Channel 5 relaunches as Five

LONDON - Channel 5 is to relaunch itself as Five with a new on-air identity to debut on Monday September 16, in a move that will see it do away with its familiar five-toned 'colour bar', which has appeared between ads since its launch in 1997.

The rebranding to Five has been led by director of marketing David Pullan, working with TBWA\London and design firm WalkerBannisterBuss.

It is the first time the channel has undertaken a fundamental rebranding exercise since the station's launch in 1997. The rebranding will also see a complete change in the channel's look and advertising.

TBWA has developed the creative strategy behind the channel's autumn advertising campaign, which will push upcoming programmes such as 'Live with Chris Moyles'; 'Michael Jackson's Face': 'The Sunday Documentary'; 'The Shield' and the channel's film line-up, including premieres of 'The Matrix' and 'Saving Private Ryan'. The advertising has been written by Trevor Beattie and Bill Bungy.

Five hopes the rebranding will do a number of things for the station, as majority owner RTL considers fresh programming investment to boost the station's position in the UK TV market.

Chief among what Five hopes to achieve is to "address the gap between the common perceptions of Five and the new reality of its programming", which it hopes will move viewers to reappraise the station and its programmes.

The thinking behind the move is clear. Five wants to get away from being seen as the channel that is home to the three Fs, namely football, films and fucking.

Five's chief Dawn Airey has made strides in this direction already, by increasing the channel's quality television output. This has included a influx of historical and art history programming.

According to Pullan: "Channel 5 was a name; Five is a brand. Five as a brand reflects the evolution the channel is undergoing in programming and in becoming a more confident and distinctive viewer proposition."

He added: "In the past, much of our advertising has been tactical, with no one ad having much continuity with the one which preceded or followed it. It is time to be more strategic and cohesive in our communications, and to use consistent creative work in consistent media to make our budgets work more effectively and to give Five's brand more clarity."

The channel redesign began five months ago following the arrival of Pullan from MTV Networks UK & Ireland, where he was vice-president of marketing and digital channels.

WalkerBannisterBuss worked closely with Five's creative strategy team in programming and marketing to help identify the channel's positioning moving forward.

The original five colours have now been expanded to five distinct palettes, each comprising five colours. The evolution will see the channel using colour in a more engaging way, which will better reflect the diverse moods and voice of the channel.

The channel's logo, previously the number 5 within a circle supported by the colour bar, will now be replaced by Five, which will always appear in lower case in the mark.

Five will also be the first channel to regularly use purely typographical promos -- which will see copy-written type overlaid over sound bites from the channel's key shows.

Pullan added: "Our new on-air identity will give the viewer a completely fresh experience of the channel. It is ground-breaking and innovative, while remaining approachable and true to the channel's roots."

Media for the campaign has been planned and bought by Walker Media, which has held the Five account since 1998.

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