Chris Lilley won a Rose d’Or for his previous show, We Can Be Heroes, and will no doubt garner even greater attention with these new distribution deals. And while various other Australian productions have made their way onto American television, this will certainly be one of the most high profile.
The ABC made some big announcements about its digital future today, including the launch of an iPlayer-esque service called ABC Playback, a for-pay download store, and the groundwork for the long anticipated 24 hour news channel.
And while theres plenty of time to talk about the need for platform agnosticism and critique the interface and branding, the one thing that is entirely clear is that the national broadcaster is leading the way among Australian broadcasters, and further demonstrating its relevance during this digital revolution.
Read all the details here or check out some of the action in the video above.
While the new idents make up just part of the ABC1 look, another major factor is the on-air branding of promos and other broadcast materials. The task of developing a new look was left up to Tactic who came up with “a ‘toolkit’ of over 200 channel branding elements including colour palette selection, font selection, on-air promo packaging, supers and menus… The new branding provides the foundations for the ABC to create and produce their own promos and on-air elements.”
Tactic didn’t come up with the new logos, they were supplied by the ABC, but they did do the rest, and while the red, white and blue initially confused me a bit, its beginning to sink in. It’s certainly distinctive and very clean, qualities I tend to find appealing.
Check out the new on-air branding from Tactic for ABC2 here.
UPDATE: It turns out the ABC has never had a unifying channel brand like they’ve just adopted, and as mentioned in comments earlier whats on-air right now isn’t the gold standard that was intended, so while whats on-air catches up with what was intended, check out the screenshots below for an idea of what we should expect soon.
Download the whole H264 bunch in one swoop here (129mb *.zip).
I was desperate for the ABC to do something exciting when they relaunched their on-air brand today, but as yet I’m not sure if they’ve done it. While its a no-brainer that the national broadcaster needed to bring its channels into line with each other through a name change, the actual substance of the new look is where I am slightly less convinced.
From a technical and production standpoint the idents for ABC1 are on par or better than the rest of free to air to Australia, and while conceptually anything is deeper and more meaningful than ‘We Heart TV’, I guess I was expecting something grander and more profound than what I saw when I turned on the television at noon.
Visually the idents share a couple of characteristics with a series Channel Five in the UK ran early last year to celebrate its ten years of existence. In a similar style to what ABC1 has done they mixed live action with animation and in the case of Five contrasted the realities of life working in television against an evolving backdrop of child like imagination. And while the Five series cleverly aligned a networks tenth birthday to that of a child’s birthday through the animation, I’m unclear as to what the ABC is trying to achieve with a similar concept.
With all that said however, any criticism of the collection so far is from a perspective of international comparison, a comparison the average viewer will not be making, and when compared solely to local competition these idents and the new look in general is simply stunning, and will strike a chord as uniquely ABC.
I couldn’t agree more with Kim Dalton’s assertion that the national broadcaster is “embracing true multi-channelling”, and by taking an alternative path to that of other Australian networks is truly building a future and extending the longevity and purpose of the ABC in a landscape where other media organisations are looking downhill towards their own demise and irrelevance.
Check out the new look ABC1 and ABC2 above, they’re taken from the national broadcasters new TV website here. Also on the site, check out Kim Dalton’s video introducing a “redefined” ABC.
Broadcast quality versions of all of the new ABC1 idents are now available here.
Broadcast quality versions of all of the new ABC2 idents are now available here.
The ABC launched its current “There’s more to..” campaign on December 21st 2005, and with tomorrows impending shake up and name change it seemed the time was right for a short retrospective.
The above videos are just a selection of the many, many variations on the theme that have been broadcast over the past few years, including the original 60 second video that began the rebrand back in 2005.
While there have certainly been varying levels of quality, some of the stand outs from the series include the “genre collection” released early last year, and of course The Chaser’s directors commentary, noting the series obscurity and pretension.
The ABC continues to tease us, with the latest promo promising that “Change is Here”, and that its all happening on February 8th. For more from the ABC’s rebranding saga check out my previous coverage here and here.
This morning The Australian was reporting (on page one no less) that the ABC was set to drop the famous lissajous symbol from its on air broadcasts in favour of a new logo. It didn’t take long for the ABC to deny the reports however and assure us all that the new look will include the famous logo.
ABC’s midday and evening news’ covered the story, giving kudos to the blog that leaked it, and clarifying the ABC’s position on the rebrand, which will officially take place on February 8th. They also spoke to ‘media expert’ Harold Mitchell about the impending changes (second video).
Listen to what the director of ABC TV Kim Dalton has to say about the rebrand in the audio below from ABC Radio Melbourne from earlier this morning.
I’m pretty excited by all things ABC, and the national broadcaster has been giving us plenty to stew over lately. When they’re not broadcasting confusing promos for ABC2, they’re busy dropping hints about changes to come and leaking blurry photos of new logos on the net. So in the unlikely event we needed anymore proof that a new change was indeed coming, they’ve delivered this new promo bizarrely incorporating what I can only assume is the Pan Slavic Flag with the promise of “New Beginnings”.
The song is ‘Brand New Day’ by the cellist for the Foo Fighters Jessy Greene.
Well I’m going to Queensland for the rest of this week, so posting may slow down more than usual. I thought it was about time I shared some of that Australian Christmas cheer, so here is the ABC’s seasons greetings from various people within the broadcaster and around the world.