Really?

Ah, good old UKTV and their channel rebrands. In amongst their stupidly named channel relaunches from the past few years (UKTVG2, UKTVG2+1 – quite possibly the ugliest name ever given to a digital channel, Dave, Blighty, Gee Oh Ell Dee), they’ll occasionally chuck in the odd ‘proper’ name (Eden, Yesterday, that’s about it).

 

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Just when you thought things were taking a turn for the sane, with the announcement of UKTV Style being relaunched as ‘Home’, they go and mess things up again by coming up with a new name for UKTV Gardens. What’s the kind of name you might expect them to come up with here? Here’s a clue: they’re revamping the content of the channel, so it will now concentrate on being (and try to suppress your gag reflex here) a “zeitgeisty and noisy female brand." Hngh.

So, what would you call this new channel? “Women”? Too obvious. “UKTV Lips, Tits and Shopping”? Don’t be sexist. “Handbag"? You’re not even trying now, are you? Here’s the new logo for it:

 

imageReally? Ya, really. Pop fact! In most cases, these rebrands are actually done by letting a blind hen peck at a dictionary. However, in this case they’re so desperate to launch the channel on the back of an advertising campaign based heavily on the song ‘Wannabe’ by The Spice Girls, they’ve slammed this identity onto the hapless new channel.

We’ve uncovered a shooting script of the launch advert. And here it is.

 

SCENE 1. INT. A BUSY MODERN OFFICE, WITH LOADS OF GLASS AND CHROME EVERYWHERE, SO THAT WE KNOW IT’S A MODERN OFFICE. DAY.

AN UNNAMED WOMAN IS STRIDING PURPOSEFULLY TOWARD THE CAMERA, WHICH IS MOVING BACKWARDS THROUGH THE BUSTLING OFFICE. SHE IS CLEARLY AN ASPIRATIONAL, BALLSY, MODERN, 21ST CENTURY WOMAN. A PRS-FRIENDLY APPROXIMATION OF ‘WANNABE’ BY THE SPICE GIRLS STRIKES UP IN THE BACKGROUND.

UNNAMED ASPIRATIONAL 21ST CENTURY WOMAN:
I’ll tell you what *I* really want! I want a channel that tells me what *I* want to know about the world! I’m not interested in gardens, or embroidery, or [MAKES SARCASTIC FACE] cooking ‘tea’ for ‘hubby’. I want a channel that is now!

SCENE 2. INT. AN EXPENSIVE LOOKING DEPARTMENT STORE. DAY.

A DIFFERENT UNNAMED WOMAN IS STRIDING PURPOSEFULLY TOWARD ANOTHER CAMERA WHICH IS BACKING AWAY FROM HER. SHE IS CARRYING SEVERAL EXPENSIVE DESIGNER ITEMS. THE BACKING MUSIC CONTINUES.

DIFFERENT UNNAMED ASPIRATIONAL 21ST CENTURY WOMAN WITH SHOPPING:
I’ll tell you what *I* really want! I want a channel that can fit into *my* lifestyle. A channel that tells me what *I* should be wearing, and why I shouldn’t ever be seen in public unless my entire body image conforms to the expectations of whichever glossy magazine journalist they’ve roped in to front a six-part series on fashion. I want a channel that is all about me!

SCENE 3. EXT. THE SIDE OF A SWIMMING POOL AT A VERY EXCLUSIVE LOOKING HOLIDAY RESORT. DAY.

A THIRD UNNAMED WOMAN IS STIDING PURPOSEFULLY TOWARD THE CAMERA AGAIN. YOU GET THE IDEA. SHE IS IN A SWIMMING COSTUME

THIRD UNNAMED ASPIRATIONAL 21ST CENTURY WOMAN:
I’ll tell you what *I* really want! I want a channel that tells me which prohibitively expensive health spas I should be visiting. All of the commercials in the ad breaks are for personal injury lawyers, and quite coincidentally, I’m expecting a great big payout very soon. From, erm, somewhere. Ouch, my neck. [WINKS AT CAMERA] I want a channel that does what I want it to!

SCENE 4. INT. UKTV CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS. DAY.

THE THREE UNNAMED WOMEN ARE STRIDING PURPOSELY TOGETHER.

FIRST UNNAMED ASPIRATIONAL 21ST CENTURY WOMAN:
But where could we hope to find all those things on one channel? [LAUGHS] After all, the current output on the digital cosmo-plex certainly doesn’t cater for *my* needs!

SECOND UNNAMED ASPIRATIONAL 21ST CENTURY WOMAN, STILL WITH SHOPPING:
[CHUCKLES IN AGREEMENT] Yes. The current offerings for Aspirational Twenty-First Century Women like us are nowhere near zeitgeisty enough for my liking!

THIRD UNNAMED ASPIRATIONAL 21ST CENTURY WOMAN, IMPLAUSIBLY STILL IN SWIMMING COSTUME:
[SHOUTING] And the current brands just aren’t noisy enough!

