Karl Puschmann is an entertainment writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Karl Puschmann: TVNZ's 'New Blood' rebranding a bloody mess

Yesterday afternoon TVNZ launched its new season because, apparently, television seasons are still a thing.

It feels like such an outdated concept. The constant flow of new and returning shows streaming through online channels Netflix, Lightbox and Neon making a mockery of old seasonal viewing ideals.

Read more: So long TV One, TVNZ announces new channel names

But it is what it is. And what it is, more than anything else, is a way to drum up excitement for the year ahead. What it's not supposed to be is a horror show . . .

Apparently TVNZ didn't get the memo.

Instead it stood up and menacingly informed us that "New Blood" would power TVNZ's plan for 2017 domination.

Crikey. Was that a threat or a promise? Both, as it turned out. Because it certainly didn't waste any time in spilling the old blood.

Where heads roll, red rivers run and blood was everywhere you looked. It was spilling on the floor, smearing the history books and staining the hands of Aunty Hilary and her jaunty sidekick. Those two of course being the most prolific examples of the new blood sucked into power the vampiric network.

With that in mind it will be little consolation to Nads and Rawds that their reign as TVNZ's highest profile victims is over already - lasting less time than even their Breakfast hosting duties.

But perhaps they can find some solace, or at least schadenfreude, in the knowledge that in its crazed bloodlust TVNZ has now turned on itself.

How else to describe the murderous butchering of its well loved brands other than as an act of self-harm?

Baffling, perhaps? Boneheaded, also fits. Bloody stupid works for me, and has the added bonus of fitting in with the whole "New Blood" strategy.

TVNZ has renamed all of its channels.
TVNZ has renamed all of its channels.

So rest in peace TV One and a fond adieu to TV2. Forty years of history and 40 years of heritage felled in one foul branding cock up. I thought life was supposed to begin at 40 these days? Obvs not.

But please, join me in extending a warm (TV)New Zealand welcome to our (TVNZ)two new channels; TVNZ 1 and TVNZ 2.

Wait, wut?

That's the best it could come up with? Making the much loved, recognisable brands more difficult to pronounce and more bothersome to type? Really? That?


Boys' club channel Duke also got the "TVNZ" treatment, please refer to it as TVNZ DUKE from now on, achieving the admirable task of making an already dumb name even dumber.

To be fair it almost got it right with the news. Almost. If 1 News Now had just been called 1 News then it would have been a win. But it's not. So it's a fail.

When announcing these new brands TVNZ chief executive Kevin Kenrick described viewers as being "time poor". Yet he's happy enough to waste our time making our channel names that little bit longer.

Don't these new names just roll off the tongue? Isn't the addition of all those extra syllables just so much more convenient to pronounce? Isn't this the most pointless nonsense ever?

Now, I'm no marketer but the trend is to abbreviate your shiz - not unnecessarily elongate it. There's a reason we say KFC and not America's State of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Was the agency charged with this rebranding charging by the letter?

It must have been. It's the only sane explanation for not slimming down to a simple 1 and 2.

- NZ Herald

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Karl Puschmann is an entertainment writer for the New Zealand Herald.

A pop culture junkie, Karl has spent his career writing about the important things in life; music, film, television, comics and video games. He was editor of a popular music rag for five years and has since written regularly for every local culture/arts/lifestyle magazine worth a damn. His recent expansion into travel writing has flung him far, far from the comfort of his couch and into that bewildering place known as the ‘outdoors’. He is also currently endeavouring to make sense of the world by reviewing it over at critikarlreviewstheworld.com

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