Determined to obliterate lingering perceptions of fusty programming, A&E devised a campaign that would wake up viewers to the reality of its raw, real slate of shows. Its marketing slogan, "Real Life. Drama.," conveyed honesty and emotional intensity and was burned into all marketing materials for series such as The Cleaner, Dog The Bounty Hunter and Intervention. The trade press connected with this straightforward pitch for an unadorned, clear identity — Mediaweek put the brand repositioning on its cover in April 2008, coinciding with A&E’s upfront. Viewers connected as well — 2008 was the network’s best year in all key demographics.

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Honorable Mentions:

BBC America for BBC World News America: BBCA launched a multimedia campaign promoting World News America as "America’s 7 p.m. Newscast," leading to a 23% ratings jump in Q4 ’08, compared to the previous quarter.

Time Warner Cable Los Angeles Region for Time Warner Cable L.A. Hispanic Video Launch: Time Warner Cable L.A. launched 20 Spanish-language networks in a three-month period for a huge Hispanic population more familiar with DBS, setting an example for other operators.

Spike TV for Star Wars on Spike TV: Spike linked the Star Wars saga with the network in the minds of fans and new audiences by creating a campaign that situated the characters in a contemporary context. In one ad, for instance, Princess Leia reclines in her slave outfit underneath the text, "Gold bikinis never go out of style." True.

Cartoon Network/Turner Broadcasting for Cartoon Network Universe: FusionFall Launch: The pre-launch campaign for the online game led to 2.5 million FusionFall accounts created as of the official January 2009 launch.

A&E Network for Gene Simmons Family Jewels Season 3: A&E took a restrained approach to its season 3 campaign. The programmer chose not to attach 4,800 bras to its Sunset Blvd. billboard ("1 Man, 4800 Women?"), keeping the number down to a tasteful few dozen.

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ESPN ’s “Monday Night Football” MegaCast of the showdown between the New Orleans Saints and Las Vegas Raiders delivered an average audience

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