The recent refresh of the title sequences of BBC TV’s regional news programmes saw a much-needed drive towards branding standardisation. Since the Lambie-Nairn titles package was introduced in 2008, various regions had gone rogue and produced their own, sometimes sub-par, take on the BBC News branding.
The loss of consistency was one thing but in all honesty, the sequences were getting a bit tired anyway. It’s hard to believe that an organisation with so much creative talent at its disposal can’t organise itself to refresh the on-air identity of core output more regularly.
The new regional news title sequences were produced by the design team at BBC Salford, and overseen by HQ in London. Whilst not ground-breaking, and hardly a significant evolution of the previous incarnation, they are still a respectable and well overdue replacement for the 2008 branding. Though one does wonder how much creativity might have been stifled during this project.
Each regional news programme now has daytime, night-time and weekend opening title sequences. The location shots featured within the new titles were supplied by each region. The theme music – produced by David Lowe – is a remixed version of that used by BBC South East Today in recent years. There are sombre and festive versions of the music.
Using the new titles templates, each region has the option of creating bespoke versions of the titles for special programmes – such as those aired by BBC North West Tonight last Wednesday for Tatton. Presenter Roger Johnson mentioned last week on Twitter that the north west programme has quite a selection of titles variations as part of its standard set.
At this point I will note that BBC Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales did not adopt the new title sequences rolled out in the English regions: Scotland updated their existing titles with Reith; Wales created a new take on the 2008 titles, and included Reith; NI hasn’t bothered to update anything yet.
But, regarding the refresh in the English regions – so, I’m thinking this new TV news branding might be a good opportunity to standardise the various regional identities across social media. And sure enough, last week, there were some promising early signs on Twitter, such as these new graphics, based on the TV news templates:
A bit of an improvement on this:
Although fairly certain that the regional news accounts would be updated with new branding, I was pleasantly surprised to see one of the radio stations getting the Reith treatment and adopting similar branding.
However, over a week on, the hotchpotch of branding still plagues the regional social media accounts. Some have moved to BBC Reith, some have not. And even for those that have moved to Reith, precision is lacking, with logos varying in terms of size and positioning. Here’s a small selection of what I found this evening:
PICTURED: BBC North West Travel News graphic. SUPPLIED BY: Online/BBC Twitter account. COPYRIGHT: BBC.