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E4 and Channel Four comparision: Opportunities and Limitations

Although Channel 4 and E4 come under the same company, with Channel 4 being E4’s parent company, the two have very different and distinct differences between their channel ethos and design, particularly when regarding their channel’s ident. The channel 4 ident that I looked at was the ident based at Nelson’s column statue with a pigeon on it, The story cuts to lots of pigeons and what looks like a building. It looks like a building because of the detailing on it, like pumps and things. It also shows in depth the building covered in bird poo and pigeons roaming free. Its shows a MS shot from an angle that make it look like a statue in front of Nelson’s column because it has statue base underneath it giving this impression. Then the statue folds in and kills all the pigeon’s except those, which could get away. I believe they have done this because it is humorous and unexpected, which is like channel 4 and it’s ethos. Channel Four is renowned for break through television programmes, such as Dispatches that looks into exploring popular culture topics, and comedy programmes such as Black books, Green Wing and Peep Show, which defy traditional comedy. The target audience is for 13+, it is not for really young children channel but targeted at a mature audience, with programmes such as Dispatches, Come dine with me and Peep show, all aimed at older audience. However they do have programming for teens such and T4, Hollyoaks and The Simpsons. The ident shows the logo killing pigeons, which young children may not understand. So they have done this to show they have done this to establish it if for a mature audience. They have also carefully chosen a location that is essentially British to establish the channel as a British channel. The location for this advert is set in the iconic Trafalgar square. We know this because Nelson’s column statue is situation in Trafalgar sq. It also shows London landmarks in the background like the London eye. Acting in the film are pigeons. As we know

Trafalgar sq and London is full of pigeons and it adds to the realism of the location. Everything in the mise en scene is real apart from the statue, which floats, above a real base is CGI animation. The 4 looks quite dirty which suggests that pigeons have landed there before, and looks grubby suggesting that it has always been there and has deliberately been done to look realistic. These refining details make the ident believable. When you see close up the 4 logo, its looks like a building. Although it looks realistic, we also know it isn’t real because we as an audience know the location and therefore its surrealism keeps the audience intrigued because we know as an audience that this statue isn’t usually in Trafalgar and this keeps the audience involved. By making the Channel Four logo as a statue, its tries to establish itself as a ‘classic’ channel, well known and part of British culture. The logo being a statue, tries to give the impression that it is quite sophicated, as statues in Trafalgar Square are, but the fact that it is spoofing a statues, gives the audience the understanding that the channel is trying to be funny. This fills the gap inbetween programmes because pace of the advert is very slow, and not much is happening in the scene, which also gives it a slow relaxed feel, and this is highten by the fact that they use no voiceover to guide you into the next programme, you are meant to enjoy the entertainment. The soundtrack to this advert is Peter and the wolf. I believe they have used this classical song because it’s an iconic song, and it quite dramatic and cheery. You can hear diegetic sound with the pigeons flying to the statue and cooing, in the beginning. When statue closes, the music stops and it makes a crunching sound, the crunching of the building and of the pigeons. When it has stopped crunching, it opens up making machine noises like a robot and the music resumes as if nothing happened. This is unexpected and slightly shocking which again relates to Channel 4’s ethos to defy the boundaries of television, but is comical. Using Peter and the Wolf suggests that they are aiming at a mature audience as younger people may not recognize the classic song, but keeps the

