HBO Design & Branding HBO by R/GA New York


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Industry TV Channels/Radio Stations and Programmes
Media Design & Branding
Market United States
Agency R/GA New York
Executive Creative Director Richard Ting
Creative Director Trevor Eld
Art Director Shu Zheng Li, Clay Johnson
Released January 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Digital Design – Websites & Online Advertising
Advertiser: HBO
Product/Service: HBO.COM & HBO GO
Agency: R/GA
Date of First Appearance: Jan 20 2010 12:00AM
Entrant Company: R/GA, New York, USA
Entry URL:
Executive Creative Director: Richard Ting (R/GA)
Executive Creative Director, Interaction Design: Daniel Harvey (R/GA)
Executive Producer: Paola Colombo (R/GA)
Group Director, Production: Wesley Harris (R/GA)
Creative Director: Trevor Eld (R/GA)
Creative Director, Interaction Design: Scott Weiland (R/GA)
Technology Team Lead/Solutions Architect: John Tubert (R/GA)
Senior Flash Developer: Isabel Kantor (R/GA)
Senior Interaction Designer: Ritwik Dey (R/GA)
Art Director: Shu Zheng Li (R/GA)
Senior Interaction Designer: Mutlu Isik (R/GA)
Flash Developer: James Hulsizer (R/GA)
Senior Interaction Designer: Kajal Gala (R/GA)
Senior Visual Designer: Ted Angelilli (R/GA)
Senior Producer: Beth LaRocco (R/GA)
Experience Strategy, Interaction Design: Brandt Flomer (R/GA)
Art Director: Clay Johnson (R/GA)
Senior Flash Designer: Chris Volk (R/GA)
Senior Flash Developer: Ben Zhou (R/GA)
Senior Copywriter: Kara Benton (R/GA)
Media placement: Website - - 20 January 2010
Media placement: Online Video Service - - 20 January 2010

Describe the challenges and key objectives
We knew the redesign of HBO’s 9 year-old web site had to reflect their reputation as the best and most courageous entertainment brand around. Strategically, our opportunity was to make a pioneer in using the web to augment its programming, thereby deepening fans’ connection to it. The challenge was complex—we couldn’t depend on offering full length episodes. Our approach was to create a platform that showcases and extends the programming. Clips, synopses, behind-the-scenes footage, polls, editorial commentary, forums, bios, locations, games, downloads, and more, all serve to give fans a rich, immersive experience.

Describe the brief from the client
HBO faced a huge business challenge. Because of their subscription model, they could not feasibly post free full episodes on their website. This put them at a considerable disadvantage against networks and forums that used an ad-based model to post hours and hours of content. HBO asked us to create a digital experience that channeled the rich, authentic excitement and intensity of the HBO brand, deepened relationships with fans, and attracted new users without providing its content for free. Our audience are deeply committed HBO fans who thrived on inside information, access, and being the in the know.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
We started by examining what was the essence of the HBO brand. We uncovered two truths: 1) HBO fully supports the vision of their creatives. 2) Given the competitive environment, people inside HBO are concerned the company would become risk-averse. Fans want to get lost in the creative worlds, and then to talk about their experience. was an opportunity for HBO to take more risks, and to give fans access to more adventures. We were guided by two main design principles: 1) Immersion– create deep, rich worlds for guests. 2) Control–let fans drive the experience wherever they are.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
Since the relaunch of, site traffic has increased approximately 25% with the average guest spending 6.5 minutes per visit. HBO has also seen significant conversion rates with their subscriber base. But perhaps most importantly, HBO now has a modular digital home for their brand and audience alike.