SBS Videos: Idents

What happened to idents on SBS?

SBS goes chocolate on idents (611kb) >> To comment and see other videos visit

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SBS have had some sweet idents in the past, but lately.. nothing. With Big Love and Top Gear both on air at the moment I’m watching SBS more regularly than ever before, but seeing no idents.

The closest thing they seem to have is this Cadbury’s ad that incorporates the SBS logo. I hope they have something planned, because when a channel gets the kind of scrutiny and criticism that SBS gets, a solid on air brand, that reinforces whatever it is the network wants to be, would probably be a good thing.

13 replies on “What happened to idents on SBS?”

It is a shame. They haven’t had idents since the summer set finished in February. There has been other periods before in the past couple of years that they’ve been without idents, but never this long.

A few years ago there were two commercials simular to the Cadbury one, a Toyota Prius ad with leaves as SBS shards, and one for Cascade beer (the markings of the tiger on the label were the shards in that one.)

I think this is sad, there are some people who think this is a good thing, but I disagree, an ident reinforces an networks identity, it’s like 7’s TV Man, he maybe annoying to some but the moment you see it you know it’s 7.

Matt C Jul 7th, 2007 at 11:06 pm

“why does SBS get criticised?”

It’s usually either to do with political documentaries/the news – 99.9% of the time it’s an accusation of bias in the reporting of US or Israeli foreign policy – as they have aired numerous pieces about the invasion of Iraq and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict or criticism of liberal depictions of sex/nudity/violence etc. in programmes. When SBS aired a series of Kubrick films, one viewer called A Clockwork Orange a “snuff film”, while another said only psychopaths and serial killers would be interested in their broadcasts of Channel 4’s autopsy programmes. 😉 In the past six months most of the criticism aimed at SBS seems to be about in-programme commercials.

I think what he meant was, why would SBS be criticised for not having idents? I think its a good thing, idents are a waste of time.

I really like this ad; it is not at all like the “corporate sponsor” spots we see here in the States on PBS, where a company will show most of an ad, but before getting to the direct sale portion, they will say something like “{Company} is a proud sponsor of {Program name}”.


@ RM – If idents are such a waste of time, how comes gets a regular following, and even designers contributing their work?

Also you always suggest that you like a faceless channel, the ident also gives a feel of what the channel’s aimed at and what it’s about. I’m glad most of the world doesn’t follow America’s style of presentation, it’s so boring when all you see is promos promos promos, IPPs, and ECPs and that it.

@Andy, often idents can be meaningless. You can do many things to create an image for your network, you dont need idents to do that. I think for the current batch of idents tens look like a waste. Nine and seven are short and sweet and put a face to the channel without annoying the viewer (some idents do annoy viewers).

I quite like idents like this which are practical while creating an image for the network.
Promos do alot more to create a network image than idents ever will so why spend copious amounts of money making them when you don’t need to…

I think SBS is at a stage where they are concentrating on their programming and presentation as they redefine the way they promote their shows since the induction of internal ad breaks.

Idents can be meaningless, sure; and also promos do impact on viewers too but I differ in what RM thinks about promos and idents…both are equality important and the image of a channel in both promos and idents need to be bold in order to create an image. I would like to make an example with italian television (with IMO has the most poor graphics in europe (I think), with “La 7” and “rete 4” as an exception). RAI has not made an effort on idents for it’s channels (I wish I could show you an example but there aren’t even examples of RAI idents in, and let’s not talk about RAI international, looks exactly like TV looked on the 80’s) though sometimes it’s promos are nice (sometimes RAI plays tricks on viewers with series like Jericho and Lost before going to comercials, which is very neat) but since RAI is being managed by the state, they don’t give an effort on improve it’s image (not even on news presentations, though, the new RAI logo is lovely, also created by an important italian designer, so I guess it’s something).

In conclusion, an ident does make a diference to viewers sometimes, when watching an “ugly” channel you also feel you are not watching the best (unfortunaly, design is a cruel world based on appearances. example: would you trust an airline who’s planes are purple, gold and pink and has a yellow dolphin as mascot?).

in final, so you understand my point, here are some examples of news presentations from italy (being “La 7”, “rete 4”, “TG1” and “Sky news 24” being the great exception in “lame late 80’s like graphics”)

the TG1 collection – from 1954 – present

All the italian news presentation graphics in 1
(TG1, TG2, TG3, studio aperto, Sky News 24, TG5, TG4, TG la 7″

PD: sorry if I’m missing the point :3

SBS is a bit all over the place presentation-wise right now – they moved from the summer look into a chopped up version of the previous when summer finished and although they’ve since made a number of very good promos (Future Focus stands out amongst these) idents-wise there’s been nothing.

It’s been the case for at least a few months.

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