Channel 5Viacom has unveiled a new identity for Channel 5, which will be rolled out across its TV channels and on demand service on Thursday.
The rebrand, which launches on Channel 5 on Thursday morning, includes a new logo and on-screen treatments for each of 5’s channels – Channel 5, 5USA and 5Star – designed by New York agency Gretel (the logo for sister channel Spike, which launched in April last year, has remained the same). Online service Demand 5 has been renamed My5 and has a new logo designed by Los Angeles agency Troika, and Viacom has worked with several production companies to create new idents for Channel 5 and 5USA. The new look has taken 13 months to create, and Viacom hopes it will challenge negative perceptions of the brand and attract 16-34 year-old viewers as well as those in the ABC1 demographic.

The new 5 logo sees the number broken into segments, which, like Channel 4’s, can be animated and deconstructed or re-arranged on-screen. Different colours and textures will also be added to reflect different moods and types of content:

Channel 5’s colour palette is made up of eight gradations, spanning pink, purple, green, blue and orange, and on-screen messaging will speak to viewers in a warm and friendly tone, with messages such as ‘see you soon’, ‘welcome back’ and ‘settle in’ set in typeface Nobel Light.

5STAR LDMThe project was led by Channel 5’s VP of marketing, Jo Bacon and Jody Malam, creative director at MTV. Bacon says the new look is inspired by the idea of presenting ‘spirited TV with an emotional heart’, reflecting Channel 5’s new positioning.

“Channel 5 is for everyone – we’re for the masses, and appeal to all of the UK, some of the time,” says Bacon. Describing 5’s spirit as creative, unashamedly entertaining, occasionally provocative and honest, she says its programming exists “to make the everyday more colourful” – an idea that is reflected in its new idents. The aim was also to communicate a sense of empathy, of programming that speaks to and for the people, she says, as well as a cheekiness and sense of playfulness.

The idents draw on the idea of 5 making everyday life better with a series of short films which each feature a moment of surprise; from a group of five whales emerging from the sea, to five tropical birds appearing on a balcony. “We didn’t want to make them just about the logo, we wanted to create moments of entertainment in their own right,” says Bacon. Films were created by Academy, and directed by Si&Ad.

5USA Liberty IdentLondon studio Momoco, meanwhile (which has worked on titles for Luther and London Spy), has created a slick series of idents for 5USA, which were shot using drones and feature sweeping views of US cities. “We wanted to capture a sense of Americana,” says Bacon. “5USA has a loyal fan base, so we didn’t want to alienate them, but we wanted to contemporise [the channel],” she explains.

The rebrand aims to better connect 5’s channels, while also giving each one a distinct voice, explains Bacon. 5USA’s Americana-style look references its focus on US drama, while 5Star’s branding is designed to appeal to a younger audience. “We want things to look like a family, but also distinctive and individual,” she adds.

Bacon says the team did extensive research into perceptions of Channel 5 before starting the rebrand – the project began with a four-month exercise to develop a new strategy, carried out by research and comms teams. While reticent to cite any specific negative feedback from viewers, Bacon acknowledges that there have long been concerns over the quality of 5’s programming – something that was revealed in research – and says the rebrand aims to address this with high production values, cinematic idents and a more upmarket look and feel.

Bacon also says the previous branding, with a ‘5’ in a red circle, felt quite “tabloid-esque” and failed to reflect the channel’s new commitment to launching a broader range of programming, from Body Donors to Ben Fogle: New Lives in the Wild (where adventurer Fogle visits people who have left the daily grind behind to set up a new life in remote areas). Explaining the decision to work with a number of agencies, she says Viacom wanted to work with “the best talent from around the world”.

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By Expat