Here’s a little follow-up to my recent Visual Thesaurus column about the meanings of “classic” in branding lingo. (Access to the column is still restricted to subscribers, but you can read an excerpt here.)
In today’s New York Times, advertising columnist Stuart Elliott reports that Turner Classic Movies – one of the “classics” I wrote about – is stepping up its marketing efforts, starting with a subtly redesigned logo.
As Turner, a division of Time Warner, pursues its experiential strategy for TCM, it counterintuitively is not playing down the “Classic” in the channel’s brand identity to appeal to younger consumers. Indeed, after the recent graphics redesign, the word “Classic” “has been accentuated,” [TCM general manager Jeff] Gregor said, and now appears in boldface, with “Turner” and “Movies” remaining in regular type.
Although research has found that two-thirds of the channel’s estimated 62 million viewers each month are ages 18 to 49, Gregor said that “ ‘Classic’ is not a negative in any way,” because viewers deem TCM to be “more a mind-set than an age,” providing “context and curation” for the films it presents.
(What is it about “Classic” and Atlanta? In 1985, another mainstay of the city’s business landscape, the Coca-Cola Company, added the word to the brand name of its flagship soft drink, Coca-Cola, and removed it in 2009.)
Also, what is it about “curation”? I’ve been writing about this pretentious word and its derivatives for years now, and even included “curate” in not one but two Words of the Year lists (2009 and 2011), which should have been the kiss of death. But apparently there is no cure for the curating fad.