Tim Youngman - Rebranding the ITV way
10:00 01 December 2012
Archant © 2009
Every industry has quirks and things that to them are massively important but seem minute to the rest of society.
I have managed to end up in an industry which has more than its fair share.
In marketing we spend hours and days worrying and discussing about even the smallest changes to product taglines. It might sound bizarre to you, but if you are the head of marketing for Ronseal and you wanted to change “it does exactly what it says on the tin” you would have to jump through more hoops than a seal at Seaworld.
One of the reasons I love my industry so much is this relative importance placed on things that to the casual observer seem so small, but in reality do actually matter a lot.
For example much has been made of the recent change to the logo of online auction house eBay. Did you notice it? Probably not, but it led to one of my favourite tweets regarding a change which simply read “surely it’s just been on a diet”.
So here are some quotes regarding an upcoming rebrand: “The rebrand is about cementing the relationship in viewers”, “The logo is a form of human handwriting”, “It’s curvy and warmer than we have been in the past and in comparison with competitors feels distinct and true to us.”
That came from ITV group marketing and research direc-tor Rufus Radcliffe talking about a rebrand of the ITV logo happening in January.
January will see the first major rebrand of ITV since 2006, when you will see it drop the “1” and revert back to simply “ITV”. It is also changing the logo, as the quote gives away, to a new curvy style whose colours will change according to the tone of the programme it is promoting. So keeping it current it might be brown and green when promoting I’m A Celebrity. But why is this important and what’s the point?
Well ITV has been through and come out the other side of a very difficult period in its history. Only a few years ago it was struggling against the growth of satellite and cable television channels, the internet and a reduction in ad rates.
Fast forward to today and ITV is in good health. It increased revenues by 4pc to £1.57bn in the nine months to September 30, thanks to sales from its production arm, ITV Studios, which rose by a fifth to £498m, helped by the success of hit shows such as Downton Abbey.
The rebrand allows ITV to clearly position itself against its rivals. Or as Mr Radcliffe would say, “being at the heart of popular culture is the purpose behind the ITV brand. The BBC’s is to educate and entertain; Channel 4’s is a mission with mischief”.
I was most pleased to see that they did not spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on consultants to do this but trusted their own internal creative team to come up with the goods, an unfortunately rare decision when these things occur.
So this may not even register with you, or you might raise a slight flicker of acknowledge-ment when the logo changes in January.
However, to some of us, even if we don’t like the new logo, we admire the thought and reasoning behind it and hope that it helps to continue the turnaround in a national institution.
Tim Youngman is head of digital marketing for Archant follow him on twitter @timyoungman