Ba-dummm. That’s the noise anyone who’s watched anything on Netflix will recognise all too well, as it heralds the disappearing of the next one, two or 12 hours of your life. Now, though, the pictures that go with that comforting/annoying noise are getting a facelift, as Netflix goes for a new look.
The old ident, which saw a red Netflix logo appear with the click of a button on a white background, is being upgraded to a newer, sleeker animation: a red “N” on a black background that expands and explodes into a string of rainbow lines.
Here’s what it used to look like:
And here’s what it looks like now:
The decision behind the upgrade is driven, Netflix says, by a desire to “reflect the many choices our fans enjoy today”. The new ident animation reflects the “diversity and variety” of Netflix’s content, with the colours inspired by the “spectrum of stories, emotions, languages, fans and creators that collectively make up who we are as a brand”.
Here’s how that thought process started out:
Indeed, Netflix first began its original shows and films when it was only available in a few countries, primarily the UK and US. Today, it streams content in over 190 countries around the world, with a wide range of genres, cultures and languages, from English, Thai and Italian to Spanish, Mandarin and more.
The darker background, meanwhile, is “inviting you to get in the mood for an immersive, cinematic experience at home, on the subway or wherever you’re choosing to watch”.
This is key to the evolution of the Netflix brand, as the streaming giant looks to reposition itself away from the existing perception of Netflix – a streaming service that began with prestige TV but has since diluted that reputation into a cater-for-all-tastes mix of reality contests, true crime, panel shows and films. The latter, in particular, is a driving force in Netflix’s current phase of expansion: after disrupting the TV world, it’s now attempting to bring some clout and prestige to its film arm, which is beginning to find traction through movies such as Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma. Entering cinemas with the old logo that was once watched in front of Hemlock Grove, though, isn’t necessarily going to win over cinephiles.
Indeed, it’s no coincidence that Netflix first started using an iteration of this rainbow ident with Roma and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ world premieres at the Venice Film Festival in 2018, where it kicked off both film’s awards campaigns. Since then, Roma has been nominated for 10 Oscars and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs has been nominated for three.
The new ident now accompanies all Netflix original titles from this week onwards, but will be rolled out across older original titles later this year.
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