Channel 4's Latest Rebrand Celebrates Immigration and Diversity in Brexit Britain

A Giant, Disruptive 4 Logo Is the Centerpiece of Ads Directed by Dougal Wilson

By Alexandra Jardine. Published on Oct 31, 2017

Editor's Pick

U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 overtly celebrates immigration in its redesigned channel idents at a time when the topic is still controversial in a Britain undergoing Brexit talks.

The new films are directed by Blink's Dougal Wilson, the director behind several much-loved John Lewis ads as well as "We're the Superhumans" for Channel 4. They include one where a giant metallic "4" carries a group of immigrants over the sea like a giant raft to the white cliffs of Dover, where they disembark. Several of the men, women and children are dressed as doctors, businesspeople and contstruction workers. As they wave goodbye, the "4" honks like a ship to the tune of Channel 4's original mnemonic jingle. As a pro-immigration message, it couldn't be more overt.

In other films, the giant logo (created by MPC, which is responsible for the VFX) is portrayed as noisy, disruptive and rebellious, with a touch of humor. We see the giant 4 playing football with kids in a diverse street scene,running alongside Paralympic athletes racing in wheelchairs (and eventually giving up and collapsing as they outrun it) and, in another film, roaring his signature mnemonic call from the top of a hill in the British countryside.

Alice Tonge, head of 4Creative, says in a statement: "Our new idents couldn't be more Channel 4 -- they celebrate inclusion, diversity, youth and the channel's big noisy alternative voice."

Dougal Wilson adds: "I really enjoyed filming in different regions of Britain and hope the outcome isn't too perplexing."

Channel 4 last redesigned its idents in 2015 with a set of films by director Jonathan Glazer deconstructing the channel's original "4" logo, designed by Lambie Nairn in the 1980s, into nine "blocks."

As Britain negotiates to leave the EU and tighten its borders, Channel 4 is the latest U.K. brand to make an overt point about immigration in its marketing: earlier this month fashion brand Jigsaw ran a major outdoor campaign in central London with the tagline "Heart Immigration."

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Oct 31, 2017
Chief Marketing and Communications Officer:
Dan Brooke
Channel 4
Head of Marketing:
James Walker
Deputy Head of Marketing:
Laura Ward
Executive Creative Director:
Chris Bovill
Executive Creative Director:
John Allison
Executive Creative Director:
Alice Tonge
Creative Director:
Dan Watts
Chris Bovill
John Allison
Dan Watts
Dougal Wilson
Executive Producer:
Shananne Lane
Head of Production:
Clare Brown
Business Director:
Jane English
Production Company:
Blink Productions
Dougal Wilson
Executive Producer:
James Studholme
Ewen Brown
Production Manager:
Lucy Jones
Director, Photography:
Daniel Landin
Production Designer:
Andy Kelly
Sound Recordist:
Michael Palmer
Wardrobe Stylist:
Rebecca Rich
Joe Guest
Post Production:
Final Cut
Visual Effects:
Creative Director:
Diarmid Harrison-Murray
Visual Effects Supervisor:
Martino Madeddu
Visual Effects Supervisor:
Tom Harding
Executive Producer:
Julie Evans
Visual Effects Producer:
Julie Evans
Jean-Clément Soret
Mix and Sound Design:
Anthony Moore
Mix and Sound Design:
Mark Hills
Sound Design and Mix:
Audio Producer:
Lou Allen
Music Supervision:
Dougal Wilson

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