Channel 4 has this evening launched a new set of promotional idents, the first since 4’s major rebrand two years ago. The films adopt a new tone, though continue to make use of the ‘broken up’ Channel 4 logo blocks introduced then, this time using them to form a C4 giant, who strides and booms his way across the UK.
“The first set of idents focused on the blocks’ origins and discovery and they told the viewer that Channel 4 is alternative, it’s different and challenging,” says Alice Tonge, ECD at 4Creative, Channel 4’s in-house agency. “We wanted to evolve them, so we see these as the next chapter. It’s taking the deconstructed 4 and showing how the blocks can exist in and interact in the real world.”
Directed by Dougal Wilson, the films are packed with comedic moments – not least the giant’s foghorn voice – but also aim to reinforce the values important to 4. “We use these idents as an opportunity to remind people why they’re watching Channel 4,” continues Tonge. “Not just what they’re watching with a spinning logo.
“In these idents the giant shows that we’re proud supporters of disability … and the ‘white cliffs’ ident is showing that Channel 4 knows that different cultures and backgrounds and ethnicities make the UK a better place to live. It’s a real celebration of that – I think it’s a really positive message.”
The films are not afraid to also acknowledge that Channel 4 may not be for everyone. “Channel 4’s got an alternative voice that not everyone agrees with, but it’s vital,” says Tonge. “In the ‘fanfare’ ident, the giant has a booming voice and some people are putting their headphones on and shutting the door and other people are celebrating it. That’s demonstrating that this is an important, alternative voice. We understand that not everyone’s going to agree with that but it’s a really vital voice to have.”
Branding fans will also notice that the giant’s call plays homage to Channel 4’s original Lambie-Nairn ident, launched in 1982, remastering its soundtrack ‘Fourscore’ for a new era. “We wanted to really communicate Channel 4’s personality,” says Tonge. “Not everyone’s going to remember that mnemonic but quite a lot of people will. It’s there to really reinforce the brand. All of these things are really there to reinforce the Channel 4 brand and the quirkiness and the humour is another side to Channel 4 that we wanted to get across.”
Executive Creative Directors: Chris Bovill, John Allison, Alice Tonge
Executive Producer: Shananne Lane
Creative Director: Dan Watts
Creatives: Chris Bovill, John Allison, Dan Watts, Dougal Wilson
Production company: Blink Productions
Director: Dougal Wilson
Editor: Joe Guest, Final Cut
Music performed by Dougal Wilson