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Worzel4,275 posts since 8 Jan 2008
Anglia (West) Look East (West sub-opt)
Take it from someone who's had to rebrand a radio station with new imaging, logo, signage and font and is currently working on updating the look of a national charity, it is a long process but can and should be done.

After a while brands and looks become fragmented and disjointed and, sometimes, it's best to start with a clean slate and look at things again with a fresh pair of eyes - especially if there are many hashed examples or bad practices of a look which water down the core 'brand'. I quite understand why people are saying 'the current brand is recognisable, if we change it x percentage of the audience will leave' but you have to balance that up with an ever competitive market and whether the look represents a. the audience you're targeting or want to target, b. where you want the product to sit in the market and c. the future vision of the product, in this case News.

Yes, the average viewer might not notice the BBC News box being the 2008 design on BBC Breakfast's and South Today's titles rather than the 2013 version, Look East using Helvetica on its logo instead of Gil Sans and has a strange titles end wipe on the Cambridge edition instead of a fade - or Newsnight using pre-2012 NBH style astons - but do you see this level of inconsistency replicated across any other national broadcaster? I can't say I have. And it's these inconsistencies which weaken and damage a brand as everything is a hotchpotch of bad practices and brand guidelines not being adhered to. Would you really have someone at ITV say 'do you know what, I think we should use Arial on Anglia Tonight's graphics instead' - no, is the answer.

If BBC News was to drop the red colour palette and say go for a blue and ditch the globe for a different property, will it automatically cause people to switch over to the other side? Probably not, because the core product, the news, the presenters etc are still the same. That is also a fundamental part of a brand which people often overlook.

I will say though, that some of the stuff MediaBoy (Chris Cook) has been working on, such as the revamp of the SportsDay bulletins have been very good and well implemented.

Listening to the Sam Taylor podcast (a guy, actually, who I do admire as he's had to make some difficult decisions for the News channel but has also introduced some good presentational elements) he said something along the lines of refreshing the look of news channel is a bit like changing the tracks on a railway line. It never stops, so you're having to do things on the move all the time. But really, every news channel gets to a point where they need to look at the whole thing again.

I wish the BBC would be a bit more daring and actually look to build their channels and brands to be representative of 2018 and not resting on old habits or looks from 1992 (BBC Two) and 1999/2008 for BBC News. Yes, money probably plays a part as does the worry of being accused of wasting money by the tabloid press, but at some point somethings got to give. I love the BBC, may not agree with everything it does, but it does deserve to look it's best brand wise and sadly at the moment, it doesn't.
Last edited by Worzel on 10 June 2018 1:09am - 3 times in total
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Worzel4,275 posts since 8 Jan 2008
Anglia (West) Look East (West sub-opt)
Some very good points there that are difficult to disagree with. I think your point of making things look representative of 2018 is the main thing - especially when you look at some of the presentation from the continent (particularly France and Germany) which look to be a good decade ahead of the BBC right now.


Yes, and even looking at what's happening in Australia and Canada is certainly an eye opener.

Thing is, I was in a minority of people saying 5-6 years ago that BBC News needs to re-think its branding, identity and the way it presents its news to start pulling in a slightly younger audience who'll be loyal to the brand in the future (which would have been now), but they haven't and its really beginning to show sadly.

I really think BBC News (or even the BBC branding department) should have some sort of viewer panel they can put/float ideas out too. Yes they'll get some silly responses, but they could get some useful information which could help them along the way. Commercial radio does this very well with anything from branding to what music is played and is a good way of maintaining a strong connection with their audience and noticing trends, adapting and evolving.

I'd love the opportunity (for someone who's a viewer, but also works in radio/branding/marketing) to be a guinea pig for road testing stuff to viewers for BBC News.
Last edited by Worzel on 10 June 2018 1:32am - 5 times in total
Rkolsen2,327 posts since 20 Jan 2014
BBC World
I don’t think anyone’s saying drop the beeps, the globe or the red style but surely they could change or update it. At this point it would be like NBC dropping the peacock or chimes.
Don’t let anyone treat you like you’re a VO/SOT when you’re a PKG.
cityprod1,869 posts since 3 Oct 2005
Westcountry Spotlight
I don’t think anyone’s saying drop the beeps, the globe or the red style but surely they could change or update it. At this point it would be like NBC dropping the peacock or chimes.


