The Business & Technology Network
Helping Business Interpret and Use Technology
S M T W T F S
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 
 

HGTV's head of digital explains how a new makeover show about 'The Brady Bunch' house nabbed the network's largest TV audience in 2 years (DISCA)

DATE POSTED:September 30, 2019

hgtv brady renovation

  • HGTV's head of digital programming, Jillian St. Charles, broke down the digital strategy that helped its makeover show about the famed TV home from "The Brady Bunch" deliver the network's largest audience in more than two years. 
  • The campaign kicked off more than a year ago when Discovery announced that HGTV had bought the house and planned to restore it to its original state.
  • "We had some natural excitement building for a show that wasn't going to be on the air for many, many, many months," St. Charles said. "We all sat down and thought, 'How can we start a year-long conversation about 'The Brady Bunch?'"
  • St. Charles and her team used Instagram and other platforms to promote the series.
  • It cultivated Brady fans with the help of the actors from the original show and used HGTV talent who appeared in the makeover series to promote it to other viewers.
  • "A Very Brady Renovation" airs its final episode on Sept. 30. The network will follow it up with a holiday episode in the newly renovated house.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

HGTV's makeover series about the famed "The Brady Bunch" house airs its final episode on Sept. 30. The series delivered the network's biggest audience in two years when it debuted earlier this month.

The show features the actors who played the six siblings in the 1970s show — along with other HGTV stars including Drew and Jonathan Scott from "Property Brothers"; mother-daughter duo Karen E. Laine and Mina Starsiak from "Good Bones"; and siblings Leanne and Steve Ford from "Restored by the Fords" — as they restore the TV home.

Jillian St. Charles, SVP of digital programming and video at HGTV, told Business Insider how the network drummed up interest for the series online, over an unusually long, 13-month campaign that used social platforms like Instagram and YouTube, as well as HGTV's streaming app.

"It's been such a learning year for us and an exciting year for us on Brady," St. Charles said.

Buying the Brady house kicked off a year-long campaign for the makeover show

Buzz around the show kicked off more than a year before the Sept. 9 premiere in August 2018, when Discovery CEO David Zaslav announced that HGTV had bought the California home from the TV series and planned to restore it. (The Los Angeles Times later reported that HGTV paid $3.5 million for the property.)

Typically, St. Charles and her team have a few weeks to put together a digital campaign leading up to the premiere of a show. Big events or series may get 10 months or more of digital promotions. But the network didn't want to lose the anticipation that was already building among Brady fans.

"Our challenge at that time was to do something we'd never done before: We had some natural excitement building for a show that wasn't going to be on the air for many, many, many months," St. Charles said. "We all sat down and thought, 'How can we start a year-long conversation about "The Brady Bunch"?'"

HGTV, like other TV networks, has been using digital platforms to find new audiences for its TV properties

HGTV, like other basic-cable networks, has been turning to digital platforms to grow its audience as traditional networks lose TV subscribers to streaming services.

HGTV's US viewership declined 9% this season to date, with an average of 1.3 million live-and-same-day viewers during primetime from Sept. 24, 2018-Sept. 22, 2018, compared to the similar 2017-2018 period, Nielsen data showed.

But the network was also the fourth most-watched cable network during primetime this year to date, and the most-watched in entertainment. It trailed only news and sports channels, Fox News, MSNBC, and ESPN.

Going into the Brady renovation, the team used Instagram to find Brady fanatics and other fans of renovation shows

In the lead up to the Brady premiere, St. Charles went after fans of "The Brady Bunch" — who grew up watching the show in the '70s or caught the reruns years later on cable TV — as well as HGTV's core audience and other fans of renovation shows. 

St. Charles and her team created an Instagram channel for the show to reach the hardcore Brady fans, and filled it with behind-the-scenes photos and videos of the original cast teasing the renovation.