MTV Goes In-House

MTV UK and Ireland unveils a re-brand this month based around a family of characters created by Norwegian illustrator, Kim Hiorthøy, through This Is Real Art

Each of the five MTV channels – MTV1, MTV2, Base, Dance and Hits – has its own animated icon, dressed and voiced to reflect the nature of each. “There are so many different ways of viewing music now that, to get the most out of our brands, we have to have them working together,” says MTV VP creative, Steve Shannon. “We’d always had separate identities for the channels before, but the brief here was to retain their individuality while also bringing them together somehow.”

This Is Real Art came up with the metaphor of a house to represent the MTV network, with the individual channels signified by the people sharing that house. On-air, each character will appear in the top right corner of their channel as a constant reminder. They will also appear on menu screens and in interstitials. As the campaign develops, viewers can expect to see the characters pop up on each other’s channels as well as making appearances in a variety of promotional vehicles.

“The idea reflects the experience of many of the viewers who will be sharing houses themselves,” says TiRA co-founder Georgina Lee. “We wanted to give MTV something that they could quickly and easily change the look of and that would allow for the launch of new channels.” So, if MTV launch another channel, the house can merely be extended to accommodate the new arrival. According to Shannon, MTV “should be re-branding every 12 to 18 months”: the house, it is planned, will allow for characters to be completely re-designed while still retaining the original, overarching idea.


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