In an effort to keep its produce fresh, Food Network is changing its channel logo and rebranding its daytime cooking block, “In the Kitchen.”
The network logo, which has not been changed since 2005, will shift from being opaque to being translucent and will now overlay textures that symbolize the foundation for cooking creations—flames, embers, boiling water, ice, steam and light—or bold colors inspired by food—candy apple, tangerine, snow pea, blueberry and butter.
Food's instructional daytime fare is also getting a big makeover. The existing shows are all being tweaked: Rachael Ray got a new set on 30 Minute Meals, Sandra Lee is now cooking with home viewers on her Semi-Homemade, Paula Deen will cook more with her sons and other family members instead of alone on Paula's Best Dishes, and Ina Garten will help viewers throw cocktail parties, rather than just cook for her own friends and family, on Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics.
The block will also premiere a handful of new shows over third and fourth quarter, including Giada at Home, a new lifestyle/cooking series in which Giada De Laurentiis plans and prepares a meal or party for family and friends by going on location to buy ingredients, or talking about fashion trends.
While Food successfully increased its primetime ratings by swapping out purely cooking-based fare for food-inspired entertainment shows like Iron Chef America and Ace of Cakes, “In the Kitchen” has stagnated with flat ratings. The network's primetime viewing was up 13% during first quarter to 874,000 total viewers, but its total-day viewing was up just 5%.
In addition to sprucing up the daytime shows, the network is trying to increase excitement and reinvigorate interest around cooking in general. They're using spots designed to establish an emotional connection to the personalities as they reveal their individual motivation and inspiration for the power and joy of cooking.
“If food is the heart and soul of life, cooking is the heart and soul of food and we haven't taken our eye off the ball,” says Michael Smith, senior VP of marketing and brand strategy for Food Network. “Cooking is our foundation and the start of everything our brand does, and we wanted to make cooking cool again.”
The spots, in which key network talent including De Laurentiis explain what being “in the kitchen” means to them, end with the tagline “Something's Always Cooking” and are designed to create a family atmosphere between viewer and talent.