CBS is rolling out a major revamp and consolidation of its brand identity across its various platforms and divisions in an effort to retain its standing in a rapidly evolving, streaming-obsessed media landscape.
The initiative, which got under way before the ViacomCBS merger closed last December, will change logos, promos and marketing materials for shows and business units across the board. A more unified look will draw on the 91-year-old company’s heritage, preserving its “eye” logo, for example, while adding newer elements. A five-tone audio signature will be added as an accompaniment to the voiceover, “This is CBS,” along with animation at the top of each programming hour on the main broadcast network.
The overhaul was spearheaded by Mike Benson with assistance from outside agency Gretel New York. Benson joined CBS last year as president and chief marketing officer after previous executive stints at Amazon Studios and Time Warner.
“CBS has long been one of the most unifying brands in media, bringing people together from all walks of life. Vibrant, trusted, inviting, inclusive – a connector with heart. We needed to make that clearer and more consistent at every consumer touchpoint,” Benson said in the official announcement. “We are defining every aspect of the CBS brand to make it more meaningful for existing and new consumers, regardless of where they encounter the brand.”
The updated brand identity for entertainment programming debuted last Sunday and will continue rolling out through the fall.
In an interview with Deadline, Benson said the upcoming rebrand of CBS All Access to Paramount+ makes the consolidation and strengthening of the CBS brand even more vital. The company’s studio is producing dozens of shows for various platforms and having the audio signature and new look attached will help CBS get recognition in a crowded environment.
“We’re competing for people’s time,” Benson said. “If someone wants to choose to spend time between us or Facebook, what can we offer that’s going to be of the same or more value as someone else?”
Content on CBS and CBS-owned platforms will be tagged with “CBS Original”, “CBS News”, “CBS Sports”, or “CBS Presents.” An example: “CBS Presents The 56th Academy of Country Music Awards.” Content produced by CBS Studios will also include “A CBS Studios Production” and CBS Studios branded marks.
An audio expression of the updated brand identity comes to life in a five-note mnemonic written by assigning musical notes to the historic “This is CBS” voiceover slogan, creating a new melody and animation that will appear at the top of the hour during primetime programming on CBS.
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