THE WOMEN AND THE CAMERA SUDDENLY STOP IN THEIR TRACKS, AS THEY ARE SUDDENLY CONFRONTED BY TV’S PAUL ROSS. HE IS CARRYING A CLIPBOARD WITH THE BRAVE AND GUTSY ‘REALLY’ BRAND IDENTITY ON IT.

TV’S PAUL ROSS:
Pout no longer, ladies! UKTV have a channel designed especially for modern aspirational ladies. Ladies like you!

TV’S PAUL ROSS HANDS OUT LEAFLETS TO THE WOMEN

FIRST UNNAMED ASPIRATIONAL 21ST CENTURY WOMAN:
Wow! Repeats of BBC Three’s ‘Baby Borrowers’! That’s what I really, really want!

SECOND UNNAMED ASPIRATIONAL 21ST CENTURY WOMAN:
Gosh! Repeats of BBC Two’s ‘Mary, Queen Of Shopping’! That’s what I really, really want!

THIRD UNNAMED ASPIRATIONAL 21ST CENTURY WOMAN:
Hurrah! A brand new series of ’Spa Of Embarrassing Illnesses’! That’s what I really, really want!

THE THREE WOMEN CONTINUE TO COO OVER THE CORPORATE LITERATURE AS TV’S PAUL ROSS TURNS TO ADDRESS THE CAMERA

TV’S PAUL ROSS:
That’s right, coming soon to Sky Digital channel 248 and Virgin Media channel 267, REALLY: Television That You Really, Really Want.

THE MUSIC SWELLS TO A DRAMATIC CONCLUSION AS A CAPTION CONFIRMING THE CHANNEL’S EPG POSITIONING APPEARS. AS THE SCREEN FADES TO BLACK, THE VIEWER CAN JUST ABOUT MAKE OUT THE SHOULDERS OF TV’S PAUL ROSS DROOP, AS HE BEGINS TO EMIT A MOURNFUL SIGH. WHY ISN’T HE ON PROPER TELLY ANY MORE, HE SEEMS TO BE THINKING. EVEN DOING QUIZ CALL ON FIVE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT WOULD BE SOMETHING. OR A NEW CHANNEL FOUR TOP HUNDRED RUNDOWN COULD ASK FOR HIS THEME-TUNE HUMMING TALENTS. ANYTHING. ANYTHING BUT THIS. MAYBE BOOZE COULD NUMB THE PAIN. BOOZE AND PILLS. BOOZE AND PILLS MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER.

7 comments:

Brig Bother said...

Explain 'Discovery Shed'.

Mark X said...

I think that can only be explained away as a bet between employees at a 'creatives' agency.

"Go on, tell them the only name you could come up with was 'Discovery Shed', I dare you!"

"Ohh, okay, but when they don't fall for it, you owe me twenty quid!"

LATER.

"Bloody hell. Here's that twenty quid."

Tony Currie said...

Many years ago I was Director of Programmes for a new satellite channel from Ireland. The owners (a US company) had hired a company of brand consultants to choose the name of the channel.

We sat through sessions where they asked us potty questions ("if the channel was a smell, what would it be?" kind of stuff). Eventually - for around £45 grand, they presented us with a thick bound volume. On each page was a single word in 85pt bold caps. These were all the names they'd come up with but rejected!

On the final page was the name they'd come up with.

"O'Television"

I was then given the thankless task of unveiling this crackpot name to the Director-General of RTE, who although minority shareholders were our main programme supplier and therefore had a certain amount of say in what we did.

Lunch in the board Room and then before the port, I leaned over and showed the D-G the channel identity.

"Over my dead (expletive) body." he said.

Some days later, Ray Snoddy - then media corr of The Times - leapt out of the shower and rang my wife. "Tara!!!" he bellowed excitedly to her, "call it Tara. Just came to me in the shower."

We called it Tara.

Ray got a nice lunch.

The brand consultants got their £45 grand.

Brig Bother said...

Ooh, I use to quite like Tara! Well done, er, you.

Mark X said...

Excellent story, Mr C, and I used to like Tara, too. It's a crying shame it folded before Sky Digital got really big*, because I'm damn sure the mix of (a) actual new and worthwhile material, and (b) what would now be an utterly kick-arse EPG position would have served it very well indeed. It's a shame that with about 9,763 channels available on Sky, there's no way to see Irish programming outside of the emerald isle, despite it being by default the most logical choice of 'foreign' output to suit UK tastes.

(*See also: UK Play/Play UK, which made the mistake of putting all it's expensively BBC co-produced output at the arse-end of the 'Music' section of the EPG on launch, only moving to 'Entertainment' way too late. And did I imagine a Sunday afternoon show hosted by Chris Addison and Lauren Laverne? Of course, E4's still going, so draw your own conclusions.)

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