When we rebranded Fuse the first time, way back in the day (…2008), we wrote the following: “Fuse is a member of the rare breed of music channels that still primarily broadcasts…well, music.” Four years later, that statement was as true as ever. As lovers of music television over reality television, we were stoked when the crew at 11 Penn Plaza called up with the need for another brand overhaul.
Brad Schwartz, Marcelle Karp and the team at Fuse quickly became our best friends for one simple reason: they believe, wholeheartedly, in taking creative risks and breaking molds. What more could a company ask for in a client? Maybe one that describes their audience as “allergic to bullshit?” That’s Fuse, too.
That attitude and unique voice became as integral a part of the new brand as sight and sound. Fuse is like the friend that you trust for music recommendations, who cuts the foreplay and tells it straight. That idea not only informed the mindset for the rebrand, but also directly influenced how the network communicates with their audience. You won’t find any “And now a word from our sponsors…” corporate-speak here. Hell, they even got rid of in-promo voiceovers.
Taking cues from musical structure, the network came to life with the rhythm and energy of a pop song. By the time the rebrand launched in the summer of 2012, Fuse’s passion for music and authenticity in broadcasting had taken form in a graphic, dynamic and endlessly expandable brand that perfectly reflects the wonderfully fast-paced, ADD lifestyle of those so-called “millenials” – who we’re glad to have around primarily to tell us what’s cool.
Moving your network bug to the center of the frame may not sound all that crazy, but thousands of outspoken Tweeters apparently had an opinion on it. Which is great, because as the center of music and music-related news it seemed natural for all of Fuse’s in-program messaging to spring from the middle – and spark conversation. Plus, corner bugs are sooo 2011.
For the IDs to reflect the authenticity of the network, we sent photographers to cities all over the country to capture real slices-of-life for each musical genre. It was like a National Geographic expedition, but with more hipsters.
Type-based IDs pulled classic lyrics from popular songs to always keep the focus on music front and center.
Inspired by the energy of music, our animation language utilized “beat expressions” to infuse the network with a graphic rhythm. Plus, with flexible pacing and element durations we could plug any broadcasting holes with more branding.
By sprinkling the brand elements throughout the breaks, rather than in :30 chunks, we kept things fresh without sacrificing brand presence.
Promo packages were all about attitude and rhythm, abandoning traditional VO for a type-based approach.
The show packages followed suit, wrapping all of the network content in a consistent language to ensure all on-air communication originated from the same place.
We literally wrote the book on how Fuse speaks, creating a brand voice guide for how the network sounds and communicates with the millennial audience.
The combination of a design philosophy bible and off-air toolkit ensured that the brand will remain consistent yet fresh as it continues to grow over the years. These are some examples of that success found in the wild. It’s great to see how the team at Fuse has been able to evolve the brand while remaining true to the foundation we established.