With TRP-topping drama serials like Humsafar and Man-o-Salwa, and religiously followed cooking experts like Gulzar and Shai, the Hum Network is a top player in the Pakistani television industry. Comprising 3 channels – Hum TV, Masala TV and the fairly new Hum 2 that replaced the faltering Style 360, the network appeals to a wide segment of the population, but is optimized for the female audience. In fact, Hum and Masala are arguably two of the most important brands for the average Pakistani woman. For this reason, it is important to highlight the brand refresh that the network unveiled on its 8th Anniversary this week.

For starters, Hum is ditching its LGBT flag logo in favor of a less-flaggy but no less colorful tile logo, to the utter dismay of local LGBT support groups. In fact, leading international celebrity and LGBT rights activist Veena Malik has vowed never to appear on the network in retaliation of this vile act. Not sure if that’s a bad thing for Hum TV though… Just kidding, dudes. Let’s talk business now.

The Logos

Hum Network New Logos Line-up

This rebrand is more an exercise of evolution rather than revolution. Equity elements from all three channels’ identities have been retained and infused with a more modern and vibrant touch. At the heart of the new brand system is the tile motif that is the main theme across all the new brands. Rendered in rainbow colors for Hum TV, vegetably-salady tones for Masala and a lively pink for Hum2, this pattern has been applied far and wide; and it successfully unifies the three brands under one umbrella. Speaking of unifying, it is somewhat overdone in the case of Masala, with a ‘Hum’ plastered on top. Masala is a strong brand on its own and adding anything to the brand name simply dilutes it. Hum Masala sounds weird, too. But to be perfectly fair, we can understand the strategic and management thinking behind this decision: they want to further establish Hum as a major name in the industry, a la ARY and Geo.

The typography from the old Hum identity also gets to stay, which is a shame because this was the perfect opportunity to update what was the weakest element of the old identity and now, by extension, this one. The Hum name in default, longish Urdu type that somewhat worked in the old vertical box is a complete misfit with the new square one and, because of the new patterns, is a lot less visible. We really wish Hum would have put in more effort into the typography. Even the blocky type used in the teasers might have worked.

The Masala Mirchi (yep, we are calling the chili icon that, The Masala Mirchi) is merrily transferred from a wavy banner into a nice new box and is also, thankfully, parted from the strange Hindi-style English word mark. We would also like to take this opportunity to whine once again about the addition of ‘Hum’ atop the logo.

Hum 2, which is getting by these days running content from the last decade, also joins in the fray and gets its own tile treatment along with everyone else.

The Idents

While we are more or less happy with the identity and logo bits, the idents are a whole different story. They’re Terrible. With a capital T. They are forced, badly acted out, unimaginative and largely come across as an attempt to copy ARY Digital’s lady-laden idents – see both below.

ARY video from: http://goo.gl/vMhMg

We don’t love the soundbites, either. The humming Hum chorus and ‘Hum Jaisa Koi Nahi’ just don’t sound nice.

To wrap it up:

The Good

    • The tile theme is pretty and vibrant, as well as flexible enough to be applied far and wide.
    • Appropriate evolution: retains equity of the original brands and adds a touch of modernity to them.
    • Well hyped, unveiled with great enthusiasm.

    The Bad

    • Dreadful website remains painfully dreadful despite the ‘Sub Kuch Badal Gya Hai’ (Everything Has Changed) mantra. Get rid of those cheap ads, man!
    • Some effort put into the typography would have been nice.
    • The idents are extremely awkward, forced and generally, BAD.