Tuesday, May 09, 2023

Nickelodeon Unveils New Brand Campaign and Identity

The 'Portal to Fun' campaign launches today with the first of five spots; Six agencies worked with Nickelodeon for the campaign.

Courtesy of Nickelodeon.

For the first time in 14 years, Nickelodeon has a new look.

The network will spend the rest of 2023 rolling out a new brand identity and refreshed on-air look that’s designed to invoke nostalgia and return to its roots.

“It was time for us to really look at the brand, and look at our audience, and talk with our audience and revisit all the pieces of Nickelodeon,” Sabrina Caluori, Executive Vice President (EVP) of global kids and family marketing at Nickelodeon and Paramount, told Adweek.

The “Portal to Fun” campaign launched today (May 8) with the first of five spots. “Quartet” shows a bored kid at a family dinner, who then notices the orange splat above them on the ceiling. After sticking their head through the splat, the kid finds a barbershop quartet performing.

Nick found after internal research that the “core DNA” of the brand still resonated with kids today, according to Caluori.

“We take that to the best and the mess of being a kid,” said Caluori. “We did learn that, what’s fundamentally different now than when the brand was initially taking shape, is kids’ relationship to their parents and parents’ relationship to their kids.”

Research found that kids and their parents are looking for more ways to connect, and Nickelodeon saw an opportunity.

“That was an exciting unlock for us because it meant while we can continue to be the best and the mess of being a kid, we can use that to actually bring kids and families closer together, which they are longing for in this time,” said Caluori.

The marketing executive has been with Nickelodeon for less than two years and, as a self-described Nick kid, can personally relate to the familial relationships the new campaign brings.

“It’s the first brand I ever had any passion for as a kid, and now I’m a mom of three kids who are in the demo,” said Caluori. “It’s been really exciting for me to be able to look at the brand and look at everything that we’re doing through the eyes of my kids while also ensuring that everything that we’re doing still spoke to the Nick kid inside me.”

In the splat zone

To create the new identity, Nickelodeon partnered with six U.S. and international agencies. The company asked the agencies to come back with a spot that used the new brand work and represents Nick’s energy and identity through the lens of its most notable IP—SpongeBob, Paw Patrol, Blue’s Clues, Baby Shark, Loud House and Monster High—making sure there is a moment of the iconic Nickelodeon slime.

Nick started the refresh looking to set the foundation of the identity by figuring out what elements of the brand originally made it iconic.

The results? The color orange, the splat, the mnemonic (which Caluori sang for Adweek) and the unique brand voice.

“We started there and revisiting those, and saying, ‘How do we bring those elements back to the core of our identity creatively?’” said Caluori.

The first step came through Nick’s internal marketing team and its creative partner Roger. Once that was determined, the IP went out to other animation houses around the globe.

All five spots will run across Nickelodeon’s linear and digital social platforms in three phases.

The network teased the first phase during the Kids’ Choice Awards in March. There, observant viewers may have noticed Nickelodeon brought back its iconic “splat” logo and wove the new look into design elements throughout the broadcast and weekend-long coverage.

The second phase begins today with the launch of “Quartet.” And expect a second spot, “Rollercoaster,” to debut later this week. This spot depicts a kid in a waiting room who sees the orange splat, and then sticks their hand through, only to be dragged along a crazy rollercoaster ride—ending in, you guessed it, splat.

All five on-air spots depict the splat as a “Portal to Fun,” hence the brand campaign name. The brand wanted to ensure it “personified the splat,” so it used real kids, in partner with agency Callen.

“It’s this portal to an outrageously good time,” said Caluori. “So when you see the splat, you know something incredible is going to happen.”

The third marketing phase begins in July and will run through the end of the year when Nick’s new branding look and feel debuts internationally in the U.K. in July, followed by Latin America and further markets.

Why now?

The refresh comes ahead of a big upcoming slate for Nickelodeon, including theatrical releases for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Paw Patrol, as well as upcoming Paramount+ films like Good Burger 2 and Zoey 102.

Nickelodeon's news release:


Share it: @Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon announced today a brand campaign and new identity that calls back to its irreverent history. It includes a reimagined Splat logo and beloved Nick characters, but with a modern feel for today’s kids & families. Following today’s launch in the U.S. the rebrand will rollout internationally in the UK in July, followed by Latin America and additional markets through 2023.

The “Portal to Fun” launch campaign, features 5 mixed media brand films that depict the Splat as a gateway to surprising experiences, each featuring “Easter eggs,” Nick kids of all ages will love. The hero commercial, “Quartet” which launches today across Nick’s linear, digital and social platforms as well as select media partners features a new take on the brand’s classic mnemonic and demonstrates for kids just what can happen when you enter into the splat! This campaign continues throughout the summer, as Nickelodeon brings “Portal to Fun” experiences to schools around the country.

Additionally, a new lineup of network IDs featuring Nick’s beloved IP will debut throughout 2023. To highlight the brand’s commitment to introducing its audience to new and exciting animation, Nick enlisted six U.S. and international animation houses that used the new brand work to demonstrate Nick’s energy and sensibility through the lens of our iconic characters (SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, PAW Patrol, Blue’s Clues, Baby Shark, The Loud House and Monster High), punctuated with a moment of quintessential Nickelodeon Slime.


EVP, Global Kids & Family Marketing
Sabrina Caluori 
SVP Global Creative
Vincent Aricco
Executive Producer 
Danielle Jotham
SVP, Design & Motion
Michael Waldron

Brand work
Agency: Roger

“Portal of Fun” brand films
Agency: CALLEN
Production Studio: Riff Raff Films
Claymation Animator: Alistair Nicholls
CG Animators: Yonk
Music Company: duotone audio group
VFX/ Post: Kevin

Animated IDs
SpongeBob: Golden Wolf
Lincoln Loud: 2Viente
Blue’s Clues: Giant Ant
Rubble: Plenty
Baby Shark: Polyester
Clawdeen: State Design


This Splat is Technically Extinct

This Splat Can't Find Its Keys

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Originally published: May 08, 2023 at 20:12 BST.

Additional source: ComicBook.com.

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