It's branding for the Snapchatting generation, embracing our fondness for internet culture, rather than shying away from it
ITV, and therefore ad-funded TV on the whole, is 60 years old in the UK. Obviously the media landscape has seen significant changes in those years but, in more recent years, all brands will have felt the force of an increasing pace of change. New channels spring out of nowhere and loyalty to content channels is, seemingly, a thing of the past.
Some of ITV’s sub brands are likely to feel more of the impact of the breakneck speed at which change is now occurring. ITV2, a brand which is aimed at a younger demographic, is particularly susceptible to the whims of an audience with more choice than ever before.
Marketing spoke to Jo Ridley, a creative at ITV Creative, about the recent changes to the ITV2 brand and how it is now ‘embracing internet culture’.
How are you expressing the ITV2 brand now?
If our main [ITV] channel branding is a reflection of real life, then the recent ITV2 refresh we created (with design agency Man Vs Machine) is aiming to be life amplified and multiplied, until it becomes outrageous to the point of entertainment.
On top of this branding, an algorithm randomises the order of the creative, so you get hundreds of thousands of different combinations, creating an ident feed rather than anything too linear. It's branding for the Snapchatting generation, embracing our fondness for internet culture, rather than shying away from it.
How has that changed?
A classic situation, when creating ident design on most channels, is to have the same six scenes played out for years and years. With ITV2 that was exactly what we wanted to avoid. We wanted to refresh the brand to be as changeable and unpredictable as a television schedule would allow.
What about keeping relevant? Myriad studies will tell you younger audiences don't love telly - does that mean as a brand you are targeting an older audience with your creative?
I would argue people love content over the medium it is delivered, be it internet or television.
We are not shying away from attracting a younger audience creatively. The aim for ITV2 is to feel fresh. Rather than seeing the same 30 second promo in every ad break, we created a shorter, punchier format called an ‘omo’ - a gif like burst of content. Break flashes are also soon to be launched which directly talks to the audience between ads.
We want to see the relationship between internet and TV as a harmonious cycle between one another's content
We want to see the relationship between internet and TV as a harmonious cycle between one another's content. Television show content inspires online memes or clips, which in turn can be used to inspire on air and, in this case, even the branding itself. The brand line "TV and Then Some" means that ITV2 also lives away from its linear heritage and live in spaces that a younger audience is also engaging with. The new ITV2 is more than a TV channel now, it's a multi platform presence.
With much more media choice for people now, how do you gain cut-through? Is the brand more important to audiences now than before?
Brand is the creative personality that connects your content, and with that we can take ITV2 beyond TV. From the tone of voice on Twitter, to the colour palette of the channel, to external partnerships, our personality will be instantly recognisable in any platform now and in the future, no matter what content sits on the channel. It's not more important than the content by any means, but it’s just as important because you want people to enjoy spending time with the brand and then experience the content alongside it.