ITV1 replaces regional idents with single logo

ITV1 is dropping its regional on-air idents in favour of a single ITV1 ident to run across the majority of the network.

The changes, which will include celebrity appearances in idents, begin on 28 October and are part of ITV's attempts to rebrand the channel's complete on-air environment.

However, some of the franchises have chosen not to take on the new look - Ulster TV and the Scottish ITV franchises will retain their own identities, while HTV will rebrand itself as ITV1 Wales.

"These companies all have their own strong identities and opted to retain their names," Jim Hytner, ITV's marketing and commercial director, explained.

He added, however, that he was hopeful that Scottish TV and Grampian TV would one day be branded ITV Scotland.

On the rest of the network, the name of the regional ITV companies will largely disappear in favour of ITV1 branding, although there will be a regional variation running during local news and regional programmes.

During regional programmes, the ITV1 brand and the name of the ITV region will be displayed on screen.

The news marks the loss of familiar and once-proud names such as London Weekend Television, Anglia and Granada TV in favour of the ITV1 branding.

Martin Kemp, Davina McCall, Gabby Logan, Harry Hill and Ant & Dec are among the ITV talents who have agreed to appear in the network idents.

Regional presenters relevant to the particular region, such as Mike Morris of the now-defunct Yorkshire TV, will feature on the regional idents but will be morphed into the ITV1 image. The idents will be scheduled around programmes in which the celebrities do not appear in an attempt to promote other ITV1 shows.

Included in the rebranding is a modernised ITV1 logo designed through Bruce Dunlop & Associates and a range of new on-screen graphics including break bumpers and end-credit promotions during peak times.

During the end credits of a programme, the network will promote the rest of the night's viewing by listing what three shows are on next. On air, these resemble an electronic programme guide.

From next week, ITV is running break flashes between each ad, similar to those used by Five. These break flashes incorporate four coloured blocks based on the network logo.

Hytner said the inspiration behind the rebranding came from idents used by networks such as NBC in the US. "In a world of more than 200 channels it is vital we express our personality more intently than ever and present viewers with a single ITV1 brand," he said.

The rebranding cost ITV £750,000 to implement and replaces the much maligned and inconsistently used heart logo, which was adopted more than four years ago.

Hytner said that ITV's shareholders had increased his marketing budget to £11 million next year, which was more than BBC1's.

The move coincides with Granada and Carlton's merger announcement.

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