Products don’t just give you the product but it really is offering the consumer an experience that comes with a certain product. Branding is a way of trying to sell you an experience all while advertising the product that comes with it. When you think of good branding you think of ESPN and their overly masculine voice that tells you exactly what it is; a sports network. Men are typically more into sports than women so it makes complete sense that this network would brand their network, or product, with a masculine voice over and bold capital letters. Another great way of branding is the Disney logo that you see in front of every disney film you see. The branding focuses on a magical castle with a fairy flying by right over it, notifying the consumers that whatever they are about to watch will be fantastical, magical, and, overall, kid friendly. These are prime examples of branding that look at certain demographics that help place them as some of the most consumed media products on the market. However, while these are at the top of the food chain when it comes to their product and when I really thought about it, these products of media have easily been duplicated. For instance, there are plenty of other great kids and sports networks that have copied and mimicked exactly what ESPN and Disney have done. Just think of Nickelodeon or Fox Sports, these products have doubles that attract a similar, if not the same audience that could take away time from their networks due to similar branding. So, I tried to figure out and think of a network television program that has not been mimicked that also has just as good of branding as the top dogs of network branding. I immediately thought of a network that helped showcase a new network that was showing something new to customers. The network that I almost immediately responded with was a channel I watched almost everyday when I was a kid was; Boomerang.
Now this network is not offered on every cable package, however, I was able to watch it nonstop. This means that not everyone was able to watch it and would have to pay extra for it meaning that it was unlikely for lower class households to have this channel. The network is owned and run by Cartoon Network and serves as an extension of their similar cartoon programing. But, here is the catch, the network only shows old shows that have finished their televised releases and are no longer producing new seasons for kids to enjoy on Cartoon Network. Now this might sound like the same thing as Cartoon Network, and it is to some extent, but it is not just for kids. I did not find this network on cable when I was a kid by just scrolling through all of the channels, my father actually bought the package that packaged this nostalgic network because he loved all the cartoons that were being televised on Boomerang as a kid. The the offers everything from old re-runs of The Jetsons all the way to more contemporary cartoons like Johnny Bravo. So, there was a clear reasoning for my father to purchase this channel that offered everything from the likes of what he loved to watch as a kid and what I had been watching too, all while gaining the love and respect for the shows that he watched when he was little. However, while it was a network centered around cartoons, Boomerang was definitely branded more for adults wishing to relive their childhood days and introduce their kids to the shows they grew up on. I could never pick up the phone and order to have the network appear on my television, my father had to make that happen, unlike the basic cable cartoon channels that everyone knows about but always has an ever changing list of the cartoon programs they are running. With Boomerang, the network branded their network around nostalgia. The commercials for the network would revolve around showcasing the many different characters from older cartoons from the ’70’s and ’80’s and would brand themselves as Boomerang before a goofy voice over of a man would say “it’s all coming back to you.”
The network, however, did not always have their own channel. Like I said before, it is owned by Cartoon Network, a very prominent network for kids, and originally ran as a block of older cartoons every Saturday for a few hours or so. It was not until the new millennium did the program get its own network within premium cable packaging. Even in its 16 year run as its own channel, the network had a massive branding overhaul just last year. Branding magazine reported last year that the network had hired the company Arts and Grafts to help reinvent the look of the network “to create a design that would be attractive to kids and their parents” (“Cartoon Network’s Boomerang Gets a New Colorful Design”, 2015). A similar article reported on the change as well remarking how the similarly nostalgic, but not cartoon, network, TV Land had gotten a similar overhaul that made it look more contemporary. The re-branding of the Boomerang logo even showcases its relationship with its parent network, Cartoon Network, by creating a similar logo that uses the same color coordination, all while appealing to adults with the same nostalgic characters they know. Although, within recent years, the network has been adding more and more shows to its ever growing roster of cartoons, creating more of a demand for the growing generations who want to see their favorite old cartoons back on television. This creates a much larger demographic for their nostalgia related cartoon channel that allows for more and more viewers everyday. The only thing stopping people from getting this channel would have to be for monetary purposes, however it is something that someone of all ages from age 50 and down could enjoy since it showcases many of the off air cartoons like Tom and Jerry, Batman the animated series, The Flintsones, Jonny Quest, Garfield, Animaniacs, Courage the Cowardly Dog, and even newer shows that have only been off the air for a few years like Teen Titans Go and Chowder. It is the best network on television if you want to introduce your child to some classic cartoons or even if you and some friends want to relive what you consider the glory days for cartoon programming and watch some of your favorite shows growing up. Its branding is meticulously creative in creating something that could be consumed by anyone within a 50 year gap, I’d say that is impressive.