At the moment though, they need to change those elements so significantly to attract younger viewers again, that maybe, just maybe, changing the colour from red, or changing the music significantly, would be exactly the kind of thing that could work. They're never gonna drop the globe, unless they replace it with something transmitter-esque, which has also been pretty synonymous with BBC News in the past.
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BFGArmy194 posts since 15 Jan 2018
London London
I don’t think anyone’s saying drop the beeps, the globe or the red style but surely they could change or update it. At this point it would be like NBC dropping the peacock or chimes.


At the moment though, they need to change those elements so significantly to attract younger viewers again, that maybe, just maybe, changing the colour from red, or changing the music significantly, would be exactly the kind of thing that could work. They're never gonna drop the globe, unless they replace it with something transmitter-esque, which has also been pretty synonymous with BBC News in the past.


I'm not sure I agree with that line of argument. Changing it brings no guarantee younger viewers would watch. And as a (fairly) young-ish viewer I don't see why viewers like me should be prioritised over other viewers really.

And the current brand is still incredibly recognisable with the beeps and the colour red and the public seem to like it. As for the idea it's not youth-orientated enough, there's clips of the BBC News music being played in clubs for Radio 1 DJs which I can't imagine happening for many other news themes.
If BBC could come up with something as iconic and as versatile as the current theme I say go for it but don't like the idea of change for change's sake. There's a reason you don't see the likes of Apple or Nike for example changing their brand dramatically - and when it does it's evolution rather than revolution.

I imagine too with the limited funds BBC News has, any funds they do use will probably be spent on their day-to-day journalism rather than dramatically changing a still-popular look.
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Alex Plain-Later (previously Austin Tatious) 913 posts since 1 Jan 2016
HTV West Points West
Irrespective of cosmetic branding, I just wish that the opening headlines of BBC domestic news was tightened up. If BBC World News can still manage it, why the fudge has domestic (NC and One/Six/Ten etc) gradually drifted in the years since the Lambie-Nairn revolution of 1999/2000?
TOTHs etc now seem to last about a fortnight. By the time we actually sodding well get past the "opening" titles (pah!), I'm half-expecting the presenter to say e.g. "Welcome to the BBC News at Quarter-Past-Six"! Or, perhaps even "Now it's time to join the BBC's news teams where you are"! Laughing
I is well eloquent, innit.
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Brekkie30,005 posts since 4 Jan 2003 Recently warned
HTV Wales Wales Today

I imagine too with the limited funds BBC News has, any funds they do use will probably be spent on their day-to-day journalism rather than dramatically changing a still-popular look.

BBC News is the most well funded news operation in the UK. It isn't about funds - they'd be found and justified for such a project.
Shouldn't that have been posted in the "John Logie Baird has Invented Television" thread?
BFGArmy194 posts since 15 Jan 2018
London London
Irrespective of cosmetic branding, I just wish that the opening headlines of BBC domestic news was tightened up. If BBC World News can still manage it, why the fudge has domestic (NC and One/Six/Ten etc) gradually drifted in the years since the Lambie-Nairn revolution of 1999/2000?
TOTHs etc now seem to last about a fortnight. By the time we actually sodding well get past the "opening" titles (pah!), I'm half-expecting the presenter to say e.g. "Welcome to the BBC News at Quarter-Past-Six"! Or, perhaps even "Now it's time to join the BBC's news teams where you are"! Laughing


Totally agreed on this one. This TOTH from 2002 is a great example. Done and dusted in 30 seconds. Short and snappy and makes the whole programme feel more authoritative. The 10 O'Clock News headline sequences these days seem to go on for a good 2 minutes which is too long.
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noggin13,885 posts since 26 Jun 2001
In many way the 'fixed bong' era of BBC News ensured a pacy opening, and required rigour on the part of the headline writers to get a proper headline delivered in 5 seconds or so. (There was a single sound cue for the entire sequence, with the director running the headlines so that the VM could cut to them on the bong)

Sync sound was used very sparingly, and only when it really added to the headline sequence, and was a 'sit up and take notice' device.

The minute variable duration headlines were introduced - the headline sequences started to become very baggy... (With these the bong+following beds were triggered by the vision mixer cutting between headlines)
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