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An Eye to the Future

Had the Tiffany Network lost its luster?

Founded in 1928 as the "Columbia Broadcast System," CBS expanded over the next eight decades to encompass book and magazine publishing, billboards, cable television and interactive media. Because of its reputation for excellence, CBS earned the nickname "the Tiffany Network," and commanded unparalleled advertising fees.

Eventually, however, CBS's strength as a traditional broadcaster came to be seen as its chief weakness. While other networks had enhanced their standing through well-publicized transitions to the digital marketplace, there was a pervasive perception of CBS as mired in stodgy thinking and dated strategies. Despite the fact that CBS actually is a highly diversified, global media corporation, many people still thought of it as just a radio and TV network.

Changing the conversation

Instead of jumping onto someone else's bandwagon, Siegel+Gale recommended that CBS play to its strengths. Whereas CBS was being criticized as "old media," we worked to make "old" vs. "new" irrelevant, and steer the conversation to the "right." As in, "CBS. The right content. The right media. The right people."

Our visual expression of this brand positioning leveraged the CBS Eye by presenting it in multiple, fresh combinations awash in many colors—suggesting the array of advertising media that CBS offers. The supporting imagery is crisp and modern—the kind of visuals that suggest new ways of seeing and of doing business. The proliferation of "eyes" also calls to mind the many media platforms served by CBS.

CBS eyes the prize

The new CBS brand strategy connects the network to its respected and iconic past, while feeling entirely modern. After launch, it supported instant growth and success, with CPM (cost-per-thousand) increasing 7%–9% over the previous year’s. As a result, CBS looks and sounds like the multi-channel, international media leader that it was and continues to be.

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