BSkyB has unveiled the biggest overhaul of the on-air look of flagship entertainment channel Sky One in its 20-year history, with idents featuring Lost star Naveen Andrews and Bones' David Boreanaz.
Sky's first use of on-screen talent in channel idents forms part of a radical rebrand of its entertainment services, based on the theme of "solids, liquids and particles".
The new on-air look, supported by five new themed promotional idents to push the channels, will go live at 6pm on August 31, when the broadcaster's autumn schedule launches.Sky's facelift for its entertainment programming will see Sky One, Sky Two and Sky Three rebranded as Sky1, Sky2 and Sky3.
The branding strategy also aims to better marry key programmes such as Lost, Prison Break and Bones to the on-air channel identity, with on-air promos featuring talent."On my very first meeting after I joined we discussed the look of the channels. I felt that [the look of] Sky One wasn't fitting in with the new direction and strategy I envisaged," said Richard Woolfe, controller of Sky 1, 2, and 3. "It represented programming from a different time and era in Sky1's history.
We are about Lost, 24, Prison Break, Gladiators and our own dramas. Now both programmes and brand values on and off air are in alignment.
"The aim of the relaunch is to broaden the view of Sky's entertainment channel and create a "premium champion brand" for Sky1.
BSkyB's in-house agency, Sky Creative, has created a brand theme across the family of entertainment channels based on the various "elements" or "states" that objects can take.Sky1 is represented by a solid blue number "1", Sky2 by a green liquid number "2" and Sky3 as pink particles in a number "3".
Each of the channel's natural states is revealed in action scenes in the five idents that have been developed – two of which feature Andrews, who plays former Iraqi soldier Sayid in Lost, and Boreanaz, the former star of Buffy and Angel.
Boreanaz is seen in a target range shooting at the three Sky channel logos, each of which disintegrate in accordance with the state that each represents.Andrews gets disoriented in Lost-style fog and ends up having his mind read by the Sky logos.
"We are starting to get a real family of faces and we want the channels to be better associated with programming. It makes the family of channels stronger," said Andi Granger, the creative director at Sky Creative. Other idents such as "whack-a-mole", which features a family at a fair ground bashing Sky channel numerals with a soft club as they pop out of holes, will be used to promote a wider range of entertainment shows such as Gladiators and the Simpsons.
An American-shot ident called "Twister" will be used to promote shows such as Lost and "best of US" programmes.Sky1 launched in 1989. Sky2 and Sky3 launched in 2005