Britain’s Channel 4 Goes Way the Hell Out There With Its ‘Rebranding’ Campaign

By Patrick Coffee 

Top U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 recently worked with London creative shop DGLB, its own in-house agency, and famed director Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast and Under the Skin along with ads for Levi’s, Nike, Guinness, etc. and videos for Radiohead and Blur, among others) to coordinate its first “brand overhaul” in more than a decade.

Glazer’s “idents,” which will run before and after ad breaks, are extremely odd. The Independent calls the work “brave and bizarre” before writing:

“It’s either a bold reinvention of a middle-aged brand, or a marketing brainstorm too far.”

Let’s just say somebody loves him some Stanley Kubrick.

So what was the person in the first short running from? And why does the creature in the second one look like something out of Guillermo Del Toro’s own nightmares? Most importantly, did the monkeys in spot #3 survive?!

What do these super-artsy shorts have to do with public television? We don’t really know. YouTube viewers called them pretentious and awful but mostly complained about the almost-invisible logo (which has long defined the station).

On that note, here’s DBLG’s video explanation of how they arrived at the new sexy look.

That one was definitely more coherent. DBLG explains:

“In a bold new move, their core concept was to strip the channel of it’s iconic logo and find hundreds of unconventional ways to introduce and animate the famous Lambie Nairn blocks. They designed a system that is playful, surprising, ever changing and above all colourful.”

Chris Bovill, head of the channel’s in-house creative shop, says:

“Most TV branding these days is like watching wallpaper. It’s pleasant but gets boring very quickly. However, Channel 4 is much more than just a big shiny number and some nice vibes. We didn’t want to tell people what channel they’re watching. We wanted to tell them why they’re watching it the first place.”

That’s cool. Something tells us that Channel 4’s programming isn’t as odd or interesting as these shorts, though.