Greece’s public service broadcaster Hellenic Radio and Television this week embarks on a radical relaunch with the help of Red Bee Media.
The rebrand aims to reflect the broadcaster’s new programming strategy, with a view to revitalising its reputation amid growing competition from the country’s commercial channels established ten years ago.
Red Bee Media head of design Jeff Conrad, who headed up the project, explains that there was little visual consistency or ‘affiliation to the master brand’ among the broadcaster’s three channels,despite its 40-year heritage.
‘The result of that is that they had three very different looks for each channel, with little personality and declining audiences,’ says Conrad.
The broadcaster, also known as ERT or EPT in Greek, approached Red Bee Media on this basis last September, and the consultancy was appointed without a pitch.
‘This was absolutely the exception. Nine times out often we have to pitch. We did invest a lot of time and effort upfront to establish the relationship, though,’ says Conrad.
‘It wanted us to give it a new look and feel that would be on air for January, but we managed to persuade it to take its time and understand the problem, how to evolve and to make itself relevant for today’s audience,’ he adds.
Following extensive strategic and channel architecture work, Red Bee Media has devised a recognisable content brand, new channel logos, a coherent identity system and two new content brands – ERT news and sport.
The ‘personality’ of each channel builds its offer around a central positioning of ‘intelligent entertainment’.
‘The pure creative concept behind Net, which shows big national events and new release films, is about the joy of the collective experience and sharing with family and friends,’ says Conrad. ‘The idents we’ve created for Net show one person being joined by others in the same activity to form an emotional connection with the channel and the audience.’
Although Conrad says the project has been Red Bee Media’s biggest yet this year, the financial benefits are not as great as working with UK broadcasters.
‘This is perhaps because the BBC might commission 15 idents, whereas ERT just commissioned the six,’ he says.
HOW HELLENIC PUTS ITSELF IN THE PICTURE
ET 1 – niche programming, Greek or foreign, contemporary and focused on the individual. The idents are abstract representations of individual emotions, set against a soundscape devised by audio consultancy Envy and animation by Bermuda Shorts and Trunk
ET 3 – regional and national focus, topics important to Greeks. Idents use a graphic style to evoke ancient Hellenic landscapes and themes
Net – collective viewing, the shared experience of viewing with family and friends. Idents show one person being joined by another in an activity to form emotional connection