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3News: It should be about the content, not the branding

25 Jan 16

TV3 are at it again. After parting ways with John Campbell and attracting the ire of New Zealanders, TV3 is undergoing another re-brand, transitioning away from the existing 3News brand to 'NewsHub'.

The new brand appears to be about adopting an integrated approach to news, which could see TV3 combining their TV news with their radio assets and online content.

While this sounds like a logical move as TV3 seek the upper hand in the ultra-competitive current affairs rating wars, there's one thing I might be missing.

Is it just me or this obsession with the medium rather than the content an unhealthy thing? Without good content and an enduring connection with viewers it doesn’t matter what brand or broadcast medium gets used - as the old saying goes, a turd rolled in glitter is still a turd.

This isn’t to say that the medium used to connect with an audience isn't important. Understanding the demographics and dynamics underpinning each medium is also vital.

For instance, more conservative viewers tend to watch or listen to the news via radio or TV while digital media is more the domain of a younger demographic.  

These days advertisers and marketers seem obsessed with targeting younger digital natives. The fact that the older, more conservative demographic is more affluent (and dare I say it, loyal) seems besides the point.

Cracking this nut is the key to attracting viewers which will, in turn, bring in advertisers and help make TV3 a more profitable operation.

And this isn’t an easy task. Will an integrated news room and their re-branded 'NewsHub' news do the trick? I doubt it.

Because branding and marketing verbiage is overrated. It often takes precedence over not-so-inconsiderable issue of building a relationship with viewers.

Say what you want about John Campbell, but he had a hard-core following that were very loyal. Branding wont achieve the same effect (remember that turd rolled in glitter?).

Belinda Todd and the quirky, irreverent stories of TV3's early Nightline resonated with viewers/listeners/readers who were tired of the state broadcaster’s stodgy style. Achieving this again is going to be critical if TV3 want to bring an audience back and lift its ratings.

It won’t be an easy task and it won’t happen overnight, but it makes more sense than TV3s current strategy, which consists of treating viewers/listeners/readers as marketing led sheep.

So, how about it TV3? 

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