Country Music Television
CMT had stumbled into the cool-obsessed MTV division as a very uncool red-neck orphan after MTV’s parent, Viacom International, and CBS merged in 2000. The problem: While CMT’s subscriber base of about 40 million homes was respectable enough, its audience mirrored the country-radio demographic—a decidedly unsexy over-35 crowd. Its identity didn’t reflect the changing shift in Country Music (becoming more raw and edgy, and merging with pop and rap).
There were a lot of things happening in country music—like Johnny Cash releasing his video for ‘Hurt’ and Loretta Lynn teaming up with Jack White—that made it a good time to get rid of a bunch of stereotypes. They made some of the rawest country ever made, music that shattered demographic and genre barriers. Inspired by Johnny Cash’s raw, brass attitude, our new identity cut down Country Music Television to a more modern, CMT. A tagline ‘Shit happens we sing about it’ became the mantra for the brand. An identity was created for on and off screen making sure the brand was given a more rugged, distressed look that practically swaggered.
“Shit Happens. We sing about it”
The Flame Worthy Awards are one of the biggest music events in the USA. Our rebrand was premiered at the event with wooden invitations, custom beer bottles and limited edition LP's.
James Hitchcock, CMT
Press and Awards
Since the rebranding CMT is now
in over 91 million American homes.