Starting this week, number 2 cable news channel, MSNBC will begin to formally unveil a new 2 year marketing campaign revolving around MSNBC’s new brand position “Lean Forward”. Our friends at MSNBC have given me access and a preview of the new on-air spots, which are a component of a multi-million dollar rebrand effort to raise awareness with viewers, advertisers, and distributors.
MSNBC "Lean Forward" Rebrand
The rebrand and advertising push is led by Minneapolis-based creative branding agency Mono (whom you might remember as the agency who developed the tagline “Characters Welcome” for #1 cable channel USA Network). The new image spots (directed by Spike Lee) will air on other television channels- expect to see more billboards to pop in major metros as well as The New York Times, Slate, The Daily Beast and Huffington Post.
Sharon Otterman, CMO for MSNBC, tells me that she decided to go with Mono because of their “passion in simplicity of storytelling”. In addition, MSNBC has reported on itself on the new rebrand by saying “With the addition of left-leaning anchors including Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz, the network increasingly became identified with a rising tide of progressive political sentiment. The new branding campaign, while not overtly political, implicitly embraces the network’s progressive identity.”
Unfortunately, I can’t publicly share a lot of what I have on the new rebrand yet. The :30 Spike Lee directed spots will be an interesting talking point. One involves Rachel Maddow working, shuffling papers on the floor of her office (with pen in mouth of course). Her VO explains that “News is about stories. It’s about finding facts and their coherence. Doing this requires vigor and a devotion to facts that borders on obsessive. At the end of the day, this is about what’s true in the world”. As the spot builds, she is surrounded by what we assume to be other reporters, a wipe board, and eventually Rachel herself seated in her anchor chair. The rough cut I saw had a very chunky transition from the new “Lean Forward” tag line into the MSNBC logo.
The second series of reveal films created for Aol via Wolff Olins/Universal Everything has launched at the New Museum in New York City.
Aol Rebrand Phase 2
These newest additions to the brand campaign won’t be seen on TV. Delivery via web video, mobile, digital and outdoor LED displays. If (by chance) you missed it, you can catch up on Aol’s massive rebrand coverage here and here.
Europe: MTV’s world design studio in Milan (MTV International) builds on its branding campaign last year by rebranding 6 of its genre-based channels in the UK: MTV Dance, MTV Hits, MTV Rocks, MTV Shows, MTV Base, and MTV Classics. The over-arching campaign includes name changes, new idents, and refreshed logos.
MTV2 will now become MTV Rocks, VH1 Classic will be MTV Classic and MTVR becomes MTV Shows. Base, Dance and Hits will keep their name but will undergo the visual rebranding.
Roberto Bagatti, creative director of MTV’s world design studio explains the design philosophy, “The idea is to promote healthy collaboration between the world’s best motion design talent, whether they are established or straight out of school and wet behind the ears.”
With regards to MTV’s current brand evolution Bagatti adds, “Over time this will allow MTV International to grow and evolve our idents into what could be the best body of international motion design work associated with one brand”.
Here’s a preview of a few more of the new idents for those outside of the UK (click KEEP READING more). MTV Dance Idents were designed by Paris-based View. MTV Rocks Idents were developed by Amsterdam-based Post Panic.
First look: Utilizing subtle and playful references to premiere programming in the idents (signature cheesecake for the Golden Girls, a white wispy feather for Touched By An Angel) Hallmark Channel’s 2010 Rebrand is guided by its mandate “Celebrating Life’s Moments”.
The color scheme is based on Hallmark’s Plum color, with variations on the theme for events like Red for Valentines Day, and other colors to match the programming IDs. The rebrand was developed by Imaginary Forces.
Universal Networks International continues to build on its multi-million dollar investment announced at MIPCOM in October, which sees the brands deliver new original, first-run content targeted at local audiences around the globe.
Eleanor McBrien, VP Global Marketing, Universal Networks International, said: “This is an incredibly exciting stage in the evolution of our business and our new core brands represent the equity and heritage of our parent company Universal.”
Each channel name and logo has been newly designed to build upon the parent company’s Universal equity and heritage:
Universal Channel is a flagship entertainment channel, with world class shows, characters and stories that connect on a deeper level.
13th STREET Universal deals in drama from the world of crime and suspense, with danger and intrigue at every twist and turn.
Syfy Universal is the original science fiction and fantasy channel, offering a broad range of imagination-based entertainment.
Diva Universal is a women’s entertainment channel that celebrates living life fully, with a feel-good mix of great drama, escapism and sassy reality shows.
Studio Universal shares the world’s favourite movies and the stories behind them.
London-based DixonBaxi created the brand identity and on-air presentation of Studio Universal; 13th STREET and Diva UNIVERSAL, while Heavenly has undertaken the design work for the five new channel logos, the brand identity of Universal Channel and the portfolio strategy.
Just a quick followup from the (dramatic) review for a new brand consultancy to handle Greater London Authority’s (GLA) £500,000 rebrand of the city of London, which includes a new image and logo for the capital. The coveted rebrand has been awarded to Saffron. If you haven’t heard of them before, you might recognize Saffron’s chairman- Wally Olins (previously co-founded Wolff Olins), the consultancy behind the jagged 2012 Olympics Logo and AOL’s recent rebrand.
The trend of working internationally with branding firms is an increasingly popular and persuasive offering. Saffron describes itself as “an independent consulting firm working for companies, countries and other enterprises on issues related to branding and identity.”
“Each Saffron project team is tailor made, and assembled from our offices in London, Madrid, Mumbai and New York. People from multiple locations work together as a creative/strategic task force—a bit like producing a movie.
We’re adept in our singular globalization-attuned work style because we know the world. We think it makes us different. We know it makes us better at what we do. “
Qatar: A pretty exclusive look at a bit more creative (including some original concept copy) from Al Jazeera and their latest rebrand. You can catch up with the earlier part of the campaign here.
Al Jazeera Main Ident
Original Creative Concept: “Water is an essential element for Al Jazeera. The ident starts with a globe filled with news information dropping into the ocean. Unlike the impression of the ocean we have, the world below is bright and warm from where countless particles emerge and spread. Every particle represents something that’s going on in the world. These particles follow the current, finally absorbed at ocean surface by the logo of Al Jazeera to signify the central idea: ONE WORLD, ALL ASPECTS.”
Al Jazeera General Promo
Original Creative Concept: “The sea surface represents an objective platform for opinions, and water drops are different opinions in the world. Water particles move freely in the ocean, coming and going in all directions, bobbing up and down on the sea surface; some water particles collide with the sea surface and some blend in, just like the interflow of various opinions. The endless convergence of opinions finally forms the Al Jazeera logo and slogan: Opinion & Other Opinion.”
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