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MediaWorks launches new video for TV3's new channel name, +HR=E.

I was looking right at it but it's fair to say that, no, I did not get it.

As I tried to make sense of the assorted hieroglyphics and jumbled mathematical symbols I found my efforts being mocked by a television gameshow host.

"It's not rocket science," Dai Henwood taunted on the wee commercial that +HR=E, nee TV3, had released in a brightly coloured attempt to communicate the corporate thinking behind their confuzzling new logo. "But you get it, right?"

No, I really didn't. I didn't get it when it was unveiled and I still don't get it now that I've lived with it a little while. The thing is I really tried to get it and I'm still trying now.


Really, I am. You get that, right?

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm no rocket scientist, although - full disclosure - I am qualified in Human Biology to a School Certificate level. But even that impressive academic achievement has helped me "get it" not at all.

I don't need to call on the specialised knowledge earned gaining sixth form certificate qualifications in Art and Art History to see that +HR=E's new logo is a visually displeasing, aesthetic mess that holds no appeal and makes little sense.

I don't get it!

What's with all the maths, bro? What do all the random crosses, marks and symbols mean? Why doesn't it line up? Why are the characters spaced so far apart from each other? Was that font chosen because comic sans was already taken?

So many questions... One more: Why is everyone dressed like old school French aristocracy? Someone's head should roll over this.

Against a seizure-inducing, super-bright flashing backdrop of confusing looking equations, Henwood calmly explained that the new brand was easy to understand and that "there's a simple equation to break it down".

He then reeled off a list of improbable equations of questionable validity such as, "Graham Norton + Seven Days = a perfect Friday night". I'm sorry but at best that = an ok-ish Thursday night.


But the most perplexing one had to be: "You + US = +HR=E". Whaaaa? Maybe this was rocket science. It certainly looks like it, but I don't know. I'm a human biologist remember.

Presenters Samantha Hayes and Dai Henwood show off the new look Three
Presenters Samantha Hayes and Dai Henwood show off the new look Three

It's mind-boggling to realise that this logo is the one that won. The best one. The one chosen above all the other ones. Imagine, if you even can, just how bad the losing logos had to be to lose out to this visual disaster.

Maybe it's not so surprising. After all Mediaworks board member Julie Christie was one of the artistically blind people on the Flag Consideration Panel which chose the final four new flag designs back in 2015 and we all know how well that worked out...

It was only five months ago when rivals TVNZ also took a butcher knife to their beloved brands as part of their "new blood" imperative. Much like TV3 had to die for +HR=E to be birthed, so too did the 40-year-old TV One when it got lassoed by a squiggly circle and bludgeoned into becoming TVNZ 1.

At the time I wrote a column chastising the state broadcaster for adding the unnecessary bloat of the letters 'T', 'V', 'N' and Z' to the station name instead of slimming down to a simple, sophisticated 1.

So when I got the memo that TV3 was going to rename as 3 I applauded them for heeding the sage advice offered in my column.

Then I saw the F0+K1N M3$5 they'd made of it.

Another thing I couldn't help but notice was that this television brand has unceremoniously dumped the 'TV' part of its name.

So someone either realised that +V +HR=E was simply going too far or it's a clear signal of the importance Mediaworks are placing on their online strategy as more and more viewers migrate to OnDemand streaming over traditional style terrestrial viewing.

If the latter is the case, then this means that the number part of the name - the +HR=E - really doesn't matter. Who knows the channel number of SoHo or Bravo or Al Jazeera? Not me. They really could have called themselves anything.

The sad fact is that nearly anything would have been better than the $H1+ they've come up with.

Do you think they get that?