Set faces to stunned. The launch of the CBS channels in the UK.
September 2009 saw a deal between CBS and Chello Zone to launch three CBS branded channels in the UK: CBS Drama, CBS Reality and CBS Action. Our relationship with Zone dated back to 2004 when we created their corporate identity and implemented it across all their channels, so when it came to launching the CBS brand, Kemistry was the natural choice. Viewers here were familiar with some of the shows from CBS’s vast content library and some have even achieved cult status. “Beam me up Scotty” has passed into the vernacular and the word ‘Bitch’ was practically invented for Joan Collins.
There was very little perception however that these great programmes were created by CBS. Likewise, the famous CBS ‘eye’ logo was associated with American news and not entertainment.
We needed to establish CBS in the viewers’ mind as the creator of great programmes and re-connect with the brilliant design heritage the broadcaster had established in its early days. Designed by Lou Dorfsman, the CBS ‘Eye’ has become an icon of television and unusually has remained unchanged since it’s debut in 1951. Over 50 years later it is still as relevant and powerful as ever and we were determined to uphold this legacy.
Our approach to the brand was to create a ‘visual glue’ that would work across all media, establishing the channels as modern in appeal with a style that engages the audience and makes them aware of the CBS brand.
A vibrant two-colour palette was established for each channel and a bold ‘in your face’ typestyle was used to promote and package both channels and content. A flat graphic style was used to simply animate the on-screen version of the ‘Eye’, making it very much the hero.
All promo boards and other screen elements followed this bold style and we opted for a copy driven approach featuring tongue in cheek one-liners, delivered in a recognisable bold italic type style.
The visual identity and tone of voice was carried over into the high profile promotional campaign, launching the channels in the UK with a bang. The launch marked yet another milestone in the rich design history of this historic brand, and CBS is now recognised as a much loved brand across the UK.