March 16, 2007
That Brand Name Is So Punny
Earlier this year, the Fox News Channel released their version of The Daily Show. Entitled The Half Hour News Hour, Fox has made a bold brand promise to its viewers: Our humor is not cutting edge.
The show’s name hearkens back to the comedy stylings of S.J. Perelman and Robert Benchley, where puns and eponymous riffs were king. But that humor is over 60 years old, and audiences have, since then, refined their humor palate.
In other words: a joke for jokes’ sake just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Sadly the name of the show foretells the dated and, more so, desperate nature of The Half Hour News Hour’s content.
Not good, right? If you disagree and claim that I’m being too harsh, then take solace in the fact that I firmly believe The Half Hour News Hour will succeed.
How so? The answer is simple: the show is making good on the brand promise that its humor isn’t cutting edge, like I said before.
But so what? Fox News’s viewers aren’t the run-of-the-mill pseudo-intellectual, hipster crowd so embraced by The Daily Show or The Colbert Report.
The average audience, instead, is filled with meat-and-potatoes folks, who favor easy potshots over wit.
Barack Obama is black. Ha ha. Bill Clinton is a womanizer. Chuckle, chuckle. Howard Dean is (fill in epithet here). We get it.
And so do Fox’s viewers. And they can’t get enough of it!
Kudos to Fox News for abiding by one of the basic principles behind economics: supply and demand. Or more specifically: give the people what they want.
By giving its audience brain candy humor with predictable punch lines preceded by a product name that is as outdated as the Edsel, Fox News continues to increasingly reinforce its brand identity.
The channel will continue to succeed through its product diversification, outpacing its competitors due to its impenetrable brand.
Boiled down to simpler terms – you may disagree with their politics, but you have to admit: at least they stand for something.
And that’s where they’re cutting edge.
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