In today’s connected and highly competitive world, media brands demand strong and flexible visual identities; to capture their unique promise and vitality and to drive their values and personality across multiple media and platforms. At Brand Energies we make it our business to meet that demand and we do it for some of the biggest and most successful media companies in the world.
Based in Beijing, Brand Energies brings award-winning creative, design and production skills to the Chinese and Asian market. We work in any medium - TV, print, online or mobile - offering world-class expertise and exceptional value.
“Value is Everywhere” is the channel slogan of CCTV2 Financial channel. It reflects the channel’s brand values and clearly distinguishes it from international business channels such as Bloomberg and CNBC.
Visually communicating and celebrating this slogan in a meaningful and dynamic way became our creative springboard when CCTV2 approached us to re-brand their channel in 2015 as they switched to HD broadcasting from their new CCTV headquarters in Beijing.
Our creative solution was to design The Grid, a new visual property derived directly from the square panels motif that are a distinctive part of the CCTV2 logo. The Grid is a dynamic graphic device of square panels that constantly flips and spins in onscreen IDs to bringing fresh and diverse live action images to the audience.
Tapping into BE Creative Director Sandy MacMillan’s international experience of rebranding BBC News, EuroNews and STV News, BE have also spent 3 months working with CCTV2’s online and offline presentation teams as well as senior News editors to create a whole new News Info Graphics system for CCTV2. This is based on the Generic identity and centres on the channel’s live news programmes that required an online system of Headline strap, News Ticker strap and Share Price flipper strap, as well as Dual, Three & Four-way presenter windows, Info panels, Subtitles and graphics backgrounds.
BE has created a sparkling new 10 seconds identity sequence for CCTV1, China’s biggest and most-watched TV channel, to distinctively brand it’s Light Entertainment programmes in 2014.
The Entertainment ID is designed to compliment our Generic ID and News ID for CCTV1. Our youthful new multi-coloured design solution evolves CCTV1's Arc Energy visual property into ‘Neon Entertainment Arcs' that pulse and strobe to syncopated clubby music as they orbit around the CCTV1 logotype.
Brand Energies worked again with British music composer David Lowe, who composed and produced all the original music and sound design for CCTV1’s main Generic and News idents. Like our visuals, Lowe’s music for each ID shares CCTV1’s common musical theme but is given energetic and clubby thematic variation to match the Light Entertainment genre.
As part of Brand Energies on-going re-brand of CCTV1 we were honored to be asked to create a unified identity for all News programming on the channel. Our creative solution was to evolve CCTV1's Arc Energy visual property into 'News Data Arcs' to act as a circular visual expression of CCTV1 News services. Blue was chosen as the News colour-way in contrast to the multi-coloured backgrounds of the Generic identity sequence - designed by Brand Energies in 2013. In this way the move from General Entertainment programmes into the channel's regular News programming blocks is clearly identified, whilst keeping channel brand consistency through the continued use of the circle energy. The same circle motif has just been applied to a stunning series of new CCTV News Studio sets designed by American set designer Jim Fenhagen, featuring 40-foot-long, ultra high-resolution LED screens. The Studio sets, due to appear in the coming months, will be used across shared News programmes appearing on CCTV1 and CCTV13.
This consistency is also supported by music composed once more by David Lowe (who wrote the iconic 'pips' music for BBC News). Lowe re-interpreted his music signature for CCTV1’s Generic identity into a highly engaging theme for News.
CCTV1 News ID launched on 1st January 2014 across all of Mainland China to reach an expected News time audience of 500 million viewers per day.
As part of Brand Energies’ total re-brand package for CCTV1 in2013 our agency has created a new mascot for the channel’s Entertainment offering… a red shiny ball character affectionately known as Mr C.
Mr C is an adorable, rather cheeky little chap and shows an exciting new approach from CCTV1.
CCTV’s distinctive double-line logotype was our main inspiration for Mr C. In each ident the C of the CCTV logotype is seen transforming into a smiley face on the red ball. We’ve created an introductory 30 second ID for Mr C and followed that up with a visually delicious 20 second Chinese New Year ID where Mr C gets to grips with a scroll to wish everyone a Happy Chinese New Year. Music is by David Lowe with Sound Design by Hum in London.
