Telemundo straddles two worlds.
The network moves freely among Latinos who speak both English and Spanish; who are steeped in their native heritage as well as American culture, and just as likely to tune into telenovelas as they are NBC’s This is Us.
This blending of language and culture served as the foundation for Telemundo’s brand refresh by Red Bee, which collaborated with media strategist Lee Hunt. The agency represented both worlds through overlapping shades of red in the network’s updated logo—aligning all sub-brands and platforms under that iconic ‘T’—while using the tagline “Together Unstoppable” to position Telemundo as a powerful force taking control of its own destiny and shaping the future of Hispanic programming.
“We feel we are unstoppable because we are continuing to innovate,” said Karen Barroeta, SVP marketing and creative, Telemundo.
Creating a Brand Umbrella
Showcasing the intersection of the two cultures was an important element of the refresh.
“Whatever we did with the logo had to absolutely very clearly state that,” said Red Bee Design Director Amy Johnson. At the same time, the network’s ‘T’ icon came with a level of brand recognition that she and Red Bee Executive Creative Director Charlie Mawer didn’t want to lose.
“We felt like it had so much heritage that we wanted to keep that mark,” said Johnson.
So they brought more of a 3D look to the 2012 design, and established it as the umbrella under which all of Telemundo’s sub-brands, genres and shows are now aligned.
“Internally, when we would review the look and feel of the logo and use of the brand, we realized it was a little bit disorganized,” said Barroeta. Red Bee and Telemundo both felt it had become fragmented, with minimal idents, the ‘T’ adopting different colors and textures, and an overall lack of consistency.
“What we wanted to do is in this time where brands can get lost as people are finding content, we wanted to make Telemundo, as the master brand, consistently clear,” said Johnson. “Red was still their core color,” she added. “What we wanted to do was take that red and make it clear that wherever you saw this single color, it stood for Telemundo… [but they] didn’t want to splash red everywhere.”
Instead, it’s used systematically, “moving across the screen in an unstoppable way”—playing an active role in Telemundo’s branding while remaining subtle enough to allow the network’s content itself to shine through.
“We were thinking digital first,” said Barroeta, and the footprint is small enough where it works in many different situations.
“The logo can live on any of the platforms,” she said. “On-air, on a pen, on Twitter and Facebook. It’s such a small little space.”
It’s also applied across social media, always in the same spot.
“A consistent position of a logo can be just as strong as being large or a bright color,” said Johnson. “The strength was built from there really.”
That single icons sets the tone for what is now a more organized, cohesive look that fits the “unstoppable” momentum of the company as it continues to break new ground when it comes to Hispanic programming.
As the concept of the ‘telenovela’ grows outdated, Telemundo has expanded beyond that programming concept, tweaking it with what it calls a “Narcovela” based on the popularity of hit show Narcos, on which it partnered with Netflix in order to air the show on its network, and leaning into strong characters, such as La Reina del Sur’s female lead Kate del Castillo as Teresa Mendoza, a naive girlfriend of a Mexican drug trafficker to rises to become the leader of the drug cartel, and becomes unstoppable in her own right.
With that in mind, Telemundo’s talent also takes center stage in its branding, serving as the focus of the network’s brand campaign spots.
Telemundo has also continued an ambitious launch of new affiliate stations. In 2019, it plans to debut La Voz, an adaptation of NBC’s The Voice, and in October, the network premiered its first premium production, El Recluso, about an ex-marine who infiltrates a maximum security prison on the Mexican and U.S. border to investigate the kidnapping of the daughter of a prominent U.S. judge.
The character is Argentinian, but has lived in the U.S. and Mexico and communicates in English and Spanish to appeal to both worlds of Telemundo’s viewers.
“The language of the campaign embodies our view, voice and spirit,” Barroeta said. “We just have to make sure everyone embraces it. We all own the brand and we all need to bring it to life.”