ManvsMachine has created a series of idents for ITV2, which offer an unusual take on everyday objects. Idents are randomly generated using an algorithm, and were created as part of a brand refresh which sees the channel shift its focus to creating content for 16-34-year-olds.
ITV rolled out a new identity across all of its channels in January 2013 (you can read our article on it here). The new look ITV2 features the same logo, but a new series of idents presents everyday objects in extraordinary ways. There are wobbling jellies alongside rows of welly boots, a sausage dog among hot dog squeaky toys, clocks being smashed by hammers, sticks of rock and rows of fans blowing ties.
Sequences were created using a mix of CGI and live action, and are randomly generated from hundreds of thousands of possible combinations using an algorithm, meaning viewers will see a slightly different sequence each time. (ITV's rebrand also featured some randomly generated elements, such as a colour-picker tool which would adapt the channel's logo to match the colours in footage being shown on screen). The choice of objects is based on the idea of presenting "life amplified".
Executive creative director Tony Pipes says the aim was to "inject some pace, energy and entertainment into the channel as it shifts its focus to a younger audience." The channel broadcasts reality TV, comedies and dramas, from Love Island to Celebrity Juice, and will be showing Seth MacFarlane's Family Guy series when BBC3 moves online in 2016.
"We wanted a new look and a new promotional model, that was more flexible, with more licence, that was fun and dynamic, always updating, weaving in with our social feeds, and better reflecting the kind of channel ITV2 is," says Pipes. "We talk about how what unites our content is that it's ‘outrageously entertaining' - with the likes of Keith Lemon's shows, home-grown comedies such as Plebs and The Job Lot, entertainment like Release The Hounds, and Tricked ... so wanted to re-boot our branding architecture to better reflect that personality."
Alongside the idents, ITV2 will be updating its social media feeds, including its Instagram and Facebook profiles, to present more youth-focused imagery and animations.
On air, it will be broadcasting bite-sized promos, which will appear in "GIF-like bursts", as well as "flashes of channel branding" in the channel's new colour palette (shown below), which sees its red logo replaced with turqouoise on black.
Short animations will feature a swipe motion, which Pipes says references the swipe of tablets and mobile screens. "ITV2's tumblr feed now also becomes a new source for content, created by us or our viewers," he says. "The content here becomes a feeder for the social world, but also another elements we can potentially use on air, to keep our junctions fresh and ever-changing."
The channel is the latest to experiment with randomly generated idents and sequences: DixonBaxi's new branding for BT Sport, which we covered last week, allows the channel to select from hundreds of typographic animations to reflect on-screen action, while back in 2008, S4C launched voice activated idents, coded by Minivegas, which responded to the voice of channel announcers.
The new look certainly feels much more youth-focused, and ManvsMachine has created a brilliantly creative set of idents. With its bold colours and imagery inspired by the internet (plus plans to introduce user generated content), the refresh offers a fun and distinctive new look, but a more restrained take on visuals than MTV's recent rebrand. The result is an entertaining series of idents and an identity that feels much younger, but remains in keeping with existing ITV branding.