Defining a new chapter in FREE TV.

We worked with Saorview, Ireland’s free-to-air national digital television service, to carve out their own unique voice in amongst the hustle and bustle of today’s highly competitive TV landscape. Working closely with their team, we put a long-term strategy in place that facilitated the growth and expansion of the Saorview brand. This included the creation of a brand identity that took an agile, engaging and cost effective approach to content, covering broad communications such as TV ads, in-store graphics, service announcements, social media content and more. In addition to this we developed a powerful web platform that presented complex programme, channel and genre information in intuitive and easy-to-use ways. Our full case study can be read at the bottom of the page.


At the heart of the project was the idea that Saorview connects people with the shows and types of TV that they love.


We worked with director Johnny Kelly to develop a set of dynamic icons that represented different genres of TV. These allowed us to build a world of TV as well as a wide range of specific messages.

Characters and icons were used across the site to illustrate and explain different services and offerings. saorview.ie

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The modular assets allowed us to develop a wide range of sub brands and content that helped highlight and promote different aspects of the product and service.


Our Thinking

Having been started to provide free access to TV during the switch over from analogue to digital, the service then developed into a viable alternative to pay TV with wider appeal but still very much focused on being cost-free. While access to free TV is at the heart of the Saorview brand, they understood that the way people watch TV is changing, and that it had to evolve too. The new TV landscape which mixes online, free, premium and pay on demand services meant that Saorview was no longer the free alternative to slick pay TV brands but part of a much more diverse landscape. They wanted to make sense of their offering within this landscape, to make it clear they offer a credible alternative to pay TV and to pave the way for product developments that change their offering considerably. We established some guiding principles to clarify the aims of the project and help guide a sizable rebrand, multi-faceted website, wide range of campaigns and communications as well as the launch of a major new product.

  • Give people access to the TV they love
  • Providing flexibility to watch their way
  • Be a credible challenger in the market
  • Accessible and cost-effective


Redefining free

Although 98% of shows watched in Ireland are available on the Saorview platform, free TV itself has an outdated reputation, often unfairly associated with repeat programming and budget TV shows. Our first challenge was to address this head-on and underline all the ways in which Saorview’s offering delivered quality — and for free. We set about this by shifting our messaging from talking about available TV channels, towards available genres, series and TV shows. Our thinking was that viewers care more about content than platforms and channels. The second messaging decision we made was to celebrate all the ways in which Saorview was free — free from contracts, free from monthly costs, free to watch in multiple places, free to watch in multiple devices. 


An always on, always moving brand

Our messaging needed an identity system that would work in broad spectrum of places, from TV broadcasts and digital platforms, to print campaigns and product packaging. To facilitate this in a cost effective way, and to give us maximum flexibility, we developed a series of modular, animated icons that represented the different genres and content Saorview offered. Developed around these icons was an identity system that took a simple, paired back approach to typography and colour, and a logo that represented movement and motion. Our Saorview brand could shift and move to suit any setting and purpose. 


Dynamic, competitive content

Because the Saorview ecosystem was evolving, it was important to find ways to highlight and differentiate parts of the offering as they became available. Our identity system allowed us to produce a wide range of content such as TV ads, explainer films, social content and service updates. This agile, content focused approach helped us talk about soap operas, blockbuster movies and reality cooking shows, in a unique, cohesive way, without getting into a ‘glossy content’ battle with our competitors. This made it easier to build communication density which was an important factor when competing against brands that advertise aggressively.


Powerful systems, made intuitive

The Saorview digital platform brought together a number of disparate systems and technologies that included a live help function, sign up and management of Saorview ID, a huge database of supplier and product information, and a live 24/7 TV guide feed. On top of these technical requirements, we developed a simple and intuitive website that helped customers understand and navigate the various Saorview products, services and individual promotions.


Stand out promotion

While most of the brand communications happened in dynamic environments, the physical packaging and promotional pieces created great cut through because of their warm, friendly and engaging icons — a style that contrasted sharply with the image led approaches most competitors carried.