Today, Animal Planet announced its new network campaign and tagline, “Animal Planet. Surprisingly Human.” It continues the brand transformation begun in 2008, to try to get us to forget that it was once best known as the home of the Mario Lopez-hosted Pet Star. (I’m paraphrasing. The network prefers the wording, “Animal Planet is not only about animals…it’s about people…and real compelling human stories made more intense, more fun, more frightening, more alive and more entertaining because of the world we share with animals.”)
The transformation — which, according to the network, has produced 25 months of continuous ratings growth and a seven-year drop in median age in just two years — has obviously been successful. So I’m just nitpicking when I point out that on the new poster for its top-rated series River Monsters (pictured), KILLER FISH is written way too large for it to convince me that it’s not a little bit about KILLER FISH. And that’s okay. It’s KILLER FISH. The network isn’t planning on dressing up SmartCars in NYC the week of the show’s April 25 season 2 premiere as extreme angler Jeremy Wade. They’re gonna be “piranha-themed!” (Enthusiasm totally genuine, by the way. I enjoy seeing a vehicle made to look like an animal. My favorite being when the PBR, Professional Bull Riders, turn cabs into bulls. Makes the walk to work so much more interesting.)
Watch the video promo for the new campaign, featuring River Monsters, Pit Boss, and Whale Wars, below. (Spots will soon air during American Idol, Lost, Survivor, and Dancing With the Stars.) Are you a fan of Animal Planet’s new direction?