Seven Flags Massive Push to be Seen as ‘More Than Just a Content Player’

Seven CMO Melissa Hopkins at the
Robert Meredith

The Seven Network has hinted at a massive overhaul of its marketing and brand proposition at an exclusive dinner hosted by Variety Australia.

The TV network’s chief marketing officer, Melissa Hopkins, said there was a need for the company to be seen as more than just a content player. She also noted that the network would do well to remind Australians of their latent brand love for Seven.

“I think the opportunity is to make Seven relevant again to Australians. So, for those of us old enough in the room, 20 years ago Seven was just as cool as a Google or a Meta. And we’d be quite happy to have the sticker on our laptops. It’s sort of lost that, and I think there is a real opportunity for us to become part of the fabric of Australia again, to really define ourselves as a brand, over and above our content. I don’t think many content players actually globally have been successful in doing that, but it really really excites me that I’m on the journey to do that with Seven,” Hopkins said at the inaugural Variety Australia CMO Dinner.

Hopkins stopped short of revealing what exactly this would entail, however she did hint it would also involve rejigging how it markets and targets its nightly news bulletin – a key factor in capturing and holding onto nightly linear television viewers.

“[Seven’s] absolutely got latent brand love. We represent all of Australia. We’re there for every Australian. We reach 17 million Australians every month, that’s pretty cool, it’s the same size as YouTube… So we’re in great company. I’m not going to give too much away, but we’re very much on a journey to ensure that we’re not just seen as a content player, but part of the fabric of Australia, and I’m super excited about what we’re about to do,” she added.

Seven’s Melissa Hopkins (centre) with Poppy Reid and Universal Pictures’ Suzanne Stretton-Brown Robert Meredith

It’s not the first time in recent years that Seven has flagged its intentions to reconnect with “heartland Australia”.

When current CEO and managing director James Warburton took over the media giant, he said he wanted to turn its fortunes around by bringing in younger viewers and removing the “ageing warhorses” from its content stable.

“I’ve been very open about the fact that we have ageing warhorses in a couple of formats. And that we have skewed too old in some areas, so that is our focus,” he said in 2019.

“You don’t want to alienate the core viewers that you have and skew the network too young either, but really, what it’s about is actually reconnecting with creative ideas that the public comes to expect from Seven.”