The curtain is ready to rise on a new movie specialty channel called Rewind.
It’s the newest specialty TV service operated by independent broadcaster Channel Zero.
Set to launch on December 1, the channel will be available on Rogers, Shaw, Telus, Cogeco, MTS, Videotron and other cable and telco partners (complete list available at WatchRewind.com).
Customers of these providers will receive a 60-day free preview ending January 31, 2013, and can subscribe as part of a movie-based theme pack.
Programmers say the new service will connect Generation X to the films they grew up watching, and so the schedule is dominated by film favourites from the 70s, 80s and 90s.
“Everything about Rewind is meant to take viewers back and evoke memories of their youth. The team’s passion for the era really helped drive our creative direction, which was spot on to the brand’s personality. From logo animations to station promos, the brand package was developed with unique insight, creativity and a lot of fun. On-air elements will continue to be revealed over the first quarter of the channel’s life, allowing viewers to create an emotional connection with Rewind,” said Jane Hicks, Manager, Creative Services & Sales Promotion, Channel Zero.
The evocation extends to a promotional campaign that seeks to recycle old VCRs that are deemed symbolic of the era.
Early in the New Year, in five of Canada’s largest cities, consumers will be invited to their local shopping mall to experience Rewind and have their VCRs properly recycled.
For every VCR turned in, the channel will donate $25, with a goal of raising $25,000 for World Wildlife Fund (WWF), in addition to ensuring VCRs head to a permanent and environmentally-responsible resting place. Consumers will also be able to enter to win a $2,000 cash prize to “Rewind” their holiday bills.
“Rewind’s sister station Silver Screen Classics, which features films from the 30s to the 60s, has seen great success,” said Jennifer Chen, VP Programming, Channel Zero. “Taking inspiration from it, the idea of launching a companion channel with films from the next three decades was born. We bounced the idea off of colleagues, family and friends who are in their 30s and 40s, and the response was incredibly encouraging. It quickly became apparent that we could close a gap in the marketplace and give Canadian movie lovers more of the films they want to watch. “
Working with Rogers Connect Market Research (a div. of Rogers Publishing Limited), a Canada-wide online survey about the new service was completed by 1235 consumers and 269 marketers in August 2012. The survey topics included channel appeal and demand, naming and taglines, consumer viewing preferences and marketing advice.
“A key advantage to working with Rogers Connect on this study was the ability to tap into marketing and creative expertise through Rogers’ Marketing Magazine subscriber database. Combining the niche insights of this group and the needs of consumers gave us a 360 degree perspective on our new channel,” said Chris Fuoco, VP Sales & Marketing, Channel Zero.
An overwhelming 87% of respondents said they are likely to watch a free preview, and over two-in-five (43%) would be willing to pay $5 monthly for a movie package offering Rewind.
“The survey affirmed our instincts: it told us that a channel offering films from the 70s, 80s and 90s has broad appeal across the country and in all demographic groups; it also confirmed that this interest translates into a willingness to preview and subscribe. These types of findings are essential in our discussions with our cable and telco partners, and with their co-operation we’re kicking off the launch with a 60 day free preview. That’s going to allow a huge number of Canadians to have access to Rewind and we think they’re going to love it,” Fuoco added.
Four brand concepts for the channel were tested: Rewind, Channel X., Flix and Tube. Rewind was the clear winner. The research indicated the name carried a theme of nostalgia; a feeling of going back in time to old films and TV shows from the VCR era. To help position the channel, several taglines were also tested – some were more product-based and some meant to appeal to the consumer’s sense of emotion. Respondents said that Movies worth watching. Again. evoked a connection to quality films they’ve likely seen before. Tested head to head, this tagline was preferred by consumers over seven alternatives.
“Rewind’s core viewer is female, 42 years old, a mom with young kids at home, educated, affluent, with $100K+ HHI. This insight coupled with the marriage of the highest scoring name and tagline cemented our creative strategy, which is built on the connection between Rewind movies and the era of the VCR. We wanted to transport Gen Xers back to their glory days; a time when you would hang out in the food court at the local mall, and the drive-in was the place to be on Saturday night,” Fuoco concluded.
Starting at 6am ET/3am PT on Saturday, December 1st, viewers will see a variety of station IDs, promos and hosted segments introducing them to the brand.
The channel debuts with a High School Confidential theme, transporting viewers back to the days of bike rides on warm summer nights, hanging out at the local 7-Eleven, or catching the latest flick at the Megaplex.
“We’re excited about strengthening our movie offering and giving advertisers a brand new TV channel to build into their marketing plans,” said Geoff Thrasher, General Sales Manager, Channel Zero. “Building on CHCH’s foothold for providing more movies than any other conventional station in Canada, we’ve taken what we know well and are continuing to expand into the specialty TV world – first with Silver Screen Classics and now with REWIND. These movie channels, each with a unique focus on a different era, will offer our clients a fresh take on content integration and sponsorship opportunities.”
Established in 2000, Channel Zero Inc. is an independent Canadian broadcaster that owns conventional channels CHCH Ontario (HD) and Métro14 Montréal (HD), as well as Rewind, Silver Screen Classics and Fight Now! TV – the first 24/7 combat sports channel to air in the U.S. Channel Zero is also home to Movieola.ca, an online and on-demand provider of critically-acclaimed short films, and Ouat Media, an Academy Award winning film sales and distribution company.