14 September 2014

[pdx_TV] KOIN 6 Brands the Mothership

I've said it before: edifices matter. Especially when you're a media company that has an electronic side (The Oregonian has forgotten this, and will be consigned to the netherworld of has-beens for it).

KOIN TV has one of the best emblems that a media company can have: A remarkably beautiful building, the KOIN Center, which, at 509 feet in height and 35 floors, is the third-tallest building in Portland (and, thus, the state of Oregon). It stands on the block surrounded by SW Columbia and Jefferson streets and SW 2nd and 3rd Avenues; this was KOIN's home since before the construction of the KOIN Center, and the station thus became its signature tenant. Its tapering profile, topped with a blue pyramid, remind one of a rocket ship from classic SF movies, if nothing else.

The mothership, ready for takeoff.

During the KOIN Local 6 days, they didn't take advantage of this symbol, and that, I thought, was a missed opportunity. Identity efforts before that did, but the were kind of bland, I thought. But then, a few months back, KOIN rebranded. Now, I don't know who was responsible for putting together the new look of the opens, but someone finally got it right. These are opens I can't get tired of looking at.

The graphics open with dynamic layered chevron shapes in blue chasing each other from the left to the right. Glossy music strikes up, with a technological edge, arresting the viewer's attention. The chevrons part momentarily long enough to let a voice-over intone "Live, from the KOIN Center, in downtown Portland …" and we are treated to really-awesomely well-done aerial shots-in-motion, gliding over the south part of downtown, and given an atmospheric feel thanks to colored lens-flare effects. These are great shots. They really draw in and almost make love to the most photogenic major downtown in America.

This YouTube video, posted by a user monikering themselves Portland TV, compiles all the major opens. Just goes to show what happens when you pair the beating heart of a beautiful city with dynamic opening music and graphics … something memorable and successful.

I've taken the liberty of screencapping the four variations on the approach. The source is the original poster's video.

The first one seems to be used for the morning and noon newscasts. If you paid attention to the video, you also noticed the tone of the morning news theme is more chipper and upbeat; there is a grimmer, more minor-keyed approach on the other three.

The morning and noon 'casts use the above, as I mentioned. The view is from the south and the flying view point is approaching it going north. Other notable buildings include the Edith Green/Wendell Wyatt Federal building (the one with the 'doffed cap' just behind and right) the Portland Building (behind and to the left) and the Wells Fargo Tower (left edge of frame).

The next two are used for the flagship 5-6 PM broadcast hour:

Above, the viewpoint is looking north-northeast as it moves from west to east toward the Willamette river. The ramps to and a bit of the west end of the Morrison Bridge can be seen at the top of the frame; the red brick building on the right edge of the view is the Umpqua Bank Plaza, which started as the Benj. Franklin Plaza; the chevron shaped building at the extreme right is the Waterfront Marriott Hotel, and, of course, the Wells Fargo there on the left. The building with curved roofline is the Mark O. Hatfield US Courthouse.

This one pivots about the Wells Fargo Tower, on the right this time, as we travel again from east to west but this time north of the KOIN mothership. In the upper left, boats can be seen plying the RiverPlace marina; in the extreme upper corner of the shot the Marquam Bridge carries I-5 over the Willamette.

And this is the 11 PM shot. Same general area as just above, but an approach more straight on. Very TRON-esque.

Edifices matter. If you have one use it, but make sure you use it well. This is doing it right. 

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