BBC Two has always been home to some of the best British programmes, but with the emergence of new players in the media landscape, and a brand identity that hasn’t changed in over 25 years, audiences have become unsure of what it stands for.
Worse still, when audiences were pushed to describe BBC Two’s character it was felt to be safe and old fashioned – everything the brand stands against.
The channel was also suffering a huge attribution problem. People were consuming BBC Two content but attributing it to BBC One or other competitors, meaning that their brilliant content wasn’t paying back to the health of the brand.
We were tasked with developing a new identity for BBC Two – one that could breathe new life into the brand, remind audiences of its breadth of programming and help the channel refocus its experience by making it feel unmistakably “Two”.
BBC Two commissions more original programmes than any other terrestrial broadcaster. But when the content is so diverse, leaping from cookery, to science, to current affairs, to drama – the big question was how to create a single-minded idea.
Working with the channel, we found the answer – BBC Two’s content is there to make you feel something, to get a reaction. It’s television that stimulates – emotions, thoughts, conversation. Whether that’s a hard-hitting documentary, a raucous comedy or a mind-blowing science programme.
So rather than focusing on the organisation itself, we focused on its content and, from there, developed the creative idea: ‘Never Not Stimulating’.
We then brought it to life in a visual identity that reflects the breadth of emotions you feel when watching BBC Two. A series of animations are matched to the mood, not the genre, of the programmes – like ‘intense’, ‘visceral’, ‘offbeat’ and ‘revelatory’.
All animations vary in style, texture and tone, but are created to a precise structure, each featuring the iconic curve of the numeral 2, which is consistently revealed every 7 seconds.
To echo the diversity of the channel’s content, the animations were created through a series of collaborations with some of the best of British and international animation talent.
Audio for each animation was underpined by a simple two-note construct, but each one has its own sound design, specifically created to amplify the atmospheric journey through it.
In application, the mood animations are selected to reflect the spirit of content, and are featured at the beginning and end of the programme trailers. The two curve acts as the glue, connecting one mood to the next – transporting the viewer from one emotional state to another, and transforming the entire ad break into one long ident that creates a seamless viewing experience.