INTERVIEW WITH DYLAN GRIFFITH – VEČERNJE NOVOSTI Newspaper

Dylan Griffith about the first international rebranding campaign of the world’s largest music tv station.

The Way I Changed The MTV

One of the guests of the 5th Belgrade Design Week was the creative Director of the mtv World Design Studio, who gave a lecture “popx1000%” on the first mtv international rebranding campaign and the latest transformation of the mtv uk sister channel. The International mtv rebranding uses a visual language which shows the intensive mixture of human emotions cut with the energy of pop culture multiplied by 1000%. Dealing with 8 alphabets meant that a type driven solution was not an option, so tapping into immediate pan-global human emotions and themes, (love, desire, wonder, adrenalin etc.) was the goal with these identities. Each identity is driven by a particular emotion or theme that relates to pop culture’ in general and more specifically to cornerstone programs within the mtv1 schedule. The identities bring together design talent from 4 continents guaranteeing a plethora of styles and true international vision.

As creative director in 2007, you successfully rebranded British channel S4C, and for that work you have been awarded with two D&AD and Cannes award. While you work for the BBC resulted with 6 BAFTA awards! How would you describe your interventions in the two cases? s4c was a particularly interesting challenge. I had a 500,000 gbp budget, no management dictated guidelines and therefore, carte blanch. Bearing this is mind, I throw everything I had into the job. The bbc had its own very different set of challenges. Brand guidelines, rules and general company structure are rather established. Funny enough though, showing a bit of con- structive creativity goes a long a way in the bbc.

What makes your work different and specific? Is it a different approach, different identity and design in the case of the MTV? How different it is comparing to BBC?
With the bbc you do have a number of strict rules and boundaries to follow. While mtv on the other hand has brand legacy that is always fresh, youthful and ground breaking.

Is the target group of the MTV same as it was 25 years ago? Do you still address the same people?

Yes it is. mtv is and has been the number one global youth brand. mtv does not grow old with you, you grow out of it.

What values is MTV trying to present to people with its massive impact?
A reflection of youth Pop culture, aspirational and groundbreaking.

Was the rebranding of the MTV really necessary at this point? Why did you decide to do these changes?

It is the prefect time to do the rebrand. This is the first time mtv has done a rebrand globally giving the brand a unified look and feel everywhere in the world. Its less about being locally relevant and more about relevant to the emotions of youth.

What was the basic idea for the MTV rebranding campaign and how did it all start? Again, we focused on emotions and the pro- grams themselves. It started with a general consensus that all mtvs around the world should be more unified in how the brand is presented to our audience/user.

What does POPX1000% mean?

It’s not about Pop Music but Pop culture to the extreme (multiplied by 1000%).

Is the essence of MTV in the equality and universality, or on the other side – in differences and connecting all those differences?
It really is a bit of both. You can argue that with this rebrand we are producing a very universal interaction with the brand. However, we engage differences and work with graphic and motion design houses all over the globe. We are about the emotions of youth, wherever they may be.

Is today’s MTV a typical product of globalization with all its positive and negative effects?
We feel we are the product of the positive effects of globalization, such as communication and empowerment.

What emotions or themes did you target as crucial for each of the identities, in terms of their role in popular culture?
Positive emotions; Joy, Love, Surprise, Optimistic… We are the brand/channel of positive aspirations of young people. Finally, I just want to add that the rebrand of mtv had its ground breaking worldwide introduction in your region with mtv Serbia being our first local channel to go popx1000%. This is why when I was asked to participate in this year’s Belgrade Design Week, I jumped at the opportunity.

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It was a true pleasure to participate in Belgrade Design Week. BDW has great speakers and lots of creative energy and I was amazed by the commitment from the organization and their ability to create an international event of such caliber. Even with a small team, BDW sets a standard that other cities in the world can learn from. Actually, many design events would probably feel embarrassed if they visited Belgrade Design Week and compared themselves.

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