Channel 5 rebrands as it claims its ‘diverse’ content doesn’t get the credit it deserves

Channel 5 has unveiled a major rebrand as it aims to reflect the different identities of its numerous TV channels and explain to both viewers and advertisers the ‘breadth’ of content it airs.

The brand refresh, the first since Channel 5 was acquired by Viacom in 2014, will see major changes to the logo, which now segments into five parts and takes on different textures and colours.

There will also be new logos and on-screen presentation for its 5Star, 5USA and My5 on-demand channels. This will include the introduction of viewer text messages flashing up during advert breaks.

Perhaps the most radical change is the introduction of several new idents. With noticeably higher production values, the cinematic idents show everything from a girl observing five skaters out of her car window to five rainbows coming out of a mountainous horizon.

Channel 5’s VP of marketing Jo Bacon says the project, which has taken 13 months to complete, saw Channel 5 reach out to media and PR agencies to ensure the repositioning was attractive to advertisers as well as viewers.

She told Marketing Week: “The new design and creative reflect the breadth of content that Channel 5 encompasses while strengthening our position among ABC1s and the 16-34 year old audience. If we can strengthen there, we will ultimately be more attractive to advertisers.

“People perhaps put us in a box, but this is a channel that makes important documentaries such as Body Donors or Ben Fogle’s New Lives In The Wild. There’s amazing diverse content being created here and we are not a brand that has been given enough credit for that.”

channel 5 ident
One of Channel 5’s new cinematic idents features five rainbows

Bacon claimed Channel 5 had 719 shows with an audience of more than one million viewers and 61 shows with audiences in excess of two million viewers in 2015. The success of Celebrity Big Brother has also made January 2016 its biggest ever month for viewers among the 16-34 year old demographic.

However, she was keen to point out the diversity of the channel’s content beyond mass-market entertainment shows.

Over recent years, Channel 5 has acquired the rights to show cricket highlights while it also airs high-profile US drama such as Gotham and the latest series of The X-Files. “We are provocative but never cynical, salacious or gratuitous. Our content has more empathy than people expect,” explained Bacon, who says the channel stands out due to its unpretentiousness.

Unlike say a Channel 4, our content allows millions of normal people access to diverse entertainment with no fuss. We are a playful challenger brand and can appeal to all audiences. The rebrand is a big opportunity to really redefine the DNA of the Channel 5 brand and how it is perceived.”

Viacom also launched a major rebrand of its MTV property last year calling the move an attempt to make MTV the “television equivalent of Instagram”.


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