France 2 innovates broadcast design to compete in digital age

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In a landscape where smartphones and social media reign supreme, traditional television broadcasters face the tall order of keeping audiences engaged. Despite the real-time updates of apps and social networks, many still turn to television for a validated recount of the day’s news.

France 2, part of the state-owned France Télévisions group, recognized this enduring need for trust amidst a digital deluge.

Partnering with creative agency Gédéon, the broadcaster sought to reimagine its newscast design to create deeper connections across generations and devices. The ambition was clear: simplify and clarify the news presentation while maintaining a dynamic and engaging narrative.

Drawing inspiration from digital design, the revamped on-air design aims to narrate stories in a manner that resonates with everyone.

Gédéon notes the emphasis was on creating an ‘infotainment’ design — a blend of informative and entertaining content.

A significant highlight of this framework is the live playout of the opening title sequences on set.

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This visual and sonic alert serves not merely as a segue into the broadcast but encapsulates a modern, digital-first aesthetic. It incorporates a notable graphic code of France 2 and France Télévisions, represented by a ‘dot’ that ripples across the screens, punctuating in the news logo.

Gédéon further notes the intention was to establish a collection of trustworthy brands, thereby reinforcing the channel’s commitment to reliable journalism amidst a saturated market of real-time updates in France.

An intimate studio focused on content

The rebranding also includes a new broadcast studio for France 2’s news output.

Dominating the 3,200-square-foot space is a screen measuring nearly 70 feet, creating a digital window into the world for viewers. This expansive screen serves as a contemporary backdrop to the newscasters, who are now stationed at a desk with a picturesque view of Paris in the foreground.

As has become a common presentation approach in the past year, the studio includes a large vertical screen, affectionately dubbed the “totem.”

At nearly 10 feet high, the totem can rotate and is used for various bump and toss shots during the broadcast.

The new studio is notably smaller than the broadcast’s former home, a deliberate move to create a “closer connection” with the viewers. 

Anne-Sophie Lapix, a presenter on France 2, noted the disconnect a large set creates, causing viewers to feel lost in the vastness of the studio space. The new, more intimate setup eliminates such barriers, promoting a sense of closeness and direct engagement with the audience.

Overall, the project reflects France 2’s approach of blending modernity with tradition in hopes of creating a more viewer-centric broadcast experience.

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