As Fox News Channel prepares for next year’s presidential election, the network is changing its election brand for the first time in its 23-year history.
“America’s Election Headquarters”—which has been a mainstay on the network since it launched in 1996—is giving way to “Democracy 2020.”
And the network is also taking a novel approach to its marketing for the new election brand: The “It’s In Your Hands” campaign doesn’t featuring any Fox News on-air talent, instead focusing on Americans and the choice they will be making in next year’s election.
“There has been a change in how consumers see elections,” said Jason Klarman, evp of marketing, Fox News Media, of the rebranding from “America’s Election Headquarters.” “Twenty years ago, we were concerned that there was voter apathy and people weren’t showing up at the polls. And nothing could be further from the truth today.”
As Fox News continues to be most-watched among cable news networks in both total viewers and the 25-54 demo most coveted by news advertisers, “staying No. 1 is about staying up with the trend, and the trend is a big, bold and passionate electorate, very engaged in the election process,” said Klarman.
To that end, the new spot, as part of the “It’s In Your Hands” campaign, includes footage of Americans of different ages and races, in both rural and urban settings, as the narrator intones, “America is a special place. It’s a place where we work for what we want and speak up for what we believe.”
After the narrator discusses the importance of voting, ending with “We do something most people across the globe only dream of,” the spot ends with a montage of hands—again of various sizes and skin tones—holding a button that reads “Fox News: Democracy 2020.”
The spot will air this month on Fox News and its sister network, Fox Business Network, as well as Fox News’ digital platforms.
Then beginning Nov. 3, two days before this year’s elections, the “seven-figure” campaign will roll out nationwide and will include outdoor elements as well as ad buys on national TV and local cable.
“We want to get this everywhere,” including football games, said Klarman. “This is about opening the aperture and welcoming more people in.”
Going forward, “Democracy 2020” will appear as a bug on screen during Fox News’ election coverage, taking the place of “America’s Election Headquarters” as the network’s election brand.
“Most election brands live on a paradigm between informational [‘Vote 2020’] and empowering [‘Your Choice’],” said Klarman. “We wanted to find something that was indeed empowering, but also that embraced the passion with which the electorate is now approaching all of these elections. We got to Democracy 2020 very quickly, because that’s at the heart of why people are so passionate for the process.”
Also, continued Klarman, “there’s 30% of the people who are never going to stop watching us, there are 30% of the people who are never going to watch us, and then there’s everybody else in the middle. And I think what Democracy 2020 says is we are open for business on all fronts.”
Klarman opted to not feature any Fox News talent during the first phase of the campaign because “the star of this ad is America; it’s the people. It’s not about us; it’s about them. Making that emotional appeal and connecting our election brand to their everyday lives was the goal.”
The decision wasn’t made to distance the Fox News brand from any talent who have been pulled into the election process, given that President Trump frequently tweets about specific Fox News personalities (and, less frequently, mentions talent at other news networks). Nor is this part of any larger Fox News marketing shift away from featuring on-air talent.