Tag Archives: motion graphics

The List: 40 Memorable Channel Branding Campaigns from 2009

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2009 brought us a creative torrent of beautifully executed and masterfully architected channel branding campaigns. From our coverage of NBC’s “More Colorful Campaign” and UKTV’s overhaul of its 10 channel portfolio to talked about campaigns from SyFy, Discovery, and MTV, as an industry we responded to a challenging global economy crisis with creative grit and bullish business determination.

And as one of the few (if only) blogs dedicated purely to international TV & screen based branding, we look forward to continuing to bring you news in 2010 from the branding frontline, including (of course) the business perspectives behind them. We ask that you continue your invaluable feedback and contribution to the dialogue. Lastly, (after much encouragement) we are now finally on Facebook. If you like this blog, please support us by joining Art & Business of Motion on Facebook. You can of course still follow us on Twitter.

So as we say a last goodbye to 2009, here’s a conveniently indexed list of 40 memorable channel branding campaigns we covered for you from 2009. To all the folks that help make this happen, a huge thank you! – Denny

Click keep reading for 2009 The List

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One HD, Australia’s New 24/7 Sports Channel Launches

One HD is finally here. Australian Network TEN’s 24/7 digital sports channel launched a couple weeks ago with a nifty “countdown on a vault” thematic and a promo featuring some big name Aussie stars teasing the channel’s programming lineup. TEN is confident that the new channel will score with sports fans. General manager of Sport, David White, explains “We know our opening weekend will give viewers a sensational introduction to ONE, and mark the beginning of a lifetime’s habit of essential sports viewing.”

Here’s the :60 teaser/promo –

From a business perspective, it’s important to note that it is the country’s first commercial free to air network in almost 50 years, which would explain some of the considerable industry and public buzz generated by the brand. The countdown and launch sequence for colleagues in the US & UK who haven’t seen it yet –

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2009 European Branding Report: Design of the Times

Last month, media & brand strategy consultant Martin Poole and I sat down for a couple hours in London to share a drink (or two) and discuss the state of the European and US broadcast design markets. We spoke on a range of topics including challenges facing broadcasters and agencies alike, as well as the incredible opportunities afforded by the changing marketplace. If you’re interested in the European Television Branding landscape, you should checkout his recently published M21 report titled “Design of the Times”. It features:

  • an overview of 2009 European broadcast design market
  • a look at how broadcasters across Europe are trying to differentiate their channels and brands
  • a catchup with some leading UK creative shops including Red Bee, Bruce Dunlop, Addiction, Beautiful TV, and Kemistry
  • a few thoughts from yours truly

The overview/first page of the article is presented here for a quick read. Click here to download the .pdf to view the entire article including the European brand case studies.

Design of the Times
By Martin Poole

No review of the European broadcast design market can ignore the current financial inconvenience that most broadcasters find themselves in, but this year’s crop of featured projects shows no lessening in creativity and ingenuity, even if budgets are lower and timescales shorter.

Everyone seems to agree that there’s something about constricted budgets and difficult circumstances that helps great ideas to come to the fore, whether it be using skill photography to illustrate the wonders of high definition or developing long-lasting storylines by creating your own characters and letting them develop lives of their own with the viewers.

The other thing that seems to be happening in this recession is that it’s forcing people to collaborate more. When budgets are tight, ideas are at a premium and everyone from creative director to ad agency to design agency to promo outfit is more than willing to explore other ways of working in order to get the best results. There’s a real sense that the creative community on both sides of the client/agency fence is pulling together to make sure we all get through this in one piece.

One area that everyone is focused on is customer service – when you know your client has only a little work to give out you want to be first on their list every time and agencies are trying to be much more attentive and ready to respond whenever they get the call. Despite that, most European agencies still have a lot to learn about how to present themselves, according to Denny Tu, an exec producer from LA who splits his time between Europe and the US. “Agencies are working harder to stand out but rarely do an effective job of communicating value differentiation above and beyond the creative reel,” he believes. While he is no doubt that the UK market in particular is one of the most creative in the world, if the agencies there want to grow they need to pay more attention to proving their value and worth than they do at the present. (click keep reading below for more)

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Academy Awards Graphics & Branding: A Well Deserved Look Back

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So the OSCARS® have come and gone in a blink of an eye. Having worked on a number of award show graphics packages myself, it’s always been slightly disappointing to see these campaigns have such short (if not beautiful) shelf lives. Our title sequences live on a weekly basis, idents seem to pop on the screen every other minute. The hundreds of hours of design, development, conceptual fine-tuning, and passion that goes into these award show packages is truly awe-inspiring.

*If you’ve come for the 2011 OSCARS branding & design feature, simply follow us on Twitter or Facebook to be notified when the full rundown from last night’s award show is complete. Stay tuned!

2007

2007 Academy Awards © Prologue / AMPAS

Since the 81st Academy Awards® are now receiving their annual morning-after coffee talk (…so whatcha think of Kate’s speech?), I thought we’d take a quick look back at the last few years of Oscar®, visioned through the team of Kyle Cooper and Prologue who have been responsible for the visual artistry of the Academy Awards® graphics package for the last several years (as well as that stunning Benjamin Button Poster).

2008 Academy Awards © Prologue / AMPAS

So without further ado, let’s take a glimpse back at some beautiful Academy Awards® graphics that had their time in the spotlight pass far too quickly.  Btw, if you’ve worked on an awards show graphics package you think should shine again for all of us to see, let me know.

