Strength in Diversity

What happens when two television networks with different audiences merge into one? The challenge in creating a brand identity for The CW network, which launches this month in place of UPN and The WB, lay in pulling together such diverse shows as "Girlfriends," "Smallville," and "Friday Night Smackdown!"

"What we started to tap into was actually embracing the diversity," says Dan Pappalardo, executive creative director and partner, Troika Design Group. The group won the account after "an intensive pitch" in which it competed against several top broadcast design companies.

Troika came up with the positioning: "The CW celebrates individuality, ideals, and aspirations."

That positioning inspired the tagline, "Free to be together," and the logo, a fluid line graphic that suggests a thumbprint, says Pappalardo. Troika chose a vibrant green color palette and simple designs that can communicate a brand message even on cell phone screens. Troika's branding also extends to billboards and will appear on promotional items.

"At an early presentation, somebody even said, 'Man, I would love to wear that T-shirt,'" Pappalardo says. "That was exactly what we wanted."
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