Research showed that the Spike brand had a masculine profile and some negative associations – a barrier to broader offerings. The challenge was to help Paramount to migrate the Spike brand into the Paramount portfolio to compete with HBO, TNT, USA, FX and AMC and other networks. The other challenge was to migrate the Spike brand equity into the new Paramount Network brand without a rupture in narrative.
At the core of the semiotic analysis was comparative brand audit of Spike equity and Paramount brand equity. The semiotic analysis also included a competitor analysis of US network communication showing the code convergence in the category. Analysis included narrative breakdown of 20 top rated scripted shows for thematic content. The final report contained a succinct checklist for high quality scripted drama shows.
The report helped to see the overlap between Spike and Paramount brand equities and gave useful benchmarks for high quality scripted dramas. In the aftermath of the work, Paramount created the Paramount Network and imported over content from Spike as well as its brand equity in a smooth transition that respected Spike viewers.