Re-Positioning Comedy Central for Greater Purpose

February 23, 2016 | Christophe Fauconnier

Comedy Central is one of the channels of the MTV group. The essence of Comedy Central is about, well, comedy of course! And they kept claiming they’ve got comedy. But when we discussed this with the team, they were hardly laughing. They felt Comedy Central had become a disconnected collection of so-called funny shows.

Somehow the channel lacked spirit. Advertising sales were not good, confirming there was an issue. The team wanted help to rebuild the brand Comedy Central in a way that made more sense. more human and business. So we explored with the team how comedy fits into people’s lives and how Comedy Central could unlock more meaningful growth by standing up for something people and the brand dare to care for. They moved their positioning from “we’ve got comedy” to “unlocking the power of humour” and this is the film that they used to manifest their positioning.

It resulted in a greater pride from the people working on the brand, and it also generated more revenues from advertisers who identified with the purpose of the brand and they wanted to be part their brand or company to be part of this journey. Many years later Bono from U2 was advocating the same purpose.

The musician and co-founder of the anti-poverty ONE campaign was on Capitol Hill to call for more aid to the Middle East as a way to address the root causes of terror in the region. During the speech, Bono made the point that violent regimes of the past tried to silence artists who poked fun at them. “It’s like, you speak violence, you speak their language. But you laugh at them when they are goose-stepping down the street and it takes away their power,” he said. “So I am suggesting that the Senate send in Amy Schumer and Chris Rock and Sacha Baron Cohen.”

For more on Bono’s testimony see this article in the Huffington Post.



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