All 4 no more as Channel 4 unites portfolio under single brand
Broadcaster is bringing together all its channels and services in a bid to blur lines between linear, digital and social.
Channel 4 blurs linear and digital brand identities
From Spring 2023, UK broadcaster Channel 4 is to adopt a single brand identity across its entire portfolio, including losing the All 4 name from its video on demand (VOD) service. The move is a response to audiences no longer distinguishing between linear and digital content.
The brand transformation is part of its Future4 strategy, which aims to double views of its video-on-demand and ensure that digital advertising accounts for at least 30% of its total revenue by 2025.
For advertisers, Channel 4’s in-house sales arm 4Sales will start selling as a single buy that appears across many channels. “That will strengthen the commercial opportunities that work across channels and provide extra benefit for our advertisers investing in a single brand,” says its chief marketing officer, Zaid Al-Qassab.
While All 4 will be among the first to be rebranded, linear channels More4, E4, Film4 and 4Seven are due to take on the Channel 4 name later in 2023 – albeit with a relevant suffix that the broadcaster is still being coy about.
Al-Qassab is implementing the new identity throughout the organization with the goal of Channel 4 being seen as a “valued curator”, trusted by audiences to deliver great content no matter what platform it is shown on. ”So it will feel like one seamless ecosystem which is how people view Channel 4 already,” he says.
Channel 4 is yet to reveal how it plans to communicate the change to viewers, many of whom have just gotten used to the All 4 brand after it changed from 4oD in 2019.
While there are plans to run a campaign, Al-Qassab argues: “It doesn’t always need to be communicated – when you see any other brand that works between the digital and non-digital world, they don’t tend to use different names.”
The BBC has BBC iPlayer, ITV has the ITV Hub (soon to be ITVX), NBCUniversal has Peacock and then there are the many + based services like Paramount+, Disney+.
“It’s a historic quirk that we [Channel 4] and other broadcasters have ended up with digital worlds that have multiple names,” he says, adding that Channel 4 has never regarded All 4 as a brand and instead viewed it as a product.
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Channel 4’s in-house agency 4creative will oversee the fresh creative and has commissioned British artists and filmmakers to create a suite of new idents that will also drop in Spring 2023.
The rebrand news comes as Channel 4 marks its 40th anniversary, having been launched by Conservative prime minister Margret Thatcher in 1982. The broadcaster will be hoping the move with stave off the government’s privatization plans, which have been mooted since Boris Johnson left office in September.