Frost Advisory #474 – A Programming Lesson From The Brady Bunch

“Here’s the story of a lovely lady…”

Those seven words from a TV show more than 40 years ago instantly trigger a song in our heads and a time in our lives.

The press release promotes it as “the biggest show HGTV has ever done,” and it is no wonder. It is the most familiar project they’ve ever done.

Every new thing, whether a TV show, a restaurant, or a new radio format (that’s us to most listeners), is faced with a fundamental challenge; how to create passion for something that is unfamiliar.

HGTV has solved that problem.

“The Brady Bunch house might be the most famous home in all of television. From its faded tan exterior to its kitschy interiors, it’s absolutely iconic. Now, HGTV is making it real. The network’s new series, A Very Brady Renovation, partners all six of the original Brady Bunch children with HGTV all-stars…”

Media observer Mark Ramsey points out that familiarity IS preference. After all one can’t prefer something one doesn’t know.

HGTV used the familiar Brady Bunch brand to connect to their own brands “Good Bones” and “Property Brothers.”

“We wanted to go for the biggest Brady fans, so Karen from Good Bones, the minute she heard we bought the house – she’s OBSESSED with The Brady Bunch – so she reached out to us and asked if they could be a part of it.”

So, what is the programming lesson for a format comprised of mostly unfamiliar music?

This new, unfamiliar TV show is building their brand on something familiar and beloved; the Brady Bunch. They then embedded their own renovation shows (Good Bones and Property Brothers) into this familiar Brady Brunch brand to build affinity for their existing brands.

“The most basic way to make people care is to form an association between something they don’t yet care about and something they do care about.”

Chip and Dan Heath “Made to Stick”

So, what do your listeners care about? (Hint: it’s not about you!)

John Frost

About John Frost

John has been a successful major market DJ and PD for such companies as CBS, Gannett, Cap Cities, Westinghouse, Multimedia, and Sandusky and publishes the Frost Advisory.

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