It’s no longer accurate to describe a person watching television as simply a “viewer.” With on-demand providing ultimate control, we now “use” content as much as we view it, manipulating the TV experience to perfectly sync with our interests, schedules and habits. We have, according to Andre Takeda, VP of creative services at Fox Networks Group LATAM, become “viewsers.”
The impact this new paradigm has had on the branding of television networks has been significant, as on-air and digital identities have flattened and smoothed to reflect an activity now driven as much by touch as by vision. Nowhere is this trend more evident than in the recently launched rebrand of Fox Premium, the flagship package of Fox pay TV channels that airs across Latin America.
“The concept of a package of channels is old and we needed to update it to the new trends and how our fans experience entertainment today,” Takeda said. “Yes, we still have channels, but today our channels and our app are 100% integrated. So, we translated this concept to all our communications, on screen and online graphics.”
Designed by Buenos Aires’ Superestudio, the new Fox Premium, which includes in its portfolio channels devoted to movies, action, family, comedy and more, achieves Takeda’s stated objective by physically manifesting the sensation of mobile TV consumption across all its platforms. Even if watching the network on a traditional, linear set-up, the on-air identity looks and feels as though it is moving under the influence of human touch, the graphics swiping left and right, or scrolling up and down.
It’s the merging of “App and TV” brought to life in design, Takeda said. “We worked on making the graphics look more digital, to create a [true] integration between the [Fox Premium] app and the TV worlds.” The new system, he continued, is more than motion design. It’s “UX design meetings TV branding.”
The ushering of app into TV begins with the Fox Premium logo, which has been revamped to resemble the round-cornered box of an App Store mark regardless of what context it appears in, thereby “keeping it even simpler [for] the fan to relate both brands unified,” Takeda said. It’s the visual conclusion of a journey that began when the network was simply known as Fox+. Six months before the rebrand, “we added ‘Premium’ to start a transition,” Takeda said. “Then we removed the ‘+’ to keep simplifying the communication.”
Somewhere along the way, the network’s understanding of its own name changed. “We are constantly aiming our efforts in understanding even better our consumers’ behaviors and preferences, and it was in that process that [we] found out that the word ‘premium’ had another meaning for them,” Takeda said. “It was not a symbol of status anymore, it represented a whole 24/7 experience.”
In this day and age, it’s more important than ever for the network brand to get out of the way and let the shows, well, run the show. Viewsers expect a greater variety of content than ever before and yet have significantly less bandwidth available through which to receive it. Every millisecond of the space between programming is precious. The new Fox Premium system addresses this by enabling the transmission of a “great deal of various information in a dynamic way,” said Ezequiel Rormoser, executive & general creative director at Superestudio. “The user thus gets only the information they need in a clean and clear message, with a non-invasive brand presence.”
To that end, the tone of the new Fox Premium identity is light as air. “Our tone of communication is more close, casual and friendlier to stay even more tuned to our fans,” Takeda said. This entails treating each promo as “a call to action,” he continued, but also peppering transitions with disarming phrases (translated from Spanish) such as, “watch it with your girlfriend,” “because we all hate Mondays,” and “in case you believe in ghosts.”
Always, the goal is “to remind the viewer that all Fox Premium’s content is made to be seen in multiple platforms, leaving [it] up to the user” how it gets consumed, Rormoser said. “Everyday we receive a huge amount of information through different media, and nowadays, the content is the most important,” he continued. “Offering a clutter-free pipeline to that programming is paramount, and Fox Premium rises to the challenge with one of the cleanest, purest expressions of “content communication” yet, “tying it to the brand in the simplest possible way.”
[Images and video courtesy of Superestudio]