Say goodbye to Rooster Teeth’s longstanding rebus-style logo of the rooster and the windup chattering teeth.
The fandom and comedy entertainment company, a division of Warner Bros. Discovery, is turning 20 years old on April 1. To mark the two-decade milestone, Rooster Teeth is introducing new logos (pictured above) along with a new tagline: “Just Playing.” The new branding will be rolling out over the next several weeks.
Last year, Rooster Teeth approached Austin-based creative agency Guerilla Suit to create a new visual brand identity that was “as dynamic, playful and unconventional” as the organization itself, said head of marketing Adam Bersin (who joined RT a year ago from Amazon Studios). “At the core of the strategy, it’s making people realize Rooster Teeth is a digital media company that brings together all of these different interests of our creators… with comedy being the backbone of it,” Bersin said.
Matt Hullum, co-founder and chief creative officer, acknowledged in an interview, “Probably we’ve been a little bit overdue for a fresh coat of paint because we’ve been so busy evolving and staying ahead of the internet and all its changes.” The new Rooster Teeth branding is aimed at preserving the company’s original spirit of playing around with friends, he said: “It’s always been about fun.”
The new Rooster Teeth icon, a capital “R” stylized as a rooster’s head, nods to the original logo. The vivid orange-red and electric-blue color scheme is intended to bring “new life and energy to the brand,” with an updated look that “reflects Rooster Teeth’s desire to stand out as opposed to blending in,” according to the company.
For its 20-year anniversary, Rooster Teeth is running a 20-week campaign — bringing back “deep cuts, one-off episodes and fan favorites” every week, Hullum said, leading up to a big finale at the 2023 RTX convention taking place July 7-9 in Austin. “When you take those 20 years and compress it into 20 weeks, you see the variety and breadth and depth of everything we’ve made,” said Hullum.
Rooster Teeth, based in Austin since its inception, was an internet video pioneer. RT’s first viral video came in 2003, with “Red vs Blue,” an animated comedy series that popularized machinima. Among its other milestones, the company started video podcasting in 2005 (although it wasn’t called that at the time) and in 2017 started The Roost Podcast Network to bring external creators. The RTX convention debuted in 2011 to connect fans with creators and has spawned events in the U.K. and Australia. In 2015, Rooster Teeth launched its “Let’s Play” brand a video-game streaming was hitting its stride.
Today, Rooster Teeth says it has more than 45 million followers and more than 5 million weekly unique viewers across channels, with about 75% of its audience aged 18-34.
“One of the things we’ve very constantly tried to do in terms of a company is attract new audiences,” said Jordan Levin, who has led Rooster Teeth as general manager since 2019. “This company has always been a state of evolution. I am sure there are people who want to retain the old [Rooster Teeth] brand, but this is reflective of trying to appealing to new audiences.”
Over the last decade, Rooster Teeth has bounced among several different corporate parents. In 2014, it was bought by Fullscreen, which in turn was bought by Otter Media (a joint venture of AT&T and Chernin Group) before Rooster Teeth became part of WarnerMedia under AT&T’s ownership. Almost a year ago, Discovery closed the deal to buy WarnerMedia to form WBD. Currently, Rooster Teeth sits within Warner Bros. Discovery’s sales and marketing group led by chief revenue and strategy officer Bruce Campbell. The company has almost 200 full-time employees.
“Ultimately, Warner Bros Discovery is going to have to make a decision for an integration path” for Rooster Teeth into the broader company, said Levin, former CEO of the WB Television Network. “Unless there are third parties that are interested in [acquiring] Rooster Teeth… I really don’t know.”
RT has embarked on a few synergistic projects with other parts of the Warner Bros. Discovery/WarnerMedia business. The biggest tie-up so far is with DC: A crossover movie, the animated “Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes and Huntsmen Part One,” is set to be released on DVD and Blu-ray on April 25. Based on the “RWBY x Justice League” comic book series, the film brings together DC characters including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Flash with the quartet of heroes from “RWBY” — Ruby, Weiss, Blake and Yang — which is Rooster Teeth’s original anime-style series that has run for nine seasons so far. A sequel movie is slated to follow.
“I had the Batman and Superman comics as a kid,” Hullum said. “Being able to see the worlds of ‘RWBY’ and DC come together has just been awesome.”
Rooster Teeth also been part of Warner Bros. Discovery’s promo machine in producing genre-focused companion podcasts for HBO Max like “Podly” for “Peacemaker” and “Popcorn and Shield,” covering the Warner Bros. movie archives. Season 2 of RT’s “Gen:Lock” mecha series starring and executive produced by Michael B. Jordan premiered on HBO Max in 2021; both seasons of the show are currently available on the streamer.
As the company turns 20, Hullum said, “We feel like the stage we’re in is offering our larger community in all these different places to have one place to come to have the best fan experience you can have, on our site. It’s embracing the fan-club model. They love Rooster Teeth and its content, but also each other.”
For the record, below is the current Rooster Teeth logo. The company’s name was derived from dialogue in the original trailer for “Red vs. Blue,” in which the voiceover narrator is dissed by the subtitler as a “cock bite.”
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