The BBC is a British institution that needs no introduction. But have you heard of Ariel? Well, it’s been an important part of The Beeb since its launch in 1936, as a weekly printed newspaper for all staff, taking its name from the statue of Shakespeare's Prospero and Ariel on the facade of the BBC's Broadcasting House, London. It ceased being a printed publication in 2011 and became a purely digital brand, but was in danger of becoming diluted and failing to reach its potential due to a confusing mix of digital and sometimes competing internal channels.
In preparation for the BBC’s centenary in 2022, we were asked to take this much-loved, yet somewhat tired brand and transform it, so that it resonated and engaged with the BBC’s younger, more digital savvy staff.
This was much more than giving the Ariel brand a refresh. The new visual identity had to embody the BBC’s new editorial policy in a striking and positive way that connected with all members of staff, becoming less London-centric and truly representative of all BBC nations and regions. In addition, it had to inspire and motivate by reflecting the broadcaster’s wider aspirations of greater internal transparency, honesty and, perhaps most importantly of all, trust.
Working closely with the BBC’s Internal Communications & Engagement teams around the UK, we created and then successfully launched the new Ariel brand in 2020, completing their digital transformation. We’re pleased to announce that it has been whole-heatedly embraced by BBC staff, so much so that it has now been adopted as the single source of internal news for the Corporation, with all other pan BBC channels adopting it.
Our work with the team on ensuring that Ariel achieves its full potential is ongoing, but early feedback suggests the relaunch has so far trebled engagement. Which is great news in itself!