• BBC iPlayer
  • Broadcasting
  • Branding

A brand for BBC iPlayer’s boisterous little cousin

Together with the BBC iPlayer and BBC Children’s teams, we brought boisterous life to BBC iPlayer Kids – a new addition to the BBC’s family of internet streaming, catch-up, television and radio services. Taking our digital-first approach to branding, we helped create a safe space that parents could trust, but 5 - 9 year olds would be drawn to. On the way, we added some personality-packed, multi-sensorial magic.

Share this

The app had to fit within the existing iPlayer brand but have a distinct personality – like the little cousin of the family.

Jon Hewitt
Creative Director

The broadcasting benchmark
No longer bound to Saturday morning telly, kids are using many devices to watch, listen and interact with their favourite programmes. The BBC needed to make its CBeebies and CBBC output (the broadcasting benchmark for motivating and mesmerising children’s content) easily accessed in a child-friendly yet enticing digital space.

A Shoreditch x Salford collaboration
Working at speed between our studio and Media City, and collaborating with multiple BBC teams, we defined the position of the brand within the organisation’s complex architecture, as well as its proposition: a safe place for kids, trusted by parents. 

The kids take over
Our starting point was to create a place where kids are in charge (well, almost – adults had to feel assured that children were choosing and curating appropriate content).

Working within the boundaries of the BBC’s Global Experience Language (GEL) style, we injected a sense of mischievous fun into every way the brand is experienced – in its motion, sound and the look of its eight user-avatars – each one a distinctive, goofy character.

Eight distinctive avatars
They needed to represent the range of iPlayer Kids’ ages, with easily relatable personalities – and, to make any of them a possible choice, no obvious gender bias. Born from hand-drawn explorations, each distinct animation makes its entrance by cheekily taking over the space, pushing things out of their way.


Zany colour, rowdy sound
The iPlayer Kids palette is zanier than its grown-up relatives, riffing off the colours of CBeebies and CBBC and helping unite the two channels. Our in-house experiments with Foley (the sound of found objects) were fun but focussed, searching for the aural expressions that precisely captured the nature of the animations – rowdy, raucous and unruly.


Onboarding a discerning audience
Because kids can detect when adults are trying too hard, the whole user experience had to feel that it came directly from their world. Getting 5 - 9 year olds on-boarded required a minimum of straightforward steps that held the attention and spoke in a language that was simple and fun.


An instant hit
Within two days of launch, iPlayer Kids took the top spot in the App Store for Top Free Apps for kids. While we’re pleased with the awards it has won, we’re most proud of the fact that young users think it’s really cool. Together with the BBC, we created an iPlayer kids app that is safe, simple and fun.