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Fox Kids invests millions in global icons

When executives at Fox Kids decided to develop a new global branding package, they didn't know what they were in for. The package not only had to be fun, visually arresting and embody the Fox Kids vision, but it also had...
September 1, 1999

When executives at Fox Kids decided to develop a new global branding package, they didn’t know what they were in for. The package not only had to be fun, visually arresting and embody the Fox Kids vision, but it also had to break through language barriers and work within the diverse cultures of regions from Spain to Scandinavia.

The solution? A whole new language.

Fox, working with New York-based Lee Hunt Associates, came up with an icon-based tool kit, with hieroglyphic-like symbols representing different dayparts, features and other information previously spelled out with text.

This tool kit will be used for everything from on-air branding (menus, bugs, IDs), to marketing (off-channel TV advertising, print ads, promotions), to the Fox Web sites and magazines, to business cards and stationery. The new look, which is reminiscent of icon-driven video games and Web sites, will debut on Fox Kids in the U.S. starting September 11, and roll out across international Fox Kids channels and branded blocks over the next year.

Maureen Smith, GM of Fox Kids Network, says the package was developed over the last year and a half with major input from Ynon Kreiz, president of Fox Kids Europe, and executives in other local markets. ‘We wanted to give them all the various elements, so that creative teams at each channel could then play with the package, put their creative minds behind it, and adapt it to what works best in that region of the world.’

The investment of ‘several million dollars’ in the package will pay off, says Smith, by drawing in more viewers as well as reaping economy-of-scale savings through repurposing marketing and branding material worldwide.

More than that, the package was created with brand licensing in mind. ‘The branding was designed to have some sense of collectibility to it,’ says Smith. ‘Kids are into collectibles, be it baseball cards or Pokémon cards. I could certainly see the icons working with some sort of trading cards, or with our Fox Kids magazine having collectible pages with various elements on them.’ The package’s universality would yet again reap savings in the licensing arena, Smith adds, with the network able to sell the exact same T-shirts, for example, in the U.S. and Europe.

Smith says that Fox Family Worldwide executive VP of consumer products and promotions Elie Dekel will be unveiling a pumped-up brand licensing program based on the new look within the year.

With files from Andrea Haman

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