Viacom – Channel 5 Rebrand

February 16, 2016
by Tim Rabjohns

    Well it seems that, like London buses, you get no TV channel rebrands for ages and then you get loads at once.  We recently saw Channel 4’s visually and conceptually controversial rebrand, we’ve also got a new look to UK Gold’s Watch channel this week as well as the new ‘high end’ Channel 5  rebrand.

    High end?  – yes well Viacom has worked with several different agencies across all of it’s brands – Channel 5, 5USA – (new look by Momoco) and 5Star – designed by New York agency Gretel.

    Online service Demand 5 has been renamed My5 and has a new logo designed by Los Angeles agency Troika. The idea is to project a classier image and appeal to a better class of viewer.  I think these ambitions will be realised by some better quality programming as well as this sort of branding.  With so much TV being watched on catch up – where viewers search for specific programs – I wonder how much the branding has an effect on viewer perceptions any more…?

    As you can see from the videos the new 5 logo takes a more Channel 4 approach in that it is now made of segments that seem to animate apart in different ways.  Different moods can be indicated by using various colours and textures.  The palette is made up of eight gradations across pink, purple, green, blue and orange set in typeface Nobel Light.

    This project was run by the  VP of marketing at Channel 5’ who is Jo Bacon as well as creative director at MTV Jody Malam.  Bacon says the new look is inspired by the idea of presenting ‘spirited TV with an emotional heart’, reflecting Channel 5’s new positioning.  They worked on this project 13 months and Viacom hopes it will challenge negative perceptions of the brand and attract higher spending 16-34 year-old viewers.Channel 5 logo for dotmogo

    5 USA

    London studio Momoco, meanwhile, has created a slick series of idents for 5USA, which were shot using drones and feature sweeping views of US cities. “We wanted to capture a sense of Americana,” says Bacon. “5USA has a loyal fan base, so we didn’t want to alienate them, but we wanted to contemporise [the channel],” she explains.


    Sensibly enough Jo Bacon says that her team did a lot of research into perceptions of Channel 5 before starting the rebrand – and then a period of four months to develop a new strategy.  It seems that there have been long term issues withe the “quality” of some of their programming over time  – which is one of the reasons for giving the brands a classier feel .  She also mentioned why they decided to work with a number of different agencies in order to “the best talent from around the world”.

    Whilst there is no doubt that they have used talented agencies – my feeling is that there is not such a great brand cohesiveness, like the ITV rebrand for example.  I guess it depends on what philosophy you hold – whether it’s important to hold the name of the channel/curator in the consumer’s consciousness or whether the name of the individual program is the “brand” that is important when searching for content to watch.

    Also, I couldn’t notice a strong audio branding at play here, which I think is a mistake in the multi channel world.  It dosn’t necessarily need to be a melody or anything that obvious.  I think TV channels could easily be using a sounds like the Samsung Galaxy alert whistle for their brands so people know what brand they are engaging with even when they can’t see a screen.

    What do you guys think..?

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