Festival of Marketing 2014: So, did the ITV rebrand work?

Eighteen months on from the launch of its major rebrand, ITV’s group marketing and research director Rufus Radcliffe talks to CR about what it has achieved for the broadcaster

Eighteen months on from the launch of its major rebrand, ITV’s group marketing and research director Rufus Radcliffe talked to CR at the Festival of Marketing about what it has achieved for the broadcaster

According to Radcliffe, ITV is now the most loved commercial TV brand – the achievement of which was a key goal of the project. Radcliffe was interviewed by CR editor Patrick Burgoyne at the Festival of Marketing, taking place this week at London’s Tobacco Dock.

“We have lots of metrics for success and metrics for failure,” he said. “We now track brand health and brand love, which are reported to the board. Brand love for ITV has grown significantly over the last two years. We are now the most loved commercial TV brand and that’s really important to us.” (see our original post on the rebrand here.)

Asked about the difficulties of launching a rebrand today and how to win over internal audiences, Radcliffe said, “You’ve got to be quite scientific about it. We had some very simple research that showed the disconnect between the amount of people who watched ITV and the amount of people who said they loved ITV, versus our competitors.”


When he arrived from Channel 4 three years ago, Radcliffe said that although viewers felt strong affinity with individual shows, that wasn’t matched by their feelings towards ITV itself. “This stuff [rebranding] becomes very subjective so you have to strip away the emotion and get back to numbers [to make your case],” he said.

The final version of the brand was revealed to the bulk of ITV staff at a series of roadshows with Radcliffe making the point that although his team saw winning over their internal audience as vital, the work was fixed at that stage. “I don’t think you can show 4,500 people work in progress. We are being paid to do this job so we have to get on with it. When we were discussing it with the board we looked at options and things were quite fluid then but there comes a point where you have to say ‘we think this is the right solution and this is the reason why’.”



And how did he cope with comments from the public online? “If people don’t comment, it means they don’t care,” he said. “ITV is part of British life so everyone will have a point of view. I was going round telling everyone to put their tin hats on but we knew it would die down really quickly, and thankfully it did. You can’t overcommunicate these things. You have to swamp people with information about why you are doing it and how you are doing it, otherwise people say it’s just a vanity project, or ask ‘wasn’t there anything else you could have spent the money on?”

Rufus Radcliffe was speaking at the Festival of Marketing, the two-day conference organised by all Centaur’s media brands, including Design Week, Econsultancy, Celebrity Intelligence, Marketing week and CR. Details here


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