The brand-naming of Warner Bros. Discovery’s new streaming service Max stands out for several reasons.
For one thing, it has no plus sign in the manner of Disney+, Paramount+, Apple TV+, AMC+ -- and even Discovery+, which is now to be folded into the new Max along with HBO Max, the company said in its Max announcement on Wednesday.
In this context, the word "Max" needs no plus sign to get across the message that Max -- as in "maximum" -- has the meaning of the plus sign already built into it.
Like the “Plus” streaming services, the name Max conveys the image of a streaming service with “more” -- or, more to the point, “all.”
The name represents a streaming service that provides everything a subscriber would want to watch across all genres and interests, both scripted and non-scripted -- movies, TV shows, cooking, house-hunting, “90-Day Fiancé” -- you name it.
The word “Max” is simplicity in itself -- just three letters and easy to remember. “I just saw the new 'Game of Thrones' prequel on Max. Have you checked that out?” someone might ask a friend in the near future.
The Max name appears designed to be recognized easily. It accomplishes the neat trick of communicating that Max is now the home of HBO Max, although for many HBO Max subscribers, there might still be a learning curve here.
This is attempted by adopting the word "Max" from HBO Max and designing a Max logo that suggests the HBO brand.
The logo is set up in a similar font and adopts the most distinctive feature of the HBO logo -- the filled-in "O" in HBO that fits somewhat like a Dunkin' Munchkin inside a donut hole.
In the Max logo, the letter being filled in is "a" -- which, like the other letters in the Max logo, is lower case.
HBO, originally an acronym, is understandably presented in all caps.
The WBD news release on Max carried a positioning statement: “Introducing Max -- the one to watch for every mood and every moment.” It also named a U.S. debut date: May 23.
To hammer home the momentousness of this announcement on Wednesday, the Max release was just one of 16 that popped into the TV Blog’s inbox one after the other.
The others were each about upcoming new content. The subject matter was curated, in part, to emphasize the wide variety of the Max offerings.
Projects making the most headlines this week include a new “Harry Potter” TV series (the first to be adopted from the movie series); a “Game Of Thrones” prequel, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight,” and “The Penguin” starring Colin Farrell (pictured above) as the arch-villain from the “Batman” universe.
But along with those announcements came others in the non-scripted category including one from Chip and Joanna Gaines, who will be seen converting a landmark building in their hometown of Waco, Texas, into a hotel, Magnolia-style; and a Barbie Dream House design-competition show from HGTV.