If we’re being really honest here, ABC Family hasn’t been a network aimed at families for a while now. Shows like The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Pretty Little Liars helped transition it more into a channel for teens, with their teen problems and teen aspirations and teen… other things. The problem, however, was that by keeping the name “ABC Family,” they ran the risk of confusing both parents looking for wholesome shows to watch with their children and the precious #teen demo that could be turned off by the idea of a network for babies. So, a change was necessary. And today, a change happened. Goodbye, ABC Family. Hello… Freeform?
ABC Family president Tom Ascheim explained the decision The Wrap.
We looked for a name that would do three things for us. One was to evoke this idea of becomers, this idea that these people are in formation. Two, we wanted to mandate this moment in media and capture this sense that content oozes from platform to platform and screen to screen. And then lastly we just wanted a name that made you feel something and hopefully feel something positive.
We tested this name among over 1,200 people. We had 3,000 names to go through. This one tested by far the best. It evoked all sorts of different attributes. But it also made us feel something. This idea of living Freeform, I’m not sure what it means, but it makes us smile. We’d like to try it.
Okay, first of all, just so you have a frame of reference here, “Becomers” is a term they made up to describe their target audience, a slightly pre-Millennial set of viewers aged 14-34. (Congrats on technically being “a becomer,” balding 33-year-olds with soul-crushing jobs and debt.) But more importantly, none of those words up there mean anything. Go back and read them a few times. They look and sound like they mean something, sure, but I assure you, they do not. “We wanted to mandate this moment in media” is truly remarkable corporate-speak, but the best is the last part, the thing about not knowing what “living Freeform” means but wanting to try it. It sounds like something Hansel from Zoolander would say if he had been a marketing major.
But congrats on the new name!
(Via The Wrap)