall growth.
FIC prexy-CEO Hernan Lopez said inspiration for the effort came in part from the success that Nike has had turning its swoosh logo into a global icon. FIC’s chief marketing officer, Liz Dolan, was formerly CMO of Nike.
“We want to communicates that these channels are the place for big event television — the kind of big, loud, ground-breaking original series that Fox is known for,” Lopez said.
Dolan noted that branding is vital at a time when distribution platforms are changing dramatically across the world.
“In order for the Fox brand to stay relevant no matter how the distribution landscape changes, we need to stand for very specific values with our viewers,” Dolan said.