The Merge of Two Dutch Broadcasters


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VARA was founded in 1925 and is known for its socially involved programs and its focus on the public debate. BNN’s very first TV broadcast was a fact in 1998. BNN started with Bart de Graaff. He wanted to start his own broadcast for young people. BNN is known for its high-profile and provocative programs.

BNN and VARA merged in 2014 into one organization because of politically motivated cutbacks. The BNN and VARA brands remain separate from each other until 2017, when the individual brands merge into one public brand: BNNVARA.


BNN and VARA have to merge. BNN being the ‘rebel’ and VARA the ‘family friend’ of the Dutch television. DAY was approached by the broadcasts to create a new brand proposition and a brand strategy. How can we merge two brands with complete different DNA’s into one strong and distinctive brand and create a sustainable positioning in a constantly changing media industry?


DAY formulated a brand strategy, a brand story and a brand architecture for BNNVARA supported by ‘guiding principles’ that gently guide the behavior of a new brand.

Throughout the process, DAY organized a variety of sessions and creative workshops with employees, management and members from both BNN and the VARA to find out how to translate the different cultures to a new and fitting strategy. The focus of DAY was on the future rather than on the past. We focused on common beliefs and values instead of the differences. Together we defined the ‘building blocks’ of the BNNVARA brand and story. The architecture of the brand is based on the vision in which the programs and presenters are key to the success of BNNVARA. The BNNVARA brand acts as a ‘quality seal’.


BNNVARA is one strong brand. The in collaboration with DAY created brand strategy, story and architecture is constructed in the policy plan for the upcoming 5 years and clearly present on their website. BNNVARA is a successful brand. They sync the right form with the right content, every time surprisingly and every individual program plugged into what the target group really touches. This allows them to realize maximum impact. Day in day out. Within all platforms and programs. From that power, great programs such as ‘#Boos’, ‘3 op reis’, ‘De Wereld Draait Door’, ‘Pauw’ and ‘Spuiten en Slikken’ arise.

DAY has experience in collaborating with media, for example in projects for MTV Viacom, Vondel CS and AVROTROS.


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