The CW has consolidated it’s network television series lineup into digital brands and identities to raise the bar for viewer association through individual logos.
Over the years, TV networks have successfully merged the TV presence with an online counterpart involving parallel content that is complementary to the on-air viewing experience. Even more so, the on-air experience has seen a reduction as online content has takes a rise, with some networks airing it’s series both on-air and online simultaneously and both Netflix and Amazon Studios making a play for original online-only content. Part of the digitalization of media involves a digital presence of all components that link to their corresponding network, to that founding brand.
Networks are going all out with strategies suited to their image- or the image they’d like to obtain, in case of the CW. This does not necessarily make the network faceless, however, it has been going through many changes regarding the genre and atmosphere of their shows in relation to their target and overall image. It has figured out a way to compete against the competition is by well, competing against itself, recognizing it’s league and working to raise the standards.
The definition of a successful TV show in the digital age has become more relative than ever, as Nielsen numbers are outmatched by social viewing, online viewing, DVR numbers and online distribution. The focus has clearly shifted, whereas an identity must cover not only one aspect of the industry but all of them, in which the network is not reeling the viewer into one particular show but it’s independent intellectual properties that have a tightly crafted image that project a larger, broader network identity.
The CW consolidates it’s online presence
The CW has taken a different approach as it consolidates its online presence. Notoriously the last network in terms of sheer Nielsen numbers, it’s online strategies have paved the way for other networks to follow on its footsteps, such as offering full episodes on its own website, as well as multiple deals with distribution entities like ITunes and Amazon to get on the portable screen real estate.
The newly coined Social Viewing has had a great impact on it’s overall performance by offering coverage on major social networks, in which complimentary actions, such as live-tweeting during the airing of a series, increases it’s buzz and presence. Twitter, Facebook and GetGlue have made the CW series highest talked-about shows out of all networks in the past five years and have created a strong following that warrants a different type of success: long-term fan loyalty and the consolidation of a network image.
Promotional content elements of a Network TV Show
The consolidation of a TV discourse involves certain elements that are present across all television material, be it online, cable or network. Below is a brief look at some common elements across all networks that sustain a brand image and create visibility.
Artwork: A series of artwork images that capture the essence of the story and genre, displaying main characters as the front-and-center are crafted for each show.
It is usually updated every season, reflecting new characters, look and feel of the show and conformed aesthetic.
Video Promos: Video promos are a standout way to get the potential viewer’s attention as well as create expectations for an already loyal viewer. New footage for an upcoming episode is show and fragmented in a way that summarizes the key plot points, series’ aesthetic, and overall form that reflects the genre.
Typography: Title cards involve a certain typography that calls out to its genre and is used across all promotion strategies.
Social Media presence: All networks utilize social networks in different ways. Standard strategies include Fan Pages on Facebook, Twitter account for live tweeting, Youtube channels and other sites such as Tumblr for images or Pinterest.
The CW creates each of these for every individual show, as individual components of a larger entity.
The CW Logos turn TV Series into brands
To further take this identify, the CW has created logotypes for each and every one of it’s ongoing series. Originating on it’s twitter account given the size of the image associated with each one, the CW was able to take this as an opportunity to offer a minimalistic piece of information that is directly linked to that image. As any brand, they have created a logo for all of its products, separating them and consolidating them as such.
The CW airs these logos on their series’ promos, further strengthening this image.
This also shows and updated, more modern take on regular promoting as the graphic design applied here aims for a minimalistic abbreviation of that essence, much of what Twitter is and is believed to be on a fast-moving world in which we are asphyxiated by so much content.
These images reflect the shows’ typography included in their title card and serves as a shortened version of it. The logos are mostly a solid, uniform background color, limited to one or two letters in white, being these initials for the show. These are written in their unique typography.
On their Facebook page, their artwork stands out due to the ability to use a cover image behind the profile image to feature not only the entire title but the main stars and celebrities that star the show.
This generates a disruption of the long-thought out link between the actors that represent the main characters and the image of a particular show.
The CW is creating more user conscience by allowing even more elements from that universe to be associated with the fan, the viewer, and the user by extension.
The CW network logo also adapts to that particular look and feel, adjusting its colors appropriately, thus further differentiating from the different visual experiences found within that network.
The business-side of the Television network is more evident than ever, by turning their TV shows into brands and individual products that the viewer is consuming. This strategy could result in more niche-oriented programming and more focused metrics that are based on a series-scale measured with more frequency that adds up to a larger network-scale performance. The CW presents certain consistency that is a long-term strategy to tip the scale in their favor at the time of measuring the loyal viewers. This could become something more than a trend if the rest of the big networks actually pick it up and implement it, generating a smarter way to communicate what they’re about as a network and increasing their viewer engagement.