Category Archives: promo

Sky Sports F1 Extended Launch Trail: F1 like never before


On March 9, 2012 Sky launches a brand new channel dedicated to Formula 1. This is F1, like never before.

Click continue reading for the 5 minute extended trail.

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Year in Review: The Top 30 Channel Branding Campaigns from 2011


Happy New Year my friends.

And with it comes my yearly roundup (in no particular order) of the top 30 channel branding campaigns from 2011. From some well considered refreshes from HBO, Discovery, and MTV, to name changers (Velocity & Science), and a few behind the scenes glimpses from Eurosport, RTÉ, and Channel 5, 2011 was another glorious year of showing why design for the small screen was anything but.

If you like this list, or simply missed previous years, you can find 2010 here, and 2009 here. And as always, whether you are channel or agency-side- do get in touch if you want to talk shop.

Wishing you and yours a prosperous, healthy, and happy 2012.


Read full article: “Eurosport’s Emotional New Brand Identity

Read full article: “HBO 2011 Redesign”

Read full article: “Discovery Channel (US) Brings New Energy to On-Air Identity

Read full article: “UK Channel 4’s T4 Refreshes with Dancing Robots

Read full article: “MTV Europe Unveils Fantastical  Rebrand for VIVA

Click continue reading for the full 2011 list

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National Geographic’s ‘Great Migrations’ A Visual Masterpiece


As someone who has loved every minute of BBC’s (/Discovery Channel’s) epic mini-series ‘Life‘, it shouldn’t surprise you that Nat Geo’s ambitious global programming event, ‘Great Migrations’, has me equally excited. The thriller takes viewers around the world on the arduous journey millions of animals undertake to ensure the survival of their species (shiver!). Sort of sounds like my migration from Los Angeles to London, but I digress.

National Geographic's 'Great Migrations'

Great Migrations is a worldwide initiative unprecedented in Nat Geo’s storied 120 year history. At the core of the series is a seven-hour high-definition miniseries event three years in the making — produced by National Geographic Television. A comprehensive marketing, communications and digital cross-platform campaign will reach audiences nationwide.

National Geographic's 'Great Migrations'

National Geographic's 'Great Migrations'

First up, an eye-catching :60 promo that takes some stunning footage and weaves a careful mix of graphics into the story of risk and power involved in every migration. The fundamental drive for movement is captured in a single epic motion across the minute long piece. The spot was created through a collaboration between Gentleman Scholar (Design) and Whitehouse Post (Editorial).

As I’ve done in the past (to pretty positive feedback), here’s a peek at the creative development of the project, which includes an early written and storyboard treatment. Enjoy.

'Great Migrations' Early Concept Treatment (click for full)

Special thanks to Nat Geo’s Megan Gilbert for reaching out, a shoutout to Whitehouse editor & friend Josh Bodnar (whom I’m sure you remember from his Emmy winning work on the Dexter main title), EP Rob Sanborn and directorial creds to William Campbell & Will Johnson.

I know some of you are really eager to get an update on NGC channel branding- not to worry as I will be providing you some brand new creative from the global ‘Live Curious’ campaign straight from the folks at Nat Geo themselves. Stay tuned!


Filed under branding, channel identity, commercial, promo

Promo Batch: Urban Channel, Cityvibe

Latin American premium channel Cityvibe has released a big delicious batch of promos touting its lineup of carefully selected programming which includes independent film, acclaimed series, horror and adult movies, short films, anime, concerts and documentaries.

Cityvibe is described as “the other side of mainstream television”. The promo style is based on the change, re-interpretation and overlapping of stimuli.

You’ll notice that these promos have the style of a VJ session (responsive AV) or one of a live cinema piece. Interestingly, as the channel’s advertisements don’t aim at direct sales, the spots act on a much more abstract level, making room for being more experimental and less literal. The “Primetime May Dub” promo (seen next) is particularly clever and amusing.

Special thanks to Andre Takeda, Creative Director FOX Latin American Channels for reaching out and sharing the new work. Credits include VP Creative Services: Corina Capuano, Associate Director: Juan Mascali, Senior Copywriter: Adriana Lodolo, Editor: Diego Gonzalez Farina / Pablo Espanet, Sound Designer: Federico Bertossi


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Channel Nine Copycat Controversy

It’s reasonable to assume that fewer and fewer ideas these days are truly original. Every so often, however, we run across promos and sequences that look eerily familiar. Seems to be the case with new controversy brewing over a recent promo from Australia’s Channel Nine. Here’s a look at the spots, see lower for a side by side comparison, you decide.

