Life rebrands as Slice

No matter how you 'Slice' it, Alliance Atlantis is adding a new channel for younger women.

As of March ’07, Alliance Atlantis’ Life Network will cease to exist and a new channel called ‘Slice’ will take its analog specialty slot, hitting 6 million households. Described as sassy yet serviceable, the ‘reborn’ channel will debut with an initial 15 original series and add 20 more new shows in the fall. Its primary target is women 18-49, with women in their 30s as the sweet spot.

Slice was introduced at a lively event staged at Toronto’s Distillery District last evening. But MiC was given a sneak peek beforehand by the net’s SVP marketing & communications Gail Rivett and EVP sales Errol Da-Ré – the author of a teaser blog that’s been appearing in online trade pubs for the past two weeks. Their new channel – the result of a year’s work and consultation with thousands of women of various ages and lifestyles, both in focus groups and in online surveys is, in Rivett’s words – ‘all about attitude.’

‘The resonant themes we came away with after a lot of strategic work is that women’s days are filled with handling everybody else’s needs. So when they finally get to sit down to watch TV, whenever that is, they want to see stuff that’s entertaining, escapist and maybe gives them a sense of guilty indulgence.’ Hence, she says, the shows chosen for Slice will have ‘a sensibility that’s confident, not apologetic and almost like train wrecks of people’s lives that our viewers can relate to. They’ll be fun and entertaining, but on topics that have to do with women’s lives, like marriage, parenting, fashion, celebrity, finances, gossip. The approach is: let women laugh at their lives a bit and have some fun.’

Among the new shows commissioned by Alliance Atlantis are: Outlaw In-laws hosted by syndicated columnist Ellie Tesher; UpRooted, in which a hairstylist to the stars (including Hilary Swank, Daryl Hannah and LL Cool J) named Rykr will criss-cross North America on a bus interacting with ordinary citizens; and The Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp, whose title pretty much speaks for itself.

Acquisitions include: Real Housewives of Orange County, a reality-based lifestyle show about the lives of five well-off women; Project Catwalk, the UK version of Life Network hit Project Runway, hosted by Kelley Osborne; and Beauty & the Geek, a witty reality show co-produced by Punk’d‘s Ashton Kutcher.

Slice will be introduced from mid-February through July next year with an extensive marketing campaign in many markets across Canada, followed by another extensive push in fall 2007 to support its fall lineup. Although the net is keeping details under wraps for now, MiC was told that promotion for Slice will span unusual multiple-media vehicles including on-air, out-of-home, radio, newspaper, magazines, online, experiential marketing, mobile marketing, cable and satellite marketing, plus guerilla. Vancouver’s Rethink worked on Slice branding.

The AA team has been quietly showing their plans for Slice to top media players for the past few weeks, and Da-Ré says that co-marketing and branded entertainment/integration opps will be offered, as well as product placement in the 13 original new shows.