Troika has taken a lead role in the branding and communications roll out of The Hub, a new kids and family television network and joint venture between Discovery Communications and Hasbro. Troika provided complete agency support for The Hub from strategy through execution, assisting in the development of The Hub's brand positioning, creative strategy, logo, on-air packaging and advertising campaign. The Hub premiered on 10/10/10.
Troika's assignment was to create a new kid's television brand built from the heritage, success and values of Discovery Communications, whose programming is based around curiosity and exploration, and Hasbro, a company that has delivered decades of joy through play. Working closely with The Hub President and CEO Margaret Loesch, CMO Amber Tarshis and VP On-Air Promotion and Creative Services Jordan Beck, Troika explored this unique intersection, developing brand strategy defining The Hub as a "place that brings families together."
"Troika was a true creative partner in the launch of The Hub," said CMO Amber Tarshis. "The scope of Troika's work for us was immense -- the agency built all of our advertising, on-air and marketing assets. There aren't many agencies with the strategic and creative manpower that can launch an entertainment brand on such a massive scale from beginning to end."
Troika was originally tapped to handle The Hub's logo exploration, but the project quickly expanded to encompass the entire brand assignment. This approach, in which one multidisciplinary agency oversees the entire process, rather than having pieces of the assignment parceled out to multiple specialist shops, meant the entire project was seamless. Troika designers were integrated into the process at the earliest stages of brand strategy; advertising and launch concepts were developed concurrent to designing the brand identity, and design and production took place at Troika as soon as concept designs were approved.
"Even with the most exciting project, the experience is often defined by the team that you're working with. Having the opportunity to build a brand from scratch together with Margaret, Amber and Jordan from The Hub was an incredible opportunity for Troika. We shared the same vision and goals from day one, and it shows in the final creative executions," said Dan Pappalardo, partner and executive creative director, Troika.
This brand strategy is brought to life in the network's logo, called 'Hubble,' a fun bubble-like shape with unlimited possibilities as it unexpectedly transforms into anything it desires. The Hubble is featured prominently in all of the creative executions, including nine animated network IDs in which it interacts with a library of whimsical characters including a one-eyed creature, a robotic spider, a frog with a mohawk and card-playing fleas all developed by Troika. The logo and various characters all inhabit the Hub world, a friendly, bright and inviting place carefully designed and rendered in cinematic quality CG. The logo has a little brother named 'Bub' that appears during the morning pre-school programming block, dubbed Hubbub.
Troika also spearheaded the consumer and trade ad campaign, which includes five TV spots featuring iconic show characters such as Bumblebee from "Transformers Prime," Red from "Fraggle Rock" and "Strawberry Shortcake." Outdoor and print work (including billboards, bus wraps, bus shelters and more) feature the message "Come Together" with TV characters playfully showcased. The Hub's imaginative and colorful on-air packaging comprises hundreds of assets including IDs, bumpers, menus, promo toolkits, custom music, a signature audio mnemonic system, and a library of animated characters that will continue to roll out in network promos in various interconnected shorts.
Troika Executive Creative Director Dan Pappalardo and Creative Directors Whit Friese and Dale Everett oversaw a team of creative directors, strategists, writers, designers, animators, compositors, editors and producers at Troika over the course of the 10-month project.
Based on the success of The Hub network launch campaign, Troika has also been enlisted by the network to develop its show launch campaign for "Transformers Prime" a new TV series that will be supported by broadcast spots, outdoor and print ads rolling out this Fall.