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Redefining the Home Experience

“It’s really interesting what happened with our content during the pandemic,” recalls Schliecker. “Suddenly, people were staying at home for school, the gym, the home office or to have a space to focus on work. Families were looking at the four walls and redefined home for themselves.”

The physical space became more versatile, as did the definition of home on an emotional level, he says. “Spending time with family became different, it was about creating an oasis space. The definition of home really changed.”

HGTV had to pivot and the insights team did as well. In fact, Schliecker recalls that the company had started a brand research study that was fielded in September of 2019, and presented to internal stakeholders in January 2020. “Three months later, everything changed. What did that change mean if everything was disrupted. What about the new definition of home?” he says.

“We wrapped up a new study and found a thread of relatability. The relatability in our shows and content was: Show me what I can do around my own home, in terms of school, work, the pieces that work for me. I’m done with Hollywood mansions, my curiosity now is how to make my life in my space more functional and feel good. There was real emotion to it,” says Schliecker.

While for the viewer there was still an entertainment factor, HGTV turned to the idea of relatability. “It was almost hinged with escapism for the home content. What is that affordable thing that I can do in my home? Not just the multi-million homes. It was back to reality, loud and clear,” he says.

HGTV used their learnings from a production standpoint, letting homeowners shoot their own home projects and mini makeovers, and interacting with HGTV talent who would help the do-it-yourselfer virtually through Zoom. The DIY factor gave shows a more emotional reveal.

“There was a real sense of confidence and joy, an emotional level and a sense of accomplishment,” says Schliecker. It is a lesson learned that HGTV has kept up on programs as well as on social media, keeping the small, doable and actionable reveals as part of the show.

“This idea of relatability, content as part of my own life, really resonated with viewers,” says Schliecker.

Contributor

  • Matt Kramer

    Matthew Kramer is the Digital Editor for All Things Insights & All Things Innovation. He has over 20 years of experience working in publishing and media companies, on a variety of business-to-business publications, websites and trade shows.

    View all posts

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