Why Channel 5 revamped its brand for the first time in five years

Channel 5’s brand refresh, which sees a rebrand across its entire portfolio - including Channel 5, 5Star, 5USA and online service My5, will be first broadcast to audiences from 9am on Thursday 11 February. It's the first rebrand the channel has seen in five years, an area held off from investment while the channel focused on programming and new commissions.

The “bold” and “playful” refresh is the first overhaul of Channel 5’s brand identity since its takeover by Viacom in September 2014. The intention is to launch a brand with a strong personality which differentiates Channel 5 from its past and its competitors, and better reflects the creative range of its content. The focus is on diversifying the schedule, having a broader range of programmes, and attracting a younger, lighter-hearted audience.

The refresh has helped the channel create a more flexible brand identity, with a dynamic logo at its core that can be more easily adapted for use on multiple screens and platforms; reflecting the changing ways that Channel 5’s audience is engaging with its content. The new logo is animated in five different formats - the first time the channel has experimented in moving logos. It takes on different colours and textures in keeping with the moods and styles of content it runs next to.

The rebrand stemmed from content, with the initial focus on developing the channel’s overarching strategic position, the core of which was finding out what its target audience is. Along with ‘heavy’ viewers which the channel will work to re-engage, the focus is much more on attracting a ‘light’ audience of 16 - 24 year olds by modernising the brand.

Jo Bacon, vice president of marketing for Channel 5, oversaw the brand refresh and told The Drum the strategic position of the channel was to “exist to make everyday more colourful” through entertaining TV. She told us its core value was “spirited TV with emotional heart” which defines the journey of programming.

It was led creatively by Jody Malam, who has been working on secondment from his role as creative director for MTV UK, and developed in collaboration with a number of creative design agencies.

Along with the brand refresh, the channel announced hundreds of hours of new commissions, from Ben Fogle’s The Great Migration, Rich House Poor House, and a mockumentary comedy series, the first of its kind for Channel 5. The channel also recently announced the commissioning of Heroes Reborn, along with an exclusive acquisition of The Shannara Chronicles.

Bacon said: "The creative experience across our channels, including the high quality filmic idents, a more creative and dynamic on-screen presentation for all the channels, will enhance our appeal to both a younger and more upmarket audience, whilst building on our existing viewership."

In 2015, Channel 5 was the only terrestrial to grow audience share across the most valuable TV audiences, including a 4 per cent increase amongst 16-34s, aided by the launch of Spike in April and the growth of 5USA. It also saw its highest rating US drama launch since 2009 on Monday (8 February) with The X Files, which opened to a record-breaking 3.35 million viewers.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.