Monday, November 10, 2014

Eyeball breathes real life into Oxygen


Back in July, we learned that US women's channel Oxygen was about to introduce a new logo. It launched a month ago along with a new graphics package. Both were designed by New York design agency Eyeball in collaboration with Oxygen.

Oxygen targets a somewhat younger multicultural female audience with programming featuring authentic characters. The idea behind the rebrand was to communicate this authenticity, which is summed up in the tagline "very real". Eyeball created an entire brand identity system which included on-air graphics and print and digital applications.

The underscore from the logo serves as a recurring graphic element used with a bright colour palette and straight-forward typography. All graphics are two-dimensional and dynamically animated to set a conversational tone.



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"Insights from extensive network research revealed that young women were not seeing true representations of themselves on television. This feedback provided the focus of the rebrand and informed Oxygen’s new tone, branding and fresh slate of original programming. “We wanted our audience to find authentic characters and an environment that reflects their view of the world– optimistic, vibrant, bold and perfectly imperfect,” said Jane Olson, SVP of Marketing & Brand Strategy for Oxygen Media.

The rebrand centers around a massive design package and complementary strategy, including a new logo, which acts as a visual guide and emphasizes important information for the audience. The logo’s simple yet powerful graphic underscore yielded an elegant grid system, which provided further structure for all the design elements.

Every aspect of Oxygen’s brand, including print, OOH, digital, on-air and off-air creative, was re-approached and repositioned to bring it in line with the new brand identity and tagline, very real.
" - Press release

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"“This far-reaching branding project engaged every one of our creative and strategic capabilities,” says TJ McCormick, eyeball Executive Creative Director. “Adjusting the tone of the network-audience dialogue was the key to repositioning the brand. We also drew inspiration from social and digital media, where Oxygen already ranks as the No. 4 most social primetime cable network.”

The new, more conversational network tone mirrors how contemporary young audiences engage with each other, drawing from the simplicity and directness inherent in texting, tweeting and commenting on social media. “In defining the new brand voice, we designed a wide range of tools to deliver messaging that speaks to millennial sensibilities, using short bursts of communication with reductive, playful phrasing,” says McCormick. “We also developed a network lexicon and style guide to aid implementation.”

The quest for authenticity translated to every aspect of the rebrand design. 2D designs with energetic colors helped put the network’s content at the forefront, with IDs featuring Oxygen’s new navy and purple logo, as well as other dynamically animated brand elements. eyeball followed this theme with sound design, eschewing the traditional approach to a network mnemonic in favor of sound design including real conversations of young women discussing Oxygen’s offerings.

“Our commitment to genuine content established a unique and distinctly human brand personality for Oxygen,” says McCormick.

The new Oxygen even filtered down to editing the promos. “In editorial style, we shifted away from over-packing the promos with too much content and flair,” says Alex Moulton, eyeball Executive Creative Director. “Instead, we let the content speak for itself; and let the people on the show speak for themselves.”

In keeping with this mantra, eyeball chose to do away with many of the default aspects of traditional network promos, such as shooting talent against a green screen; instead, they focused on capturing real, unscripted moments with Oxygen talent. Over the course of six days, they directed and shot behind-the-scenes footage in order to initiate a growing library of authentic talent moments, as well as live-action background plates for the new promo system.

“Our job as designers and brand strategists was to get out of the way of the talent and programming,” concludes Moulton. “We did away with anything that removed people from their natural environments. Those little unscripted human moments give you an affinity for those characters in ways you might not otherwise see.”
" - Press release

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