Anyone who has seen Honey Boo Boo will recognise ‘Glitzy’ the pig; this is the motif that TLC UK has chosen to front the launch of the channel tonight, Tuesday 30 April.
The icon sums up the channel’s aim, to merge “together a huge range of characters from the UK and US” as well as airing content to “get people talking”. Much of the US programming set to air on the channel is already known in the UK, such as Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Virgin Diaries, both of which received press in the UK when they aired in the US and saw their videos go viral on YouTube.
Hoping to stand up to the American programming is the channel’s UK commissions. Strengthening the channel’s identity are presenters such as Dawn O’Porter and Lisa Snowdon, who have both been associated with female-skewing TV in the past. Will their showsUndercover Mums and Your Style in His Hands be enough to encourage women to change from their usual viewing? The marketing strategy is certainly encouraging.
TLC UK has negotiated a clever integration with health and beauty retailer Superdrug, which will sponsor over 720 hours of programming each month as well as social media promotion, off-air and event marketing. Both companies will see integration into each other’s websites such as bi-weekly website takeovers. This partnership cements the brand’s identity and allows the channel to directly reach its target audience.
The celebrities associated with the channel have also taken to their own social media sites to promote TLC UK. At the channel’s launch party, which took place on Thursday 25 April (and included Lisa Snowdon arriving with a micro-pig and a GIANT sculpture of Glitzy!), celebs tweeted photos and the whole event was tweeted live from TLC UK’s Twitter account using the hash tag #TLCLaunch. As well as social media, the on-air promo has been played across a number of channels, including ITV, showing teasers of both the UK and US programming in order to whet appetites.
Whether the channel ultimately relies solely on US acquisitions or has strong UK programming remains to be seen but the channel does have a feel of bringing together both sides of the Atlantic. I for one will definitely be tuning in tonight for Your Style in His Hands, Breaking Amish and Undercover Mums!