[vimeo http://vimeo.com/25871689 w=573&h=322]
If you remember, about a year ago I wrote about how the UK Discovery channel was evolving it’s branding away from traditional idents and into souped up junctions that show clips from actual programs instead of special branding clips.
I was curious to know how this strategy had worked and so I caught up with Federico Gaggio, Discovery’s creative head, fresh from winning a Gold in the newly created global best “in-house creative team” award from Promax New York, (as well as 12 other Promax awards…)
As it happens he had just given a talk on their brand evolution and increased success of Discovery’s main channel in the UK, and he was kind enough to take me through this.
In essence the latest thinking came from a combination of market research and the continuing belief that the channel was not pure educational outlet, but primarily an entertainment channel that can help inform the audience at the same time.
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/21034863 w=573&h=322]
Secondly, for many years Discovery has maintained that the their content is their brand. As you can see from looking at these clips – the branding is very much about the talent on the channel, and as such the two are indistinguishable – there is a three second D for Discovery sting, but within that there is a small detail taken from the content of the channel. The personalities and their shows are always on display to connect with their audience.
Market research asked viewers what the barriers to viewing are – some thought that watching Discovery was hard work and “too educational” even though they did not watch the channel – highlighting the need to emphasise the great stories being told, and the interesting talent that they use. The other outcome of the research was a change in their target audience – originally all adult men, to ABC1 men – so, a higher socio-economic grouping. This helped them focus on their “intelligent entertainment” proposition – in both the programming and the brand messaging.
Anyway, enough of this marketing talk – I just wanted to give you a background to why and how things had evolved. The results have been very impressive, and I think you’ll agree that the quality of their promos has gone up in the last 12 months.
In the first 6 months of 2011 viewers have been up by 21%, (vs. the first 6 months of 2010) and more importantly up 30% in the ABC1 male category, by far the strongest growth they had in 6 years- testament that creative thinking and thinking creatively can lead to real results and not just pretty pictures….
The other thing that I admire is how they have integrated all the changes and thinking they have made on the channel in the website. Further still, they are one of the few broadcaster creative services divisions that chronicle all their goings on in a blog which you can access here. I am often frustrated by other broadcasters, all producing interesting creative work – , but who make it very difficult to follow what they have been doing – you know who you are!
James Cracknell Trilogy
Creatives: Lee Healy & Meriem Adib, Director: Meriem Adib , Creative Directors: Robin Garnett & Federico Gaggio (ECD), Producer: Paul Mortimore , DOP: Luke Scott, Post Production: Smoke & Mirrors , VFX Producer: Dan Andrews
Concept by Ceri Payne and Lee Healy, Directed by Ceri Payne, produced by Paul Mortimore, Creative Directors: Robin Garnett & Federico Gaggio (ECD), Shot at Kerner Studios in San Francisco. Post by The Mill in London.