This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.
Since 2006, Sleuth has been known as the channel of choice for your favorite crime and mystery reruns—such as Law & Order, JAG; NCIS; Walker, Texas Ranger; and MacGyver. As of August, Sleuth will be known as Cloo. With the help of loyalkaspar, NBCUniversal has completely rebranded Cloo, which sits alongside a fleet of channels that include The Weather Channel, Oxygen, and Chiller.
Update 8/14/12: loyalkaspar was in charge of all on-air graphics and package. You&Me Studio helped with the upfront media kit. Logo was reportedly designed by Digital Kitchen and the tagline in-house.
The name switch represents the first major change among NBCUniversal’s smaller “emerging networks” following its merger with Comcast earlier this year.
— TV Guide
This renaming is linked to the fact that NBCUniversal could not copyright or own the name Sleuth. NBCUniversal also explained that the name change has partly to do with “Sleuth” being too common a word in search engines: you’ll find about 9.5 million results in a single Google Search and the channel doesn’t come up in the first page. To add to the fire, the childlike spelling has to do with even more copyright issues, since “Clue” is trademarked by Hasbro for the board game of the same name. A Syfy-kind of déjà vu.
Though I am not a fan of the spelling, I do appreciate the simplicity of it. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Clues are what link every show on the channel, and is a lynchpin to every crime and mystery. However, the mark is a boring, underwhelming, and chunky execution. The wordmark study, below, unfortunately shows only slight improvement and feels very limited in breadth or exploration and play. Still, despite being rather elementary and childlike in execution, the wordmark treats its detective viewers and fans to a clue: a horizontal keyhole — go figure — that is created by the negative space between the “c” and “l”. This is a clever way to engage your viewers by giving them a chance to see it, figure it out, and be a part of the brand. The concept here is right but the execution is very unrefined. Compared to the previous pie-like Sleuth mark, the Cloo wordmark is a slight upgrade, but feels too amateur to be taken seriously.
The 3D render of the mark feels as if it was created to fill up the end of a presentation: the metallic tweezers mixed with the dimensional wordmark took me several minutes to decode and understand. Due to this, it feels like a poor choice to be the primary mark that lives on the website.
The animation with the mark in Cloo’s promotional is expected but simple enough to avoid overcomplicating anything, which is nice. The play in the campaign is fun — at least with what was attempted in the wordmark concept — and allows the mark to be a part of the experience, further linking the viewer to the brand. My concern is the passive-aggressive tagline of “Go Figure.” A phrase that seems to have been revived from the 1990s, it might be a little harsh and off-putting to viewers.
Overall, with the combination of an elementary, chunky mark and a somewhat insulting tagline, Cloo’s rebrand has fallen short in its attempt to create a starting point for a small channel that is looking to gain a faithful following and develop strong brand association.