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Bravo Launches Brand Campaign to End Reality TV’s ‘Guilty Pleasure’ Stigma (EXCLUSIVE)

Bravo is embarking on a new brand campaign that aims to banish the idea that reality TV is a “guilty pleasure.”

The goal of the campaign is to celebrate Bravo’s existing fanbase while also attracting more casual viewers — whom Bravo calls “should-be” viewers — into becoming full-fledged fans. That message will be delivered through video spots airing both on- and off-network as well as on digital platforms and across Bravo’s social media accounts.

The push comes from the network’s own research, which showed that while 15 of the 20 highest rated shows on cable so far in 2018 are reality programs, many viewers are reluctant to share their passion for such shows.

“The ratings show that viewers are devouring this kind of content, but getting fans to disclose their true viewing habits and love for the genre was both a challenge and an ‘aha’ moment,” says Dave Kaplan, senior vice president of strategic insights and research for NBCU Lifestyle Networks. “The truth is the shows people evangelize at cocktail parties are not necessarily the ones they’re actually watching the most.”

The research also showed a growing desire for escapism through entertainment, with the top reasons many respondents said they wanted to watch a show are to relax and cheer themselves up. Thus, part of the campaign will seek to frame Bravo as escapist while also taking the guilt out of “guilty pleasure” shows.

Among the new video spots Bravo is rolling out is the TV Head campaign, which begins airing Sept. 10. The ads showcase people dealing with having a TV for a head, with the TV always set to air Bravo shows.

“These TV Head spots target our casual and ‘should-be’ viewers in a funny and memorable way,” said Amy Troiano, Bravo’s senior vice president of creative and brand strategy. “They showcase the wide scope of our programming, the passion of our fanbase and the stickiness of our content.”

Bravo then partnered with NowThis, the digital media company that distributes content primarily via mobile and social media, to target casual and non-viewers with a series of testimonials.

“We’ve partnered with NowThis to showcase real fans with demanding professions who come to Bravo for their everyday escape,” said Maria DeLuca, senior vice president of consumer marketing at Bravo. “In testimonial style videos, this diverse group of viewers tell the camera the roll Bravo plays in their daily lives.”

Finally, in celebration of their most die-hard fans, Bravo began rolling out spots for the Bravo Fan Friday campaign in August. Some of the spots feature fans getting a surprise face-to-face meeting the stars of various Bravo shows, while others document fans as they gush over their favorite series.

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