El Rey Network is shifting gears a bit in targeting its audience.
Originally created to target English-speaking Hispanics, the network has watched as members of the working and middle classes voiced their discontent at not being heard – and is responding to those voices.
Now the network is expanding its focus to include this surging audience – which it calls Strivers – to appeals to an audience that is more a sociographic class than a traditional age or race demographic.
This new approach will begin with an initiative called Ride for Health. Read on for details.
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Austin, TX (December 5, 2016) – El Rey Network, influenced by the lives of core male viewers who have embraced its programming over the last three years, will expand its focus to include a surging audience it calls “Strivers.” “Strivers” represents the new working and middle class male viewers who hold strong core beliefs about the importance of family, independence, hard work, craftsmanship, and legacy, which defy typical age and race metrics and speak more to the notion of “living by a code.” The network appeals to an audience of a sociographic class, rather than defining its audience by traditional age and race categories.
“Strivers are important because they represent every race and region of the country and consume more hours of linear cable television each week than any other socioeconomic group. Additionally, Strivers are loyal to brands, and spend large portions of their household incomes against consumer categories that are important to advertisers. We see appealing to Strivers as a huge opportunity for El Rey and its partners,” said El Rey Network president and general manager Daniel Tibbets.
Remaining true to its founding mission as “The People’s Network,” the lifestyle channel, established by maverick filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, is steadily transforming into a global multi-platform brand that appeals to aspirational, independent-spirited, and culturally diverse viewers everywhere.
“El Rey Network launched in 2013 as a network targeting English-speaking Hispanic males. As our distribution grew it became apparent that our programming appeals to a much larger psychographic. We also learned major lessons from this last election cycle, where we saw large portions of the population who felt their voices weren’t represented in media. A closer look revealed that class and socioeconomics were the driving forces behind this disconnect,” said Tibbets. “So we made a strategic decision to focus the brand voice on the new working class and middle class where El Rey naturally serves a diverse group of males, which we’ve identified as ‘Strivers.’ The El Rey brand voice that’s aspirational, authentic and inclusive, offering hero/anti-hero stories with both strong male and female characters, inherently speaks to this audience.”
Skip Chaisson, El Rey’s Chief Creative Officer, has a deep understanding of this audience. “We make a conscious effort to respect our audience and identify what’s important for them – not only creatively, but holistically. We recognized the need to draw focus toward the health of men in the middle class, and, as a result, we recently launched Ride for Health.”
Ride for Health is an initiative aimed at Strivers who tend to view sickness as unnecessary downtime, forgo preventative checkups, and often wait until a severe medical crisis to finally see a doctor. ‘’The El Rey branded initiative Ride for Health creates integrated marketing opportunities for our affiliates and advertiser partners to address this problem on-air, online and in real-world experiential activations,” added Tibbets.
Working-class Strivers are the new middle class, and are projected to become the “majority minority” by 2032, led by Latinos. They are a broad group coveted by TV networks and advertisers; representing nearly a third of all U.S. households and total U.S. consumer spending. Strivers are avid TV watchers; approximately 93% are cable/satellite subscribers and bundle buyers. Loyal to linear platforms while also embracing mobile technology, they are a passionate audience that loves action programming and live sports.
Strivers are united as a psychographic by their belief in making an honest living, excelling in their craft and leaving their mark. They work hard to provide for themselves and their families, and to strive for a better life. They hold shared values, yet are fiercely driven by an independent spirit and the American ideal of living free. This sensibility has long been captured by the network’s slogan “Ride with El Rey,” with its imagery of escapism and freedom.
Concurrently, this newly defined audience of Strivers is also culturally diverse, overlapping with El Rey’s original audience and mandate. In 2016, El Rey embarked on a diversity report looking at the current state of inclusion in the entertainment industry. Diversity unites and engages audiences and boosts viewership, contrary to many widely held Industry beliefs, and El Rey Network has continually pledged a commitment to diversity, both in its programming and within the company itself across four U.S. offices.
The El Rey Network Diversity Report can be viewed here El Rey Network Diversity Report.
As it works to better serve its existing and growing audience of Strivers, El Rey plans to further develop its original programming across all platforms – linear, digital, social, brand integration and experiential – transitioning from a U.S. network to a global lifestyle brand. With its current original series’ as a foundation, this will include scripted series, movies, reality, competition, health/lifestyle, late-night and user-generated content, to be announced in the months ahead.
Please note: Sources for statistics above include the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Simmons Market Research Bureau, Pew Research Center, and Nielsen, among others.