START A DIGITAL
FROM A THEORETICAL NEW TECHNOLOGY IDEA TO MAKING BROADCAST MEDIA HISTORY. IN SIX YEARS, BBC IPLAYER HAS BECOME THE WORLD’S LEADING ON-DEMAND BRAND AND THE UK’S NUMBER ONE APP WITH 10BN PROGRAMMES DOWNLOADED (AND COUNTING…)
Sometimes clients come to you with ideas that are so revolutionary, they’re difficult to comprehend at first. Back in 2007, the idea of downloading content from the BBC in your own time, to view on a device that wasn’t fixed in the corner of the sitting room, was almost unthinkable.
Our brief was to create the brand and the name for a service that no one could yet envision and to engage the widest possible audience with clarity and personality.
Hailed by the BBC as the biggest broadcasting revolution since the launch of colour TV, BBC iPlayer – a free, seven-day, on-demand catch up service – was launched in December 2007. It heralded a new era, giving viewers the freedom to watch programmes from all BBC network channels as and when it suited them, on their home computers and in the future, on mobiles and smartphones.
The Partners was part of the team developing the brand strategy. Three potential positioning routes were developed and researched, and the clear winner was the Never miss out again route. The launch advertising campaign, Making the unmissable, unmissable took a clear steer from this idea.
NAME AND BRAND IDENTITY
We led the naming process and developed the visual identity that is innovative and appeals to a broad audience of millions of viewers. The name needed to work in both written and spoken word and help explain the service with clarity and simplicity. Similarly, the identity is based on the idea of ‘just press play’. The letter ‘i’ becomes the play icon, the familiar symbol of audio visual electronics. BBC iPlayer is an easy and practical way to ‘record’ and then playback programmes, and the logo reflects this in an accessible way.
Bold, modern, friendly and eye-catching, the ‘play triangle’ is now used as a shorthand for BBC iPlayer while the magenta colour gives stand-out and vibrancy in both digital and traditional channels.
Launched on Christmas Day 2007, BBC iPlayer has grown to be the No 1 brand in the UK. Before the launch, the BBC estimated the service would reach half a million users in its first six months. This turned out to be a gross underestimate, as 3.5 million programmes were streamed in the first three weeks alone. Loved by millions of viewers, BBC iPlayer is now available on over 1,000 devices, with over 10 million applications downloaded every day. With over 10 billion programmes requested in the six years since the launch,* the brand, that is now replicated by all major TV networks around the world, has revolutionised the way we access and experience TV content.
*BBC Media Centre
IN FIRST 3 WEEKS
IN 6 YEARS