The ITV Generic Age (Again) 1999
With the arrival of the 21st Century and the forthcoming boom of television and computer related services, media companies have felt it necessary that it is important to make your channel unique and noticeable from the crowd of television stations cluttering up the airwaves.
ITV made its first important introduction into showing a generic unified voice from it's 14 regional stations back in 1989. This happened with the introduction of a corporate logo that incorporated a regional variant of its logo with the broadcasters' logo. This did not initially work well as not all the regional stations did not feel that they were fully part of the ITV network. For example Anglia, Ulster, Channel and TSW as they did not make a noticeable contribution to networked programmes. This logo however did live for 9 years until ITV commissioned for a new corporate logo to be introduced.
The new corporate logo was introduced at the end of 1998, however to differ from the 1989 introduction, generic idents were not created until late 1999 (10 years after the first generic logo). This was fully taken up from the Granada Media Group (Granada, Yorkshire, Tyne-Tees) and the United News & Media Group (HTV, Anglia, Meridian). Also Border Television (who uses most of Granada's output) and Channel Television (for no apparent reason) followed. Exceptions to this were Carlton, who commissioned their own "heart" sequences for broadcast from 6th Sep 1999 and the Scottish Media Group (Scottish Television and Grampian Television). Also Ulster Television did not take up the generic idents for reasons that I have no idea about! But this is my feelings as to the conception of the ident sequences.
In addition to this Yorkshire Television has its own version using the Chevron as a background image, in a variation of the generic ident. This is the only company to take up the generic style and change it to their own requirements. Also, Border has used the generic image as an end production slide, in an obviously slack attempt to get in on the TV for the Heart era of ITV.
I believe that Yorkshire Television & Tyne Tees has now drifted away from the use of the generic ident to their own version, which looks similar to the generic version, however with "Yorkshire's" influence. From 20th December 1999, I have now seen that Granada now uses their variant of the "Yorkshire" variant of the ITV generic ident. Confused? You will be because surely this must make the 1999 ITV generic ident the shortest ident sequence ever seen! 4 weeks then it's gone! I however do know that the United News & Media Group of ITV companies (HTV, Anglia and Meridian) are still using the 1999 Generic idents (slightly edited for the Christmas season, with the ITV Christmas angel flying about the screen!), and Carlton are still using their originals, so what is going on? In this case along with many previous others, only time will tell.
FURTHER UPDATE: 27th February 2000
Yorkshire are now using their own idents as well as the generics, Tyne Tees are starting to go back to their old ones, HTV have got a very scary version of the generic ident going into their local news programme in Wales at 6 o'clock, where the image, after announced is zoomed very closely into the HTV yellow logo, you need to see it to be scared (it's the new age of the Yorkshire Chevron bouncing around the screen!) Channel Television's versions of the idents are different with the music used plus they've tried to use the default style in as many ways imaginable for promotional and trailer techniques!
Latest Update: 3rd April 2000
Changes to this scheme now include Granada, TTTV, and Yorkshire what have al introduced new break-bumpers, some of which have been seen in the past on the ITV web-site. Some of these new break bumpers can be found on Asa Hicks TV Home web site. In addition to this, the fourth prong of the GMG, LWT have introduced new idents using video walls and existing start-up films. Interesting. Some of these idents can currently be found at James Edwards' TV World.
A collection of the generic idents, with all the best RealVideos
can be found here!
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