Twelve weeks ago, old friends/colleagues Aporva and Simon over at London-agency DixonBaxi began working on a new project with UKTV to create the brand for their latest free-to-air station, Drama. The heart of the brief was to “create a new home for Britain’s best-loved classics”, with the station airing a treasure trove of such shows such as Pride & Prejudice, The Cinder Path, Sharpe, Tipping the Velvet, Auf Wiedersehen Pet, Cranford and Lark Rise to Candleford. The brief included the need to have “the channel captured the nostalgic, warm, indulgent feeling of watching the shows whilst making sure the channel felt modern, fresh and was ultimately a celebration.” The classics ‘reimagined’ so to speak.
UKTV Controller Emma Tenant explains, “The channel is aimed at people who simply love drama and want to watch critically-acclaimed shows that have absolutely defined the landscape of British television”.
A creative strategy was developed which focused the positioning of the channel and also reflected the two sides to Drama. The shows set to air on Drama tend to take place in beautiful, pastoral landscapes, yet whilst seemingly serene, they often play host to a range of unsavory crimes, tragedy, romance, comedy and suspense. Looking at both the emotional and functional elements of brand, it was refined down to the overlap between the ‘idyllic’ and ‘intrigue’ and the natural tension that forms between these two narratives.
The 10 idents, 14 channel stings and graphics package elements take place in everyday, real life settings. Warm, familiar, local. They feature a series of beautiful, cinematic single shots, which in combination create a sense of drama – always seen through our lens. Although familiar scenes, each has a delicious ambiguity which plays on the tension between ‘idyllic’ and ‘intrigue’.
While the idents are 20s long single shot scenes, the channel stings are 3s and are ‘mini dramas’. They feature two distinct shots – one idyllic, one intrigue, followed by the Drama logo as the punctuation. The two shots have text on them creating mini stories, for example:
Hope, Ambition, Drama.
Love, Lost, Drama.
Innocence, Fury, Drama.
Music and sound design inspired by cinema creates a wider narrative context as well as warming up the imagery but with a moment of discord.
The D logo was created as a premium mark and punctuation for the brand. The two dimensional into 3D form and the play between light and shade is also a reference to the two sides to drama and in our case the idyllic and the intrigue. Drama joins three free-to-air channels on UKTV: Dave, Really and Yesterday.