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GSN Refresher Course

GSN is sprucing up its on-screen look to emphasize the fun, and drama, of gaming.

The outlet rebranded itself in spring 2004 as GSN, adopting the tag as the network for games. Executives now want to reinforce the emotional elements of game-playing. The network’s primary tagline will be “Get in the Game,” but other messages will emphasize that games are fun, thrilling, dramatic and full of action.

The new messages (starting April 22) will be conveyed with more colorful graphics, and people will grace the on-screen messages that for the last three years have been graphics only.

Dena Kaplan, senior vice president of marketing, said she and her team decided that “one tagline just didn’t say it all.”

She said, “We wanted a mutable tagline so if the key attribute [of the upcoming show] is 'challenge,’ the tagline will say that.”

The campaign was designed with the assistance of Ca.Square, an animation and graphics firm that has also done work for VH1 and Disney Channel; ad agency Big Picture Group; and Get it Pictures, which shot the live-action spots.

One new 15-second bumper, for example, illustrates the “drama” of game playing, featuring people agonizing for a roulette ball to drop or for the Wheel of Fortune to stop spinning.

If the actors in the commercial are especially believable, it’s because they’re actual contestants. Executives decided to do a casting call among former contestants from its Lingo word puzzle game, rather than go through Central Casting for real actors, Kaplan said.

Another spot features GSN hosts, such as Chuck Woolery and Shandi Finnessey, playing charades.

On-screen menus of upcoming shows have also been tweaked, with actors dressing in the garb of the era of the upcoming game (i.e., 80s clothes when introducing Love Connection).

The campaign is supported with a new, theme-related color palette. GSN’s logo had been featured in lime green with blue accents. Now, the visual’s color will match the message: “drama” is rendered in red, “fun” bumpers will be orange.

The spots will also have similar musical elements, using human voices for the percussion.

The brand refresh initially will be limited to on-screen elements, with a gradual integration onto, Kaplan said.

“After three years, it’s time to show our evolution.” she said.

GSN will launch new game shows this summer and the refreshed brand elements will be used in off-air advertising at that time, she said.