Nine’s spot for Rescue Special Ops looks to draw some eye-opening similarities from a Bear Grylls promo from Discovery UK. The response from a Channel Nine spokesman: the Discovery ad was an “inspiration, but we featured our cast, of course. The style suited the show.”

Sources tell me that the spot was developed in-house, however we don’t have any further comment or clarification from Nine since the last official statement on the matter. So what are your thoughts? Where is the line drawn between inspired by and copied?

Oh and also as David Knox pointed out last year, is it me or does this Battlestar Gallactica Promo from 2005 look familiar? Yeah, that’s a promo for Underbelly that ran on Nine in 2009.


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Strictly Come Dancing (UK) VS. Dancing With the Stars (US)


When Strictly Come Dancing hit the record books last year as the “world’s most successful reality show”, it was only a matter of time til we devoted an article to the cultural phenomenon that has swept the world’s curiosity.

The BBC Worldwide produced show has been exported to 30+ countries around the globe (with the first being Dancing With the Stars – Australia). In India, the series is known as Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, while Norwegians can’t get enough of Skal vi danse.

While the shows follow the same general format, the graphics packaging, promotion, and title design of each show illustrates some interesting cultural differences.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the title sequences from the American offering of DWTS that airs on ABC:

And Strictly Come Dancing on BBC One:

Further, take a look at the on-air promotions approach to the franchise. Again, one from the US, the other from the UK.

As you know, I’ve been a big proponent of exporting our unique regional (national) design sensibilities to the global design marketplace. This discussion offers an opportunity to ask: How does the design and branding of our shows reflect the cultural DNA of the countries in which they are presented? Share your thoughts.


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Discovery Channel Goes Down Under for Man vs. Wild


I’m a big fan of Bear Grylls. I’m also a fan of doing things a bit unconventionally, and such is the case with Discovery Channel’s most recent campaign for Man vs. Wild. Discovery’s experienced CD Jeff Strong & Producer Tyler Corba set out with a story they wanted to tell. Despite a 15 hour time difference, Discovery tasked Director Ash Boland and Sydney-based Umeric to bring a distinctively Australian feel to the campaign.

While not yet the norm, more network clients are looking to design firms in other countries for their unique design & branding expertise. Teams working together from around the world utilize a combination of web-based collaboration tools as well as creativity in their production pipeline approach (Umeric shot footage in Central Park at the peak of fall, working around Bear’s schedule) to minimize the challenges of not being in the same city.

What’s left is a truly global collaboration. Don’t forget, Bear is signed up for a new Discovery Show “Worst Case Scenario” which premieres on Discovery Channel in May.


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D&AD Awards 2010 / TV Brand Identity, Promotions, Title Sequences

The good folks over at D&AD dropped me a kind note and are keen on ensuring the best in channel branding and motion graphics are represented in this year’s D&AD Awards. They’ve got a solid panel of judges that are overseeing the TV & Cinema Communications Category, which is where our work in TV brand identity, TV title sequences, and TV promotions are represented.

Most importantly, the deadline for entries is fast approaching, 27 Jan 2010. There’s still time to enter with a chance at getting in the annual (and even winning a yellow pencil). You can find more info at

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HBO Teases Season 4 ‘Big Love’

HBO released last week its much anticipated :90 teaser/promo for the fourth season of fan favourite (myself included) ‘Big Love’. The Emmy-nominated drama returns in the US on January 10, 2010 on HBO.

The airy, minimalist spot features plural marrieds Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny, and Ginnifer Goodwin with Bill Paxton reaching for — and losing his grip — on each of his three wives. The song (incidentally) is from Interpol and is called “Untitled”.

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Five Ident: FlashForward

FlashForward is a breakout fan favorite this season. While ABC has done a stellar job promoting the new series stateside, there has been some buzz in the UK around Five’s specially designed FlashForward idents.

One of the benefits of my regular travel between London and LA is being able to sample (and share with you) promotional differences between creative teams in the US and Europe.

The show has been a solid hit for Five. It skews much younger than most of Five’s other major American shows, and has done a great job lifting Five’s brand equity among lighter viewers of the channel.

The UK launch was only days after the US launch, meaning footage and copy was restricted. “The Eye” / “What did you see” graphic was built as the main branding device for all UK marketing, and the ident delivers a sense of scale, sophistication and suspense to a show that is billed as the new Lost.

Extra thanks to the creative team (Nol, Russell, & Kate) at Five for the kind words on the blog and their contribution to the site.


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