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for Canvas

Sooner or later you’ll watch Canvas

“There comes a time in life when you start to expect more out of the things you spend your time on. That’s the moment you find your way to Canvas.”

Canvas is a Belgian TV station, part of the public broadcasting network. It prioritises culture, documentaries, political debates, niche and challenging content over unabashedly mindless entertainment.

When they came to Mutant, they were struggling mightily with their image. A survey showed that they were only in the top 3 of preferred brands for the 65+ age group. For years they had claimed ‘quality’ as their USP but, in the world of entertainment, quality is highly subjective…

We repositioned the brand from a station that was being avoided to an inevitable phase of life, tapping into a desire we all feel sooner or later.

We let young intellectuals like award-winning author Frederik Willem Daem, rapper Zwangere Guy and comedian Serine Ayari, talk about the moment in life when you start to expect more out of the things you invest your time in. That moment when you become more critical, more selective and more demanding of your entertainment. That’s the moment you find Canvas.

“We want to shatter the stereotypical perception of Canvas viewers. Being critical and demanding of the things you watch is not something that starts when you hit 50. Maturity is not necessarily an age thing.”

Odin Saillé
Creative Director Mutant

‘Sooner or later’ was integrated through the entire brand. Creating a connection between the positioning of the brand and its extremely eclectic programming.

Sooner or later, artists will need our support.

The corona outbreak was hard on everyone, and the cultural sector suffered as well. So Canvas decided to highlight local talent during these dark times and gave them the stage of the ‘Toots Studio’. ‘De Toots Sessies’ was a new TV format that gave local artists a stage and audience now that they’d been left in the dark due to lockdown.

And sooner or later, you’ll have to reevaluate yourself. In the light of a growing self-awareness that Belgian media still have a long way to go to become more diversified and inclusive, Canvas was brave enough to own up to its shortcomings.

“To ask the question is to answer it. If you want change to happen, you have to start with yourself.”

Olivier Goris
Chief Editor Canvas

‘Through the Eyes of’ is an 8-episode video series in which we enable viewers to watch Canvas through the eyes of Belgians of foreign descent, exposing subtle forms of discrimination that often go unnoticed by those not directly affected by it. The topics that were discussed ranged from the way people of colour are portrayed, ignored in history, stigmatised for the sake of comedy and generalised about in political debates.

The series was in the top 3 of most-watched shows in its first week. Watch the full series here.

“There is a strong will to do better and we are already working hard on it. But to really get representation on screen right, something has to move behind the scenes as well. We plan to run a similar panel on our programmes on a regular basis. Editors, production teams and digital teams must become more aware of the problem.”

Olivier Goris
Chief Editor of Canvas