Zaron Burnett III:
HBO’s slogan for years was: “It’s not TV, it’s HBO.” The sense that HBO is special has long been part of its marketing. Its static intro makes that statement elegantly. More than just taking us somewhere special, into a uniquely HBO place, static (ironically) breaks up our mundane moments and creates a place for us to escape.
As a representation of a television switching on at the beginning of the programme and off at the end, the HBO logo evokes the impression of an appointment to view with each programme, creating a separate and special place in which its programmes are encountered.
It’s more than just branding. HBO’s Static Intro is an incantation for our emotions. It signals us to get ready to feel.
The intro remains one of the most vivid memories I have from watching television as a kid. When that logo appeared, I knew something I was about to watch, be it a movie or a show, would be special. It was not just TV, anyone could watch TV, it was HBO.