Not too long ago, CBC Newsworld, an all-news, all-the-time television network - kind of like Canada's answer to CNN - went through a significant re-branding exercise. It emerged from this exercise with the name CBC News Network (duh) and it replaced all it's serious and sonorous and middle-aged male announcing staff with young, perky, perfectly coiffed and brightly dressed females.
They also implemented short catchy musical stingers and equally brief visual bumpers to transition viewers from one article or segment to another.
Making the transition complete was a big bright studio awash in soft hues of red and blue. Well, the transition was almost complete. The coup de grace was the removal of all the chairs in the studio. That's right. The anchormen, er, ah, make that women, would now stand to deliver the news.
I'd watch that!
Alas the changes, to many, turned what once was a staid and dependable source for a traditional approach to journalism into more of an Entertainment Tonight or MTV approach to the news. Some liked the change. Some didn't. Regardless, all saw it for what it was: an attempt to attract a younger viewer with a fuller wallet. This would entice advertisers to spend more to air their commercials on the public broadcaster. Ah, yes, CBC News Network is publicly funded, not unlike PBS in the States.
Did it work? Well you tell me. I tune in every morning for an hour or so to catch up on what's going on in the world. In that time, the self-proclaimed relevant and hip news source for Canadians aired the following commercials:
- an ad for the Acorn Stairlift that aids seniors with mobility problems to get up and down the stairs in their home in a moving chair
- an ad for CHIP, Canada's Home Income Plan that provides reverse mortgages for senior homeowners
- an ad for Comfort Bathing that promotes walk-in bathtubs for seniors
- an ad for Tena Adult Diapers to help with "bladder leakage" problems for those in their senior years
If I'm supposed to be gettin' down, gettin' it on or gettin' jiggy with the news, then why am I feeling so damn old?
I'm watching the news in double-ply comfort!