Women have long been the favorite targets of television networks, in part because traditional roles kept wives and mothers at home during more hours of the day when small screens first found their way into homes. While more women now work outside of their homes than ever before, they still remain far more likely than men to stay home with infants and young children.
But even more importantly—at least to advertisers—financial studies consistently find that women control the finances in the majority of family households in the US. It makes sense to talk to the person who holds the purse strings.
Obviously, male-targeted channels are fairly rare on basic cable and beyond, save for the testosterone-soaked ESPN and Speed Networks, and the somewhat more erratically-programmed Spike Network.
The History Channel has been quietly focusing on men for years, however, with programming grounded in military and war history (the genesis of the awkward nickname “The Hitler Channel,” for a while). More recently, the network shifted its focus to target an even younger male audience with a flood of reality programming –and even an updated, more straightforward name: “History.”
Unfortunately, this shift also caused some of History’s older—and more affluent—viewers to wander elsewhere. Until H2, that is.
H2 is a new offshoot channel where the kind of programs the History Channel used to show will be broadcast, along with the next generation of original programming designed to re-engage the network’s old (pun intended) audience—a group that remains a prime target for financial services and automotive advertisers. Interestingly enough, the approach seem to be working!
So what can we learn from H2? Read the rest of this entry »