The Newsroom

BBC News "The future's not cancelled" promo

(January 2021)

This site closed in March 2021 and is now a read-only archive
Spotted a new BBC News promo last night before MotD. How long has it been doing the rounds?

Highly emotive messaging: "We're on your side". "The future's not cancelled" end strapline in huge uppercase text filling the screen, before the BBC News logo appears on its own. No presenters or reporters featured, from what I recall, just "real people".

Not sure what to make of it. So similar to other BBC promo styles we've seen recently for iPlayer, Sounds, Sport or the Corporation as a whole they are all starting to blend into one.

Quite "2010s adverty" in tone. Is that intangible "BBC-ness" being lost or just evolving for the times we live in?

Apologies, can't find a link online, but it was running during BBC1 & 2 junctions yesterday, using TV Home as reference.
I'd seen it as well yesterday - I thought it was alright but was just surprised to see it was for BBC News, rather than the BBC as a whole which I'd have thought would be more appropriate.

Here's an article from Campaign Live as well as the ad itself:
Emily Moore
I'm not really sure what it's telling us or indeed, why it's been made. The future's "not cancelled", but what does that mean?

Anecdotally, quite a lot of people I know have told me that they've "stopped watching the news", particularly the BBC News, primarily because it's "too depressing" or "all Covid all the time". Perhaps it's an attempt to bring disaffected people who feel fed up of being hit over the head relentlessly with bad Covid news back into the fold of real journalism and away from fake online and social media news?
Meridian AM
Very strange promo. Not sure how they think that will make people watch BBC News.
"Future's Not Cancelled" is weird phrase.
Shaun Linden
I'd guess that it's saying the future isn't cancelled, we will return to normal life so stick with BBC News as we take you there.

It's typical BBC nonsense. BBC News, especially the regional news, are often the most watched shows any day of the year.
I get the intention of the promo but wouldn’t it be better to focus on the positive and funny news stories and reassure viewers that the news isn’t always a misery fest
Andrew Founding member
Jonwo posted:
I get the intention of the promo but wouldn’t it be better to focus on the positive and funny news stories and reassure viewers that the news isn’t always a misery fest

Which in the last few weeks wouldn't be true, as the national news pretty much is entirely a misery fest, they've ramped it up to another level this year. I think some bulletins should end with a slide advertising the BBC Action Line these days.

In the first lockdown we had a succession of lighter stories. I know once you've seen one group of key workers dancing on Tiktok you've seen them all, but we don't get as many of this type of story anymore.
Meridian AM
''BBC News discusses the human impact of the coronavirus pandemic, via the poetic stylings of Rakaya Esime Fetuga.

The 40-second spot shows young people as they describe how the coronavirus pandemic has affected them, as well as their hopes for the future.

The ad launched today across BBC channels and iPlayer, while a wider campaign includes conversations between the younger people featured in the ad and BBC journalists as they discuss topics including mental health, disability and unemployment.

It was created by Jules Middleton and Peigh Asante, and directed by Stella Scott through Pulse Films.''

Can't see that it's going to get more people watching BBC News. They are obviously trying to go for a younger audience, but it's just so dull...
Night Thoughts
It might work as a generic BBC promo, but looks very odd for a news promo.
The best solution for the BBC is to show Simon McCoy’s best bits as a promo. That’s one way to show news isn’t always depressing!
Agree it's a bit odd. The last year has bought out the very best in BBC News (and ITN and Sky) when it comes to reporting, but it's also highlighted some of the worst aspects of rolling news speculation too. I get why they wouldn't want to do a promo based around the excellent reports within hospitals and care homes, but this does just feel odd - and rather generic.

The phrase "the futures not cancelled" could also be deemed insensitive when for 100,000 people it has been.
Another recent BBC promo which really misses the mark IMO — I’m not sure I want the news to be ‘ on my side ’ in all honesty, nor was I worried the future was ‘cancelled’ in the first instance.

Featuring conversations between BBC journalists and young people is a strong idea, but you only realise they’re speaking to journalists from reading the Campaign Live article; by not showing the journalists actually interviewing the participants it’s very easy to miss the concept completely.

If they wanted a promo to engage younger viewers they should really have focused on actually showing the issues which matter to younger people — students trapped behind metal fencing in Manchester, for example, illustrating disillusion with universities, the effects of home schooling on underprivileged teenagers, and so forth.

You could even do different promos for each age group actually showing how BBC News reports on the issues that matter to them.

For BBC News more widely, trust and transparency should absolutely be at the forefront of any promo, especially in this current climate of misinformation. I don’t think that has ever been a more important selling point, more so as two news channels prepare to launch with their own respective, and potentially murky, agendas.

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