In June 2021, a new identity and design for RTL was unveiled. The media conglomerate RTL Group also announced a gradual harmonisation of its brand architecture across Europe. Oliver Fahlbusch, Executive Vice President Communications and Investor Relations at RTL Group, and Julian Weiss, Chief Marketing Officer at RTL Deutschland, discuss the transformation of the RTL brand.
What were the needs and objectives behind the rebranding?
Oliver Fahlbusch: Global crises and a more aggressive political climate are moving the societies in which we operate. As a media company reaching millions of people every day, it is important to take responsibility for our unique position. With inspiration, energy and attitude, our content promotes diversity, relevance, and cohesion. We will strengthen RTL as Europe’s leading entertainment brand that stands for positive entertainment and independent journalism. The repositioning and redesign of RTL is also part of our response to technological innovations and profound changes in the media landscape.
To transform our core brand from a traditional broadcast to Europe’s leading entertainment brand, RTL Group joined forces with RTL Deutschland and together, we started the RTL United project.
What kind of image, spirit and values did you want to express by rebranding the iconic RTL brand?
Oliver Fahlbusch: With the RTL United project, we not only defined a new design, but also a new DNA. A new purpose, promise and set of new brand principles will guide our work across all areas of the company. From programming to technology, from culture to design. One of our brand principles is “We are simple and straightforward”. This applies from the way we communicate to our processes and offerings. Or the way we present the news, which are always at eye-level with our audience.
As part of RTL United, we will also harmonise our brand architecture. We no longer differentiate between corporate, product and digital, but rather bundle everything under our core RTL brand. RTL will, however, remain a house of brands with Fremantle, Ufa, Vox and NTV, among others. As of 2022, Gruner + Jahr’s popular and trusted brands such as Stern, Brigitte, GEO, will be added to the journalistic brand portfolio of RTL Deutschland.
What message does the new logo communicate?
Julian Weiss: Our aim was to reflect the newly defined DNA in a new design. RTL is colourful. With our multi-colour logo, which is unique in the European media landscape, we make use of all colours. It represents the breadth of our content and at the same time, has its strength in simplicity: all colours, three iconic boxes and clear typography.
The colours of the logo match the colours of the content. This makes the range of our content visible, and RTL becomes a statement for diversity, entertainment, and inspiration.
The new branding allows users, employees, and partners to create their personal RTL logo – a strong statement for consumer centricity and involvement. We combine the power of a one-brand strategy with the endless customisation possibilities of the digital world.
What impact does the new branding have in terms of content production and editorial strategies for RTL channels?
Julian Weiss: Our programming is also all about inspiration. Our audience’s desire for entertainment and information has increased. We take this into account in our programming, where we offer positive entertainment and even more information, full of responsibility and joy. At RTL Deutschland, the realignment also includes some new on-air faces like Pinar Atalay or Jan Hofer, two journalistic personalities with a high level of credibility, or Hape Kerkeling, who connects young and old, stands for positive entertainment and is full of surprises. We want to cover the whole range of entertainment and topics that move Germany – and expand our reach in all target groups. To do this, we use the strength of all our channels and platforms to inspire, involve, entertain, and inform.
AND EVEN MORE
What was the vision for RTL Deutschland’s streaming service, RTL+?
Julian Weiss: With our entertainment platform RTL+, we want to boost our digital offering and ignite our audience. As part of the transformation in creating a strong consumer brand, the rapidly growing German streaming service TV Now, with over two million subscribers, will become RTL+ on 4 November 2021. It will successively be expanded and enriched with new content and features. Further developments are planned in the first half of 2022. Our goal with RTL+ is to create an entertainment experience full of inspiration and diversity.
What is the strategy at European level?
Oliver Fahlbusch: As part of harmonising the RTL brand architecture across the Group, we also plan to roll out the new design and identity across all RTL-branded units in Europe. We started with RTL Group in August 2021, followed by the roll‑out at RTL Deutschland. A strong brand awareness requires clear and consistent brand management at all levels. Only then can we truly transform RTL into Europe’s leading entertainment brand.