The Challenge
ABC Family was suffering in the ratings and needed to shed its dated image of being for stay-at-home moms. The network needed to understand how to reclaim the spirit of Family in a modern way that would align with a new audience of younger consumers and ultimately drive the brand to be a network of consideration.

How we Cracked the Nut for ABC Family

ABC-family1aEntourage “Family” Excursions in 6 markets with Millennials to explore their new definition of “Family” as something bigger, richer and more complex than a mere cluster of blood relatives. Shadowing consumers through family dinners and outings, observing daily activities and interactions, we learned that family today is not about blood, it’s about relationships they choose.

ABC-family3aQuantitative National Survey with 1200+ Millennials 
supported this idea of a modern definition of family that is chosen based on how an individual contextualizes their experiences, emotions and relationships.

ABC-family4-300x227Photo Journals with Millennials in 6 markets revealed that family is what shapes both who you are today and who you can become. There is no “right” version of a family any longer, just as there is no “right” way to define yourself.


ABC-family2aInternal Interviews with Stakeholders revealed the vision of the brand, identified key evangelists internally who would champion the change, and articulated the key challenges to overcome based on disconnects between departments.   

Screen-Shot-2013-06-13-at-5.13.43-PM-300x220Creative Exploration with Millennials in 6 markets explored and defined the voice of the brand. Here, we spent time with the modern family to determine the best way for the brand to break away from traditional stereotypes and celebrate the passion and optimism the audiences felt about their own family and the relationships that were so vital in helping them define themselves.


Key action taken based on this learning We articulated a new brand positioning, “A New Kind of Family” to guide the brand experience, along with a programming architecture to guide both created and acquired content development. Using these guides, The Ebeling Group produced a new multi-platform package that included on-air interstitials, lower thirds and promos and network IDs, along with a new logo, tagline and website. The totality of this work ensured that the brand spoke to its audience in a relevant way and represented the values of individuals, families and the community.


Overall outcome:

Since the relaunch in 2006, the network has consistently delivered Top 5 Rankings in all key demos.

The work that was done helped us to create a record-breaking relaunch that turned our network around.
Michelle Walenz

Senior Vice President, Creative Director, ABC Family