CCTV1 is the most watched television channel in China, combining general entertainment programming with state news. In September 2012 we were asked to re-brand the channel to give it a fresh new look and feel in time for 1st of January 2013 and with a view for further branding sequences to follow later in 2013 to mark the network’s move to its awesome new headquarters at the Rem Koolhaus-designed CCTV building.
We convinced CCTV1 that the channel needed a powerful and flexible new visual property that could represent the diversity and strength of its programming. We came up with the idea of glass energy arcs orbiting around the CCTV1 logo and designed three distinct brand sequences to give the channel a balance of diversity and unity. A Generic or ‘Hero’ ID was first to launch followed by a News ID made up of data arcs and an Entertainment ID made from coloured neon arcs.
This imagery was then applied across the onscreen presentation system to give seamless consistency. Music by composer David Lowe transformed the channel’s earlier harsh 4 note jingle into a contemporary and melodic series of sonic branding pieces.
CCTV9 Documentary channel showcases the best of both domestic and foreign documentary series in China. Broadcast all across Mainland China in Chinese and to over 20 countries worldwide in English the channel covers all documentary genres such as History, Science & Technology, Space, Archaeology and Natural History.
Brand Energies have worked closely with CCTV9 since shortly after the initial launch of the channel in early 2011, helping to establish the brand and rapidly grow the audience to over 70 million viewers per day!
All our creative work for CCTV9 is based on making the Cube the prime visual property of the channel, and relating this in surprising and engaging ways to the channel’s cube-based blue logo.
And so we have mesmerising IDs featuring giant glass “Exhibit Cubes” encasing natural wonders in beautiful landscapes, the loveable “Beasts IDs” featuring amazing cube-shaped animals and “Generic IDs” showing the logo being formed from millions of grains and splashing water. PromaxBDA awarded this work with 3 Gold design awards in 2012. Music is by Joe Glasman at Hum in London.
In 2010 Brand Energies were tasked with creating new IDs and a comprehensive Onscreen Presentation system (OSP) for CCTV8, China’s main Drama channel.
We used a flowing red ribbon as the channel’s main visual property.
The red ribbon becomes a story-telling device in the IDs, leading the viewer on dream-like journeys into world’s filled with clouds, kites, mythical fish and golden dragons…
One of the most enjoyable parts of this job was working with talented Chinese illustrators and animators to create the unique illustrated assets and then have them modelled and rigged in 3D.
For the visually stunning OSP system the red ribbon becomes a navigation device to bring on appointment-to-view information and also acts as a background strap.
The rich and beautiful visuals are accompanied by a grand, sweeping orchestral score created by Massive Music in Shanghai.
Our creative work encompassed logo creation through to a comprehensive on-air launch total package of IDs, 60 second image promo and live-action OSP system for SMG’s main Entertainment channel.
Shooting at locations in and around Shanghai we filmed 8 wonderful everyday moments in super slow motion to reflect our new tagline ‘Enjoy the Moment’.
Director of Photography Mark Pugh and Designer / Director Sandy MacMillan shot the scenes using a Phantom HD high speed camera
The new red strap-shaped logo is used as a simple endorsement to conclude each ident and is accompanied by specially commissioned “Yeah, Yeah” sung sonic branding created by Shriek.
We also designed more than 20 ‘presenter’ idents which were shot in studio, showing SMG’s own celebrities painting, writing and spraying Coming Next’s, Tonight, Tomorrow onto red OSP boards in their own unique styles. The celebrities’ performances give the channel’s onscreen presentation system a very warm and intimate feel.
Few would argue that there are many companies in the world that understand branding, marketing and communications better than Apple.
Sandy MacMillan has worked closely with Apple Asia for several years working as Art Director on Apple’s Lifestyle photo and video shoots, Guided Tours and Tutorial videos for the Chinese and South Korean markets.
This work has taken him to shoots across China, Korea and Hong Kong.
This relationship culminated in him working with leading US photographers, production teams, design teams and US live-action directors in the creation of Guided Tour videos for the hugely successful launch in China of the iPad in 2011.