A cable channel that has been a major success story is about to go away. “One of the most successful cable channels of the last decade, ABC Family, will get a new name and undergo a radical rebranding as it stops chasing millennials and pushes toward even younger viewers it calls ‘becomers,'” The New York Times reports.
ABC Family will become known as Freeform beginning in January. The Times notes that the name beat out another contender, “Ink.”
“Freeform,” the story notes, “reflects the ‘fluid’ way that teenagers and young adults — now and tomorrow — consume media, said Tom Ascheim, the channel’s president.”
In a phone interview, Ascheim commented on the channel’s traditional target audience of millennials, telling the paper: “We looked up from our research and said, ‘Oh, golly. They’re turning 40.’ ” The report notes that ABC Family sells advertising aimed mainly at the 18-34 demo.
“Freeform, which was announced on Tuesday, does not yet have a logo, but early marketing materials veer sharply away from the restrained imagery that ABC Family has long used,” the story reports. “A Facebook video created to introduce the new name and look, for instance, relies on a rapid patchwork of fonts and images — appearing much more like MTV than Disney.”
Ascheim commented: “There is a brand opening in the house of Disney, between the kids brands [and] the bigger adult brands.”
Here’s the clip announcing the rebranding: