A&E Networks seeks to woo female audiences with Lifetime launch

A&E Networks is preparing the UK debut of its female-orientated channel Lifetime, including a 12 month tie-up with watch manufacturer Citizen Watch, as the pair attempt to woo females aged 25-44 years old.

The launch of the Lifetime brand, which dates back to the 1980s in the US, involves a major 12-month push, including the “full brand integration” between the manufacturer and broadcaster across all of Lifetime’s media space.

Lifetime represents the first time A&E Networks UK, a joint venture between A+E Networks and BSkyB and more commonly associated with its Bio and History Channels here, has concentrated its efforts on female audiences, according to Anna Priest, A&E Networks’ VP of marcomms,

She also notes the tie-up with Citizen Watch marks the manufacturer’s first attempt to position itself as a brand of choice among the same female demographic.

This tie-up came after the broadcaster identified five young female audiences: Sharing, Multi-tasking, Aspiring, Responsible, Technophiles – or ‘S.M.A.R.T.’ – as a primary target demographic it had yet to tap into.

Priest adds: “Our brand is female-centric [and targeted towards this age bracket] but we don’t want to exclude any one. We know that these women love to watch TV with their partners.”

Promotional activity in the run-up to the campaign will include a double-page spread (DPS) promotional piece in this week’s edition of Grazia magazine, plus inserts in the Mail On Sunday’s Event supplement.

This will be followed up by multiple homepage takeovers on MailOnline, specifically its FeMail section, beginning Monday (4 November) – the date the channel officially switches on with its flagship British TV show ’The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet’.

Wrap advertising on Monday’s issue of commuter-focused freesheet Metro will also follow on from broadcast ad “hero spots” during this weekend’s episode of Homeland.

Additional on-air ad slots will run across free-to-air TV channels, plus paid-for TV channels on Sky.

“The aim is to get 85 per cent of women aged 25-44 years old to see them [ads and PR material] before the launch,” explains Priest.

Promotional is set to run for four weeks in the initial phase of the campaign, with creative content showcasing much of Lifetime’s US content, including drama specials featuring Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor, The Client List starring Jennifer Love-Hewitt and Steel Magnolias starring Queen Latifah.

However, Priest also hints at follow-up activity to come in the New Year, once TV viewing habits return to normal after the Christmas Holiday season.

 She says: “Christmas is a funny time… Coming back strong in the New Year will be important.” 

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