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Academy Awards 2006

2006 Academy Awards © Prologue / AMPAS

2006 Academy Awards

2006 Academy Awards © Prologue / AMPAS

2006 Academy Awards

2006 Academy Awards © Prologue / AMPAS

2007 Academy Awards

2007 Academy Awards © Prologue / AMPAS

2007 Academy Awards

2007 Academy Awards © Prologue / AMPAS

2007 Academy Awards

2007 Academy Awards © Prologue / AMPAS

2007 Academy Awards

2008 Academy Awards © Prologue / AMPAS

2007 Academy Awards

2008 Academy Awards © Prologue / AMPAS

2007 Academy Awards

2008 Academy Awards © Prologue / AMPAS

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5 Reminders When Selecting a New Branding Agency

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Now that the 60+ hour work week you’ve been tallying has finally seen fruit,  you’re now the proud parent of a recently launched brand campaign. The dust has settled, tapes delivered, it’s time to take a step back and take stock. Too bad you’re not afforded the luxury of endless time and 3 assistants. Soon, your email will be filled with feedback, customer analytics, and meeting reqs to debrief from the research department. If only they served the good donuts in those meetings.

Sorry, I got distracted.

The truth is something’s not right and you just can’t put your finger on it. You’ve decided, for one reason or another, that you will explore other options for the next creative assignment. It could be business chemistry, lackluster creative process, or just an annoying EP. Maybe the agency is showing some early tell-tale credit crunch signs of going belly up. You’re going to look at options. Agency review has become a far more common practice, perhaps you’ll stumble across a new broadcast design agency gem, one with the enthusiasm, spark, and capability offering you’ve been hankering for.

If you decide on embarking on your next agency review solo, here’s a short, nifty list of things to consider before you take the plunge. And by plunge I mean, be unlucky enough to get a hold of an eager business development executive who will call, email, and nag you weekly until you share a drink at the PROMAX New York afterparty.

  • Ask yourself: Is this review really necessary? How much effort, time, and shared business knowledge has gone into the encumbent agency?
  • Be clear with what you’re looking for in a new design firm. Identifying category skill-sets like specialist firms that focus on network branding or on-air promotion will enable you to avoid long and unnecessary pitch lists with design firms that lack the requisite skill-sets. Sure they have a great VFX reel, but you’re not going to pay them to learn how to produce a proper title sequence. This isn’t 2002.
  • Be clear on who you are involving internally with the review. There may be existing relationships within your organization that may cause unnecessary complication and emotional headaches.
  • Getting the right strategic/creative brief upfront will lay a foundation for a fruitful process. Fully explored briefs will help mitigate creative and financial risk. Part 2 of this article will explore a few universal success components of good pitches. Look for it in the coming weeks.
  • The value of pre-pitch meetings in order to establish personal, creative, and professional chemistry should not be underestimated.

And as I explained in my Guide to Distinguishing Agencies there is a new frenzy of broadast and design agencies competing for your brand assignments at any given time. They are hungrier, and more talented than ever. Recession provides a platform for change. The opportunities it gives should be neither feared nor wasted. So go out and explore your creative options!

If you would like to get my article when it posts on “10 Hot Broadcast Design Companies to Look Out for in 2009”, click here to get on my private e-list. Don’t worry, you’ll get email updates only when this blog is updated and since I don’t answer to any advertisers, your email is always held in the strictest of confidence and you will never get spammed.

…I’m off to find myself a warm buttermilk donut.

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Paramount Comedy to rebrand as Comedy Central in April

Paramount Comedy will rebrand as Comedy Central in the UK on April 6, 2009 at 21:00 with a fresh new slate of programming.

Much of the network schedule will be filled by  shows broadcast at the same time as their US premieres. Among the new shows are a sitcom from stand-up star Jim Jeffries and and a pilot of Grumpy Young Men narrated by Peep Show’s Robert Webb. A third of the channel’s output would be original shows, mainly produced by UK indies. As part of the marketing facelift, Paramount Comedy Two will be renamed Comedy Central Extra and feature programs such as Sex and the City, Rules of Engagement, Everybody Hates Chris and The Office.

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The XBOX 360 spec spot you’ve got to see

This is a pretty exclusive glimpse at the XBOX 360 spot that will undoubtedly grab some attention, partly because it was done on spec, mostly for the robotic poetry.

The talented team over at AB5TRAX (pronounced ‘abstracts’) have done the near impossible:

A spec spot in the middle of a belt-tightening recession. (!)


After months of work, they’ve recently finished “XBOX 360 Ultimate Weapon”.  The spot showcases the Hollywood-based design and animation company’s conceptual storytelling prowess. The motion graphics boutique agency is led by Seaton Lin and Ryan Apuy, with producer Hunter Woo. The sound design is helmed by Dan Creech / Revolving Black Bird.

**Concept Animations + Frames Updated at the end of the post**

I’m told creative development and production took place afterhours and in-between projects. Working without a provided brief, the story unfolds:

“In an alternate universe, where artificial intelligence reigns supreme, the top scientists are burdened with a difficult challenge, to create theultimate weapon in the land. As they survey the complex X-Box universe, from Halo to Gears of War to Madden, there is but one great weapon of massdestruction; human hands. And so our mad scientist sets forth on his journey to destroy the enemy and conquer worlds, and the power of the gamer is unleashed. ”

I have to give props to the team for committing to such an ambitious goal. No doubt we’ll be seeing more great work out of LA-based design collective.

**Update**

Thanks to Hunter for giving us access to showcase some development boards to you. If you are interested in me posting a PDF of the full concept boards, please let me know.

Welder Turntable 3D Test

Welder Turntable 3D Test

Early Robotic Hand Concept

Hand Cradle Concept

Hand Cradle Vis

Ship Model

Ship Model

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The he(art) and business of motion graphics

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