afaqs!

Animal Planet launches a brand new identity

By Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | September 22, 2008
The new look will include a new logo, new on-air graphics and new programming lineup

Animal & #BANNER1 & # Planet is launching a fresh brand identity, aiming to make the channel a more intense viewing experience for its audience.

The entertainment brand, dedicated to building a relationship between people and animals, announced the worldwide launch of its bold new look on October 1. The new logo, designed by London based Dunning Eley Jones, will be revealed on midnight, September 30.

Animal Planet decided to change its look to have a vibrant and fresh feel. Talking to afaqs!, Rajiv Bakshi, director, marketing and communications, India, Discovery Networks Asia Pacific, says, "We wanted to refresh the look of Animal Planet. It's a research and feedback based decision. Since our primary viewers are adults, this decision was taken keeping them and their likes in mind."

Rajiv Bakshi
Most of the characters in the new logo are in different font sizes. "Each alphabet in the logo was kept a different size to emphasise the vibrancy of the channel. The logo won't be in one particular colour, but will keep changing. End plates and pumps will have different, bright colours. The audiences will feel the difference when they watch it on October 1," says Bakshi.

On the completion of 10 years in India, Animal Planet will showcase gripping stories to attract adults who seek compelling entertainment.

The new logoApart from the new logo and vibrant on-air graphics, significant changes in the programming lineup and the new look of the channel are being implemented to broaden its reach and also increase appointment viewing.

In an official statement, Rahul Johri, senior vice-president and general manager, India, Discovery Networks Asia Pacific, says, "We are transforming the look, feel and storytelling of Animal Planet in order to deepen our relationship with audiences, affiliates and advertisers."

The new programming lineup will offer viewers a variety, including Animal Planet's signature nature films and docu-soaps, docudramas and groundbreaking CGI, which brings the diversity of the animal kingdom to life. The content will be broadly dominated by documentary soaps, famous hosts and pet entertainment.

The programming strategy has been designed to tap the primal instincts of humans - the maternal, survival and social instincts. Ranging from emotions to fun and humour, the new content will explore closeup encounters with wildlife and show that even animals can make convincing soap operas.

"The new format is full of exciting, instinctual stories that will bring out the raw, visceral emotion in the natural world and lead viewers to see animals as characters, and not merely as creatures," adds Johri.

The documentary soaps will include shows such as Lemur Street, a soap opera in which the births, deaths, affairs, battles and family feuds between lemurs will be telecast; and Meerkat Manor, which will follow the everyday lives of a precocious group of meerkats, as they fight for dominance and survival in Africa's Kalahari Desert.

Nigel Marven and Bindi Irwin, daughter of Steve Irwin of The Crocodile Hunter fame, have been roped in for shows. Marven and his crew's primary station will be with 150,000 king penguins. Irwin will host her very first hour long television special, sharing her experiences of growing up with her famous father.

Another new show, Groomer Has, is a competition series that will be hosted by Jai Rodriguez. Twelve creative and hardworking groomers (amateur and professional) of the US will be put to test against each other for the Groomer of the Year title. Their task will be to transform scruffy looking dogs to look their doggie best.

Animal Planet offers animal lovers entertainment, information and enrichment via multiple platforms, including television, online (at Discoverytv.com) and merchandising extensions. The channel is a joint venture between Discovery Communications and BBC Worldwide in all regions, except the UK and Italy. It was launched in India in 1998 and is currently distributed to 28 million subscribers in the region.

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