Blue Ant Media to rebrand Bite

Comedy brand looks for the middle ground to develop audiences

Comedy brand looks for the middle ground to develop audiences

The Inbetweeners

Blue Ant Media plans to unveil a new brand identity for its comedy-oriented flagship brand – Bite.

Set to debut in early October and roll out throughout the fall, the rebrand is intended to reflect both Bite’s increased appeal among males 18-34 and a growing female audience that is being driven by co-viewing occasions, said Jennifer Mason, Blue Ant’s director of marketing and communications.

The refresh, which Mason said is still a work in progress, will include new on-air IDs, interstitials and a refreshed Bite.ca. “The point is to evolve the brand,” said Mason. “You’re not going to see a complete overhaul. We’ve definitely built some equity.”

The rebranding work is being done by Toronto consultancy AmoebaCorp.

Bite launched in 2005, trying to be a raw, edgy channel appealing primarily to the YouTube generation. But Mason said that a 2010 refresh that included bringing in cult favourites like Arrested Development and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – as well as movies like Dodgeball – helped broaden its appeal.

“We’ve really softened it up with the current look and feel to be more broadly appealing, but what we’re trying to do is get that back in middle – not too edgy, but not so vanilla that we don’t attract our own audience,” she said.

“We saw we were attracting this young male audience. It’s an attractive demo for advertisers, so the purpose of the rebrand is to align the look, the attitude and the tone of the brand to further grow that target,” said Mason. “People are finding it and sticking with it.”

Bite – which was purchased by Michael MacMillan’s Blue Ant Media in April 2011 – positions itself internally as “the source for popular cult comedy favourites including sitcoms, stand-up and sketch series, and movies.”

According to Q3 BBM ratings for males 18-34, Bite is currently ranked 20th among digital specialty channels with an average minute audience of 700. It is ranked 27th among specialties

Bite is also planning a national consumer campaign in support of its new fall programming, which includes the British series The Inbetweeners (pictured above) and the sketch comedy show Blue Collar TV. The campaign will feature TV, online, mobile and print elements, said Blue Ant.

The rebrand is timed to coincide with a two-month free preview that will open up Bite to almost 8 million homes beginning in October.

Bite generated $1.1 million in revenues in 2011 according to CRTC data. That represented a 32.1% increase over the previous year – when revenues dropped 21.7% to $840,576.

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