Branding exists whether we like it or not. Good branding leaves an impression and creates a bias in a person’s mind that allows broadcasters to actively manage that impression rather than leave the person to come to their own conclusions. Good branding also actively shapes people’s minds regardless of the number of viewers and allows the broadcaster to expand the brand as it becomes more popular.
Channel Branding is more than just giving a TV Channel its Identity; it is about creating a brand that will get viewers to watch the channel and come back again, maybe recommend the channel to others. Multi-channel broadcasters will want to be able to promote across their entire channel range. Channel Branding is all about gaining viewers and keeping viewers to your brand to increase revenues.
The simplest form of Branding is the TV Channel Logo or Bug as it is important as the viewer should immediately, or within milliseconds, recognise the channel by the TV channel logo when surfing the many TV channels available. However the Logo or Bug is very basic and is not likely to encourage viewers to watch and stay loyal. So there is usually a range of elements that can make up the complete branding package for the channel.
Typically graphics experts will have produced the designs and then the current information needs to be added into the design when it goes to air. Using traditional TV equipment for video, stills, text, animation, on-air mixing, keying, sizing, positioning, timing and sequencing etc., it can get very complicated. For this reason the packages were pre-recorded so all that had to happen was to replay the clip and cut it on air. Today with CiaB and other file-based playout systems the whole workflow changes and become more efficient. What stays the same is the original graphics that are designed by experts. The difference is that other branding elements can be preprogramed and added live on air with up to date information from internet or metadata.
To keep the viewer watching the channel after one programme a quick squeezeback to show the “Coming Up Next” or “Starting Now On” (for multi-channel broadcasters) programmes over the end credits is important, not to wait until the end when the viewer could be already scanning other channels. It is important to give clear information about programmes that are similar to the one just watched or are likely to attract current viewers.
Channel Branding can consist of many items like trailers, break bumpers, line-up menus, forthcoming programmes, cross platform and cross channel branding etc. but all this needs to be delivered in a way not to disturb viewers from wanting to watch the channel.
Today TV channel branding is about interactively automating graphics, templates and clips without distracting viewers from the content while still differentiating your TV channel from the many other TV channels that are available.
Music Channels for instance create templates for the singer / group and song title, different templates are often used for different shows, but the information comes from the metadata of the clip and shown after the clip starts and again near the end. Also using the same metadata the coming up next clips can be shown.
News channels can create templates for News Tickers, Share Prices, and Exchange Rates etc. and take the metadata from the internet to keep the information current. Information can be shown concurrently or sequentially.
PlayBox Technology created EdgeBox that allow a Fully Redundant Automatic Remote Playout Anywhere in the World via Internet that makes delivering a TV station, complete with local branding and content anywhere in the world an economic reality, even for small audiences. EdgeBox enables the whole operation to be run from an established broadcast centre, at a cost that makes sense.
PlayBox Technology AdBox enables content to be locally branded and use local or network advertising to maximise the business potential by targeting advertisements for specific audiences with ad insertion and digital programme insertion (DPI) when needed.
PlayBox Technology basic Channel-in-a-Box (CiaB) offers a turnkey file based solution that combines video playback and rich branding graphics that are both generated from the same box. With good graphics and some simple programming this is all that is needed for your channel to be considered one of the best available.
Branding is also about having good programmes too. Good Branding cannot make up for bad programmes; however good branding can make a channel seem better than other channels that are showing similar programming, especially important for say Music Channels that essentially have access to similar Music Videos, branding will make the difference.