channel up to date by using new technology, CGI. The E4 advert is very different from the Channel 4 ident. One of these differences is the colour. The colour in the E4 ident is very bright and purple. The colour in the Channel 4 ident is quite dull, and beige looking, due to the fact they are attempting to make the scene realistic. Purple is quite a youthful colour and for young people their favorite colour tends to be purple. It is also the colour of the E4 logo. E4’s identity is now associated with the purple because its logo has become quite iconic. E4 stands out from other channels because it is an extention of channel 4’s ethos of unique and pushing boundaries television, playing TV shows such as Glee (or use to), which was hugely successful, and Misfits. The length of the E4 ident is much shorter than the Channel 4 one, this is because there is no narrative in the E4 ident and because it targets younger people, they may easily get bored if an ident was longer or wasn’t as eye catching enough. The Channel four ident isn’t that long but it seems very long because of it’s slow pace and would bore a younger generation. There is also a lot of content in the E4 ident, like teddy moving, and purple lava flowing and things floating, which makes the ident busy for the often distracted young people. They also have random items in the room such as ducks, sharks swimming the purple water on the floor and a floating chair, which is very imaginative as teens are. This is the way they market their channel by standing out as creative, and target teens who appreciate the creativeness. The location for the E4 ident looks like a younger persons bedroom, which suggests that the shows might appeal to people at the age of 15 and above because teens tend to spend a lot of time in their rooms. The target audience for E4 I believe is 15 – 30 because of the shows that are played on there like Friends, Misfits and How I met your mother. Channel 4 is a terrestrial channel and since digital came in, it was decided to branch out in a new selection channels for specific target audiences. Even though they are part of the same family they are different and play different genres of TV shows and this reflects in their ident. One of the opportunities that ident’s provide is to draw in the target audience to the channel, for example E4 is targeted at people aged 15-30 and the ident for that channel is very colourful and animated to show that it is a younger audience that watch the channel, it also suggests that the shows that are played on the

channel are targeted at younger people, as the ident is very colourful it can set people in a good mood, keep them entertained before the show starts. This also brands the channel because the logo is bright purple, and looks quite arty, the colour that is mostly shown in the ident is purple, which is the colour of the channels logo. The Channel Four targets it’s older audience, setting the mood of a dark humored channel, in the way the logo kills the pigeons. By showing the Four logo killing the pigeons, its brands the channel as a warp sense of humour, and therefore the opportunity it presents is to distingust its audience. This creates brand loyalty because audience will know that this is what they shoulkd expect for Channel four. The ident appeals to the target audience because of its animations and the amount of special effects it has, such as things moving, the purple clothes coming out of the cupboards to look like water etc. This identifies the channel by targeted for young people who are very creative, as there is a lot of varieties of animation used like CGI and Stop motion, which will keep young audiences entertained as young people tend to have a shorter attention span, and the amount going on allows the viewer to watch it again and again as they may notice something new. The Channel Four ident expresses its identity in a different way to E4 ident because it’s calmer and less in your face. It is targeting a completely different age range. The logo for the E4 channel, has bubble writing, very youthful looking, comparing to the Channel Four one which is very structured and straight, very mature looking. By producing adverts that continually have a purple edge to it, and using different animations, gives the channel its own stamp of individuality and therefore maintains its own identity. This appeals to the audience as the ident’s change enough to keep the audience entertained but still allows the audience to have its expectations of the channel met. What is similar about both channels, E4 and Channel four, is that they have both kept their original logo, however they have changed the setting for that logo over the years. For example, Channel Four, they have done things to the logo, like make it a

statue, to change it, compared to the 1982 ident, where the parts of the logo swirl around and come back together to make the original logo. Both of these logos look the same but they have changed the settings of the ident. This is similar to E4 where in the hotel ident, the E4 logo is a cardboard box, and in beach E4 ident, the E4 logo is made out of sand. So both idents, E4 and channel, take what’s going on in the scene, and make the logo adapt to it. Some of the limitations for the E4 ident are the fact that people who aren’t in that age category of the target audience may be intimated to watch the channel because they think its not meant for people of their age group. Another limitation is that the ident is quite long and people might be bored whilst waiting for the ident to finish and a lot is going on throughout the ident and it might be a bit to much for people to take in, in such a short time. A limitation of the channel four advert is that audiences may not like the fact that pigeons are murdered, and may be offended so much that they change channel. They may not like the humor and change channels. Animation can be expensive depending on how its made and how much animation is used and what kind of animation you want to use, for example computer CGI animation can be very expensive as you would need a professional team to make it, Stop motion animation can be made for free because you do not need a professional team, and can be filmed with still photographs and put together in an edit, so the only thing you may have to pay for is an editor. Idents can be quite boring when they use the same logo all the time because it can be a bit repetitive, most other channels change their logo every so often to re-brand the channel and show that they are keeping up to date, E4 haven’t done this and have kept the same purple logo since 2001 (the year the channel was devised). Some idents can be to long but because there’s a lot going on in them people want to carry on watching them to see what’s going to happen next, for example the E4 Ident, there are a lot of special effects and people want to watch them because they want to know whats going to happen next.

E4 and Channel four ident comparision  

A comparision of two tv idents

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