MTV International’s global refresh builds on the brand’s previous graphic evolutions, this time honing in on its audience’s emotions by exploring how viewers communicate and interact.

“As we looked at how we could complement what we had done in the past, we realized that highlighting emotions was a great concept that gave us the opportunity to explore different aspects of our audience’s feelings and behavior,” says Sean Saylor, vice president of creative at MTV International.

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The visual update emphasizes bright colors, defined character lines and movement. All the details—from how the typography sits on the frame, to the way the graphics move around the screen and the smooth flow of the transitions—demonstrate that MTV is free to express itself, just like its viewers.

“Our audience is extremely expressive and emotional,” says Saylor. “They have a variety of platforms at their fingertips where they can express whatever they want, whenever they want. We wanted to make sure we represented the full range of emotions they go through.”

Informing Refresh with Research

Since 2015, MTV’s international channels have undergone an annual on-air refresh.

“This was a decision made to reflect the changes in MTV’s audience behavior, consumption and attitude,” says Saylor.

Research for each update includes input from focus groups and collaboration with Viacom’s Global Insights team, which provides data on consumers behavior and trends, including location-based information from different regions.

Creative and marketing teams assess the results, and narrow down multiple ideas into one agreed upon direction.

A Consistent Look with Local Flair

For this latest iteration, they delved into the concept of emotions, using mood boards to figure out how they would all combine.

“We considered what is the tone? What is the look and feel? What is the MTV point of view? Where are the opportunities? How can we give our regions better support and more materials to have a stronger local voice?” says Saylor.

Throughout 2017, MTV International’s on-air rebrand was developed by using modules, “as a collage,” says Saylor.

“We created a very large tool kit of elements based on this concept, and allowed our regional teams to mix and match these elements to create their own versions of the brand.”

The update first debuted in Latin American countries in August, then expanded throughout New Zealand, South Africa and Europe over the course of the year. In January 2018, it launched across the United Kingdom and Asia. The creative department also encouraged regional teams to incorporate their own local flavor into the established look.

“This is a very successful way of keeping international brand consistency and simultaneously allowing local teams to have the freedom to create their vision of the brand as it relates to a local audience,” says Saylor.

While the logo’s architecture has not been modified as part of the refresh, the brand’s divisions around the world have been working with a variety of artists and designers to fill in the logo with their own vision.

MTV International also prefers to stay away from slogans.

“Our audience does not like being sold to, so we are more about show, not tell,” says Saylor.

Through this process, MTV’s personality remains stable, while it acquires new features along the way.

“The essence of our brand doesn’t change—we still reflect and celebrate our audience as they are today,” says Saylor. “These on-air refreshes are just a change of wardrobe that still illustrates we are a fun, unpredictable and honest brand.”

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Version español: MTV International logra un refresh emocional


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