It feels like part of our family is changing! The ABC Family Channel has announced that it will change its name in 2016 to something a little more, well, Freeform. Dropping the 'Family' bit comes as a bit of a shock, as it has been part of part of the channel's name since 1988 and through many different iterations. Freeform feels less familiar (no pun intended) but suggests that our favourite shows might be taking a different shape in the future.
It seems that loyal viewers of ABC Family shows had positive associations with the channel's name, but those in their target demographic who didn't already love one of their programmes were put off by the word 'Family'. It led them to believe that everything on the channel was directed at whole families -- meaning that it was all wholesome and, to be honest, boring. ABC Family president Tom Ascheim said of the change:
For the last 10-to-12 years, we’ve been targeting young people, Millennnials, and then something happened. Millennials started getting older. The oldest ones are nearly 40. So do we follow Millennials or stay with the ‘life stage’ that got us here?
He's got a point there. I am not ashamed to binge Pretty Little Liars or The Fosters despite not exactly fitting into the obvious demographic for these shows. Ascheim continued:
That’s the nub of why we’re changing our name. Like any growing business, we want to keep our core customers satisfied, but also add new ones -- and they had a cliched sense of who we are. The word ‘Family’ sounds overly loud to their ears and that makes it a barrier to them coming into our ecosystem.
I don't know about you, but, every time I look at the new logos, I see flashes of the FreeFrom aisles in supermarkets! Maybe that's just little ol' gluten-free me.
What do you think about the new name? Check out the new Freeform promo video below, and then let us know if you love it, hate it, or just think it'll take a while to grow on you!