A&E kicks off ‘Brave Storytellers’ campaign to appeal to millennial audiences


A&E today is showing off an updated look and starting up a "Brave Storytellers" campaign it hopes will appeal to millennial audiences.

The campaign, which starts up Aug. 15, will include brand films directed by photographer and artist Amanda Demme and featuring A&E stars including Leah Remini, Donnie Wahlberg, Steven Clark, Kevin Lawrence and Elizabeth Smart.

“'Brave Storytellers' is based on a belief that, hiding in the plain sight of everyday life, there are remarkable people and stories all around us. We just have to be brave enough to look, to get closer to the heart of a story, to create authentic moments of truth. It is a brand new campaign that exemplifies A&E's legacy of real and unscripted programming; magnifying defining stories of human endeavor and shining a light on parts of life that audiences really care about,” said A&E CMO Amanda Hill.

Strategic partners for the campaign include Sunshine, Samsung, E​KO, ​ATTN:, Jhene Aiko and I​N​-Q. Placements during the rollout of the campaign include spots off channel during the Emmy Awards, "This is Us" and "Will & Grace," as well as within ad breaks for shows hosted by Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert, Rachel Maddow and Samantha Bee.

A&E and Samsung partnered with EKO to produce a “custom interactive digital video designed for mobile storytelling.” Sunshine helped direct and co-produce the short documentary “Look Closer: Across America.”

RELATED: A&E is breaking up with scripted programming

A&E is launching the new branding push in the wake of recent ratings successes including “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” and “Live PD.”

A&E’s focus is now off of scripted series after “Bates Motel” officially ended earlier this year.

Rob Sharenow, executive vice president and general manager at A&E and Lifetime, told Deadline that “Bates Motel” was one of the best shows on TV, but that A&E didn’t have much of a scripted programming ecosystem to support.

“But I think in today’s world where we really try to clarify and focus our brand for the consumers and to lean into what we are best known for, what we are best at, I think it was a good time to say, ‘We are going to double down on nonfiction content where we are having a lot of success. The market’s really hungry for it,’” Sharenow told the publication.