THE LIVING HUG
WHAT WE DID: CONCEPT, CREATIVE DIRECTION, ART DIRECTION, DESIGN, ANIMATION, ORIGINAL MUSIC & SFX.
In 2013, Canadian media company Corus Entertainment selected us to rebrand The Zone, the flagship afternoon programming block of its core kids and family network, YTV. Their directive: to see a look with the DNA of possibility built into it, the sense that anything could happen in front of your very eyes.
We responded with a concept that took the motion of a roller coaster as the starting point for a wildly unpredictable promo package that seemed at times to literally burst off the screen.
Corus loved this concept so much that when it came time to rebrand the entire YTV network a year later, the company bypassed its usual pitch process to call directly upon us again. This time, we needed to channel the infectious zaniness of the original creation into something engaging for all age levels, to distill its wild sense of imagination into a visual metaphor for the family togetherness that happens with YTV.
Cue... the Energy Strand. An elegant, elemental force of nature, the Energy Strand is a fluid transitional device with a penchant for wrapping itself around anything that’s precious and fun and good. Playful and loving, it’s like the 3D abstract of a living hug, zipping between shows, talent, promos and Rabbids to joyfully embrace everything it touches.
Many kids’ network brands are overly busy with outrageous colors and motion. But our YTV brand has a cool, collected aesthetic, with a more mature color palette of purple and teal against a white backdrop, accentuated by vibrant splashes of yellow and red. Meanwhile, multi-sided geometric charcoal shapes cruise through the cosmic 3D whirlwinds like asteroids, adding an “older” feel to the brand that brings it up to speed with a new, savvier generation of young viewers.
The energy strands would prove to be remarkably flexible, breaking off into glacier-like shards. Or darting, swooping and gliding like a school of fish.
Our YTV rebrand captures the irrepressible giddiness of youth, and yet is guided by a sophisticated visual system that refuses to look down or talk down to kids. We created an amazing brand first and foremost, which just so happens to be for kids and their families.