UTV’s weekly magazine show UTV Life has had a much-needed revamp. The new titles and set are a definite improvement although it must be said the bar was low.
The old set looked cheap and was badly lit. The old titles were thoroughly forgettable. Their replacements at least show energy, imagination, professionalism and effort. The look of the programme now does justice to the work of the production team.
This is all very interesting because it suggests the remaining use of UTV branding on the channel is secure for the moment.
The new look show continues to feature UTV’s logo prominently – it would have been easily to rename the programme or simply use the lettering “UTV” rather than the actual logo.
It’s now two years since network trails and continuity appeared on UTV – initially as an emergency measure. Officially the channel name did not change though.
Away from UTV Life, there are three main uses of the UTV logo.
- During the news programme UTV Live and local weather. These do not carry explicit ITV branding.
- Trails for local programmes.
- Production endboards.
If there was any masterplan to officially get rid of the remaining UTV branding, the revamp of UTV Life could have offered a perfect opportunity to take stealth actions.
But even if there is no masterplan, what could happen quietly in the future?
The next time ITV revamps its trails will UTV’s local promotions gain ITV branding?
At the very least modifications to the network trails will be needed when ITV X replaces the ITV Hub. If these modifications mean a whole new look something will need to be done about UTV’s trails.
After 9 years, a revamp of News graphics across the network would only seem to be a matter of time too. Will UTV Live still get a special visual recognition which isn’t afforded to other regions?
ITV has confounded critics and shown a degree of respect for the UTV brand which may seem surprising. Naturally they want to avoid controversies or rows which are unnecessary.
I’ll admit to some surprise myself. In 2016 when UTV was bought by ITV plc, I’d have expected changes far sooner.
My hunch is still that, over time, UTV Live will gain explicit ITV News branding. I wonder how many people with no interest in marketing or branding would notice?
But nobody can accuse ITV of acting rashly or disrespectfully.
PICTURED: UTV Life opening titles. COPYRIGHT: